Jetty Beer #5

Swedish culture primer #3: Since our fans demand more pictures of the summer cottage and its environs, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you about a strange Swedish custom. This is what is known as a lillstuga or “little cottage”:

As you can see, this looks pretty much like the regular summer cottage but smaller. Traditionally, when you have a child, you build a lillstuga near your summer cottage – not for the baby to sleep in, of course, but to symbolize that there is a new addition to the family. Then, next year, when the baby has grown, you tear down the old lillstuga and build a new, slightly larger one, to commemorate the passage of time. And so on. Every year, you tear down the old lillstuga and replace it with a slightly larger one. The remains are burnt on a pyre and much aquavit is consumed. This goes on until the child comes of age, which in Sweden is at 26. Then, the whole summer cottage property passes to the child and the parents have to sleep in the lillstuga. Charlotte is four now so we have 22 more years – let’s make them good ones!

And what do you drink when you once again tear down your lillstuga and build the new one, all the while cursing the day your child was born? Why, you could for example drink a Slottskällan Zeven (ABV 7.0) a dark saison from the original Swedish microbrewery Slottskällan:

This is a cloudy dark one, all right. The head is tiny and subsides quickly, despite the fact that the beer is quite heavily carbonated. The first and main taste is of sour candies, or something along the lines of rhubarb or lemon cookies. There are some vinous notes, a bit of sweet (brown sugar/molasses) and a tart and fruity body. The pleasant sweet sourness lingers, making this a very refreshing beer that in many ways is close to an alcoholic soda pop, but in a good and more “adult” way. I’ve had this twice during our current stay in Sweden and it’s an instant favourite – a very fresh, flavourful and complex summer beer that goes well on its own or with many kinds of food.

Oh and also today the weather has been much better. This is the view from our cottage:

See you soon for the next instalment of Swedish culture lessons and beer reviews!

Posted on August 10, 2012, in Review and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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