How it all began Brewing has been popular for centuries. As early as 1882 there were a number of small beer brewers in Bergslagen who required larger scale brewing facilities and who decided to club together to build Kopparbergs Bryggeri. In 1945 a new brewery was built in exactly the same place as the brewery stands today. The small beer brewers produced to capacity until 1988 when the company was taken over by a Swiss brewery. The reason why the Swiss were particularly attracted to the little Swedish brewery was its fresh, clear spring water, which the Swiss company bottled. Today the water is put to good use in the brewery as the basis for Kopparberg´s products. The Swiss business man ran the brewery until 1993 and during this period the brewery also under went extensive renovation work. Whether it was the Swedish climate which caused the Swiss business man to tire we do not know, but in any case in 1993 the bank took over the building. An article in an industry newspaper stating that Kopparbergs Bryggeri stood empty caught the eye of Peter Bronsman as he sat in his office in Gothenburg. At that time Peter Bronsman ran a successful trading company together with his brother Dan-Anders. Due to the fact that the brothers already bought and sold drinks and beverages it was not surpring that the article awoke Peter´s curiosity and the immediately contacted the bank to inform them of this interest. He was told that it was possible to view the brewery sometime between Christmas and New Year 1993. When Peter arrived at the brewey on a cold December day and saw the buildings he immediately became enthusiastic. He called his brother straight away and informed him that this was definitely an interesting venture. Early in 1994 there was a well-known bank director in Bergslagen called Per-Olof Olsson. Per-Olof was the man the brothers got in touch with to reveal their plans. Even the bank director became interested in the information the brothers gave him and his enthusiasm grew even greater when they also promised to create six new jobs in Bergslagen. This was just what the area needed. Apart from money Bank Director Olsson also contributed with the most important help of all, information about an enormously talented master brewer. Olsson recommended master brewer Wolfgang Voigt. Voigt had been living in Kopparberg since 1963 and had worked in the brewery industry since 1965, including periods at Kopparbergs and Spendrups breweries. Peter called Voigt and over a quick cup of coffee they discussed the possibility of employment. After ten minutes they shook hands and the job was Voigts. On March 18th, 1994 they received the keys to the closed down brewery. However, although the brewery was closed they had brought so much with them such as enthusiasm, ideas and a very talented master brewer. Hard work and great enthusiasm… After much hard work the first beer barrel could be filled, just in time for the Stockholm Beer Festival in October 1994. Now things were really moving and orders rolled in. With small means but with great enthusiasm the brewery worked to full capacity and was now tapping into both barrels and bottles. But the road to success is a winding one. In 1995 the brewery burns down together with all the stocks of beer. The fire made the national news headlines. ”Aktuellt” reported from the scene which was full of journalists and news teams and the question on everyone´s lips was: ”Just when you are up and running, will you have to close again?” Peter Bronsman´s reply came very quickly: ”Close? This is only the beginning.” And it turned out to be just as he said. The first canning line was purchased and both Kopparbergs Fat and Swedish Elk are now available in both cans and bottles. Turnover for the first year was 36 million kronor. From the very start the importance of product development, new ways of thinking and nische-products as keys to success in the branch was underlined. One of the first Swedish extra strength beers, Special Brew 7,5% was developed. It was also decided that the red beer crate system would not be used and a PET filling line for 1,5 liter plastic bottles was purchased instead. Other new investments included new beer barrels. Cider´s strong advance… In 95/96 the idea of Kopparbergs strong cider was born. At the time cider consumption in Sweden amounted to approximately 1 million liters per year. The cider which was comsumed was of the English type. Kopparbergs instead develops an entirely new taste, a little sweeter, which better suits the Scandinavian palette. Turnover that year is 140 million Swedish Crowns. Development continues at a furious speed. In 96/97 turnover has increased to 320 million Swedish Crowns and the company has 190 employees. Descisions are made about further investments. The brewery invests 45 million in a new canning line to make production even more effective. Today Kopparbergs is one of Sweden´s most forward-thinking breweries and chooses to specialise in nische-products, own packaging models and sizes. At the turn of the year 1999/2000 Kopparbergs buys Sofiero Bryggeri in Laholm. Nische-products are tapped here including 1-liter and 20cl cans. 1997 is also the year when strong cider really establishes itself on the market. Consumption amounted to six million litres per year. In 96/97 international interest for Kopparsbergs products begin. Greece, with it´s Swedish tourists as target customers, becomes the first export market. The results of this market are so impressive that expansion continues in several other countries.
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