13 September, 2017

Brännland Cider Story pt 2, to make wine where wine can’t be grown

Before starting Brännland Cider I considered starting a beer brewery. This being 2010, all white middle aged white men in the entire western world were thinking of doing the same. And most of them did. 

Now if one half of the white middle aged men dreamed of starting a brewery, the other half dreamed of starting a winery (or a BnB in the Tuscan country side, an adventure upon which a novel, a cookbook and a movie would be based, take your pick) and I was no different. But a winery, in northern Sweden? 

For a brief time I was about to buy a goat farm in the mountains. The same romanticism that drove the thought of a winery pervaded the idea of a goat farm. A solitary, even ascetic, life making world class goats cheese, surrounded by a few bird dogs and a mythical novel in the…wait for it…typewriter.

But you have to know yourself, just a little, and I tried picturing myself milking goats at 4 in the morning in the cold for the rest of my life. It didn’t compute.

I guess I could also have bought a time share or a few vines in vineyard in Italy, visited for three days a year to symbolically participate in some harvesting and get 100 bottles of “my own personal wine” sent home in spring. 

Ok, so I’m not the goat milking type, but neither am I a “wine as a hobby” kind of guy. I just am not driven by things being fun. There is fun to be had along the way but what drives me in the end is for things to make sense, to tie in on themselves and hold together. I’m also a dreamer. I will dream a bakery (nay, a chain of bakeries) into existence from a sourdough starter in the fridge. 

And so as I tried to interweave the desire to do something different, to make wine where wine can’t be grown apples came into the picture. I started with the thought of having a small cidery, making simple cider from the neglected garden apples in the backyards around the village where I lived, and selling that cider back to the locals. But the apples wanted something else and what I imagined as a simple sourdough starter morphed into something much bigger and much harder. And in the end I’m now in a cidery at 4 in the morning in the cold and dark to make the best cider I can make, because if you want to be the best you can 4 in the morning it is. 

As the 2017 harvest starts Brännland Cider is about to start a new leg of it’s journey. We’re exploring the possibilities and abilities of Swedish apples further this year. Thanks for travelling with us.

/Andreas Sundgren Graniti, Brännland Cider