1: What was the best thing about 2019 for the brewery?
Where to start? The best thing for 2019 for Fanø Bryghus was probably the completion of our taproom renovations and brewery expansion. It has enable us to host several large events at the brewery and provide what we think is a high quality experience for those who stop in for a beer and a visit. Also, equipment upgrades and increasing our distribution to the whole of Denmark has gone a long way to increasing our ability to send and keep fresh beer out into the marketplace.
2: What will be most important for the brewery in 2020?
Perhaps it goes without saying but our number one goal is to produce quality beer. If we can take care of that, then all of our jobs are 90% done. Beyond that, our immediate focus for 2020 is to complete the latest phase of our expansion. This will enable us to better serve our existing distribution territory. Beyond that, the brewers are all excited to begin brewing some taproom only/special release beers on our new pilot system, which will then help feed and inform the development of our new releases.
3: How much did the brewery produce in 2019 and will you produce more or less in 2020?
We should just top 1,500 HL this year. Although we did lose a few weeks to construction delays, that’s pretty much the ceiling of what we’re able to comfortably produce in a year. We are hoping to produce as much beer as possible in 2020. With new tanks scheduled to arrive midway through the year, I’m hoping to see a pretty substantial increase in overall volume and variety by the end of 2020.
4: What is the biggest challenge that the Danish breweries are facing in 2020?
While every brewery faces their own set of unique challenges each year, the industry-wide fight to achieve QUALITY and CLARITY is what probably comes to my mind when I first read this question. It’s my hope that as an industry we can continue to focus on the brewing of QUALITY beer and communicating the CLARITY of who we are and where are products come from. As large, industrial breweries continue to pump more and more beer into that market through small brewery purchases and new releases that masquerade as breweries that don’t actually exist, the continued education of the public of what separates our “craft” beer from their “crafty” brands will grow in importance as we battle for both market and mind share.
5: Who deserves a pat on the back?
Something I really liked seeing in 2019 was the success of new regional beer festivals that focused on quality craft beer both from inside and outside of Denmark. The Bad Seed Beer Fest in Aalborg and the Rowdy Hops Beer Festival in Aarhus are just two of several new beer festivals that started in 2019 that I think will be continue to gain tractions and help expose and educate people about great regional and international breweries and the beer they are making.