May 27-29 sees beer, food and music all come together in one big pile of well, beer, food and music events as the Brooklyn Brewery Mash pulls into Stockholm. This is the third year that the festival has taken place in the city and its schedule is as jam-packed as ever. Events include The Neighbourhood Immersion, a market party at Mariatorget where guests can taste what the area has to offer, as well as a wide variety of Brooklyn Beer. On the 29 there will be a DIY Dinner Party, where Brooklyn Brewery’s cook Andrew Gerson will show how to best combine the tastes of food and beer into a complementary package. And there will be a free concert at Debaser Medis on May 28, as well as many more events taking place over the three-day span. We met Gerson ahead of the festival to talk about proceedings.
So to start us off, can you tell us a little about the events taking place this week?
So we’re here for our fourth annual Mash tour. The Mash is an arts and culture tour, it’s about celebrating adventure. What’s happening in your city, the local artisans and producers, craftsmen, the brewers, the chefs, the people that make Stockholm vibrant. So in each city we try and focus on those collaborations and explorations. It’s a celebration of what’s happening here. We have a great event here at the Nya Carnegie Brewery called Feast. NCB just got a brand new chef, so I’ll be collaborating with him, on a beautiful feast with lots of different dishes. The idea is to explore the diversity and flavour of our beers, and craft beer in general. A lot of what I do at the brewery is food and beer pairing-based, so it’s about celebrating beer at the table.
We’re also doing DIY Dinner Party here as well on Sunday. It’s a chance to learn to cook a few dishes, learn some of the basics of food and beer pairing and then sit down to a communal meal. A lot of what we do is about celebrating that sense of community around the table. We also have our Neighbourhood Immersion, which is about celebrating undiscovered neighbourhoods around the city, about collaborating with a bunch of different bars, restaurants and space to create some deals and experiences. A good way to re-get to know your neighbourhood.
And do you think it’s an important thing to have all the other aspects, the music, the arts, the culture, to make it more than just a beer festival?
Yeah, I think beer is the lens through which we look at all these other cultural modalities.
Kind of a way to link them?
Yeah exactly, and just a way to celebrate the cultural fabric. It’s about the intermixing and collaboration between all these different aspects. The music, the food, the beer, all of these things coming together to create an atmosphere of celebration. I think the same way that we respect the quality of the liquid that we make, or the food that we make, we see all these other artists and creatives as people who put the same level of vibrancy and energy into what they do. When we’re inspired to make a new dish it’s not just about flavour profile, feel or level of bitterness. It’s about the inspiration we feel from the community. They’re inspired by the beauty of Stockholm. There’s such a big Aquavit culture, such a big spirits culture, and we want those nuances to inform what we make here. It’s about bringing all of these different modalities together to have a good time.
You’re going to be a big part of the proceedings, so what kind of culinary knowledge will you be imparting?
I think to me it’s about access. I think people get kind of scared, whether it’s wine, beer or spirits, about how to pair or in cooking. So one of the things I try and do is make it accessible and easy. And to show the versatility, to showcase dishes that aren’t maybe the norm. I think people think that pizzas and burgers, which do go great with beverages, are all you can have, but there’s so much nuance to pairing. I try and elevate pairing and create something that is greater than the sum of its parts. This beer is fantastic on its own, this dish is great, but they’re even better together. That’s what I strive for, although I might not always get there!
So what advice would you give to the guests to make the most of all that’s happening this week?
Go to the Brooklyn Brewery Mash website, get tickets to every event. It’s so diverse this week, there’s so much going on, that there’s something for everyone. We’ve got a free concert, we’ve got the Feast, the DIY Dinner Party, there are just so many different things to do this week. So I would say come experience it all, come with an open mind. Come hungry, come thirsty, come ready to enjoy!
Brooklyn Brewery Mash, May 27 – 29, Various locations. For more info and ticket details see www.brooklynbrewerymash.com/stockholm