Monks Café & Brewery

There aren’t too many breweries in Stockholm that are open to the public. Not counting Omnipollos Hatt (it’s their taproom, and they have no brewery), I only found two, Monks Café & Brewery, which seems to be the oldest Stockholm microbrewery, and New Carnegie (English-ized name), which I visited at the end of my trip. There’s also Stockholm Brewing, but unfortunately they’re not open to the public, unless you happen to show up when the brewer has the door open and he’s got some free time. Anyway, the brewing setup at Monks Café is somewhat small, what looked like a four barrel brewhouse and four one-barrel fermenters. They have another restaurant and brewery, Monks Porterhouse in the Old Town neighborhood, that makes mostly stouts and porters, but it seemed to be closed during the summer for some reason. They have food here, as well, but it’s kind of expensive. Didn’t want to pay $23 for a veggie burger, so I got a cup of nuts instead, putting off dinner until later.

monks cafe tasters

Taster flight at Monks Café & Brewery — Stockholm, Sweden

    Rob’s Picks

  • Nelson IPA – 6.1% – Citrus and subtle tropical fruit over caramel. A bit muddled, but very drinkable.
  • Mango IPA – 6.5% – Mango and citrus, light caramel malt, nice bitter finish. Easy drinking.
  • Calyptra – 9.4% – Belgian IPA. Banana and clove, coriander, spiciness, with some citrus on the back end. Bit of an alcohol edge. Fun mix of flavors. Kind of reminds me of a tripel.
  • Orange Ale – 6.5% – Belgian ale. Light orange flavor mixed with some bubblegum and clove, with light lingering funk. Better than it sounds.
    The Rest

  • Svea IPA – 6% – Floral aroma. Light floral flavor with some citrus. Some caramel, honey, and breadiness to a light bitter finish.
  • Black IPA – 7.3% – Weird. Sweet, with some bubblegum, and not much hop flavor. Finish is fairly roasty with a little chocolate and coffee, after the sweetness subsides.

I tried all six of their beers that were on tap (they had a lot more in bottles), and the woman working there said they usually have more, but it was summer. Puzzling. The café location is not in a touristy neighborhood, so maybe all the locals were off traveling instead? Maybe beer tourism isn’t a big thing in Sweden? Maybe she just wanted me to leave? No idea.

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Omnipollo

In the neighborhood just south of Stockholm’s old city exists the so-called Bermuda Triangle, a trio of bars in fairly close proximity to each other where if you start drinking in one it’s very likely the rest of the your night will mysteriously disappear. Two vertices of the triangle are the bars Akkurat and Oliver Twist, and the third changed somewhat recently (sorry, Bishop’s Arms) to Omnipollos Hatt, the flagship bar and pizzeria of Stockholm-based gypsy brewer Omnipollo (though I learned that in Europe gypsy brewers are sometimes referred to as phantom brewers). I ended up at the Hatt several times during my stay in Stockholm, and, fortunately, I was able to emerge from the Triangle with material for this post intact because of my obsessive note-taking. I’m using the term “flagship” here a little loosely — while it’s the first bar they’ve opened, the space is pretty small. They have a varying line-up of about ten of their beers flowing, with an occasional guest tap.

drinking at the hatt

Pre-pizza beer at Omnipollos Hatt — Stockholm, Sweden

    Rob’s Picks

  • Bacchanale – 6% – Saison. Lemon peel, light coriander, some graininess, with light floral hops and light bitter finish.
  • Leon – 6.5% – Belgian pale ale made with champagne yeast. Caramel with hint of banana. Light breadiness as it warms. Floral, herbal hop mix. Pretty smooth, with a dry finish.
  • Fatamorgana – 8% – Solid balance of floral, caramel, citrus, with a hint of honey on the finish.
  • Noa Pecan Mud Cake – 11% – Imperial stout. Chocolate and pecan aroma and flavors. Kahlua flavor, as well. Very smooth. 11% is hidden very well. Dark chocolate bitterness with alcohol edge on the finish.
  • Zodiac IPA – 6.2% – Light and somewhat creamy with fun lemon flavor. Light floral aroma and flavor. Very drinkable.
  • Magic #90000 – 8% – Blueberry, pecan, almond, vanilla smoothie IPA. Sounds awful, but quite good, as it turns out. Blueberry, tropical fruit aroma. Definitely smooth, with blueberry and tropical fruit flavors prominent. Vanilla pretty subtle but there. Not getting much nuttiness but maybe it blends in with the vanilla too well (or maybe it’s the other way around).
  • Magic #4:21 – 6% – Double raspberry vanilla smoothie IPA. Raspberry and tropical fruit aroma and flavor, with a bit more emphasis on the raspberry. Pretty smooth, with very subtle vanilla. Interesting raspberry tartness and citrus peel bitterness on the finish.
  • Fruit Tap 2: Lemonade – 6% – Pale ale sour. Fun lemonade flavor with medium-big sourness. Underlying bready base. Some floral hops, too, that go well with the lemon.
  • Omniprairie – 10% – Milk chocolate salted caramel stout. Collaboration with Prairie Artisan Ales. Smells like chocolate cake. Rich, creamy chocolate flavor and mouthfeel. Caramel comes out on finish, with a bit of salt at the very end. Dessert in a glass.
    The Rest

  • Perikles – 4.2% – Light, lightly bready, hint of lemon, light grassiness, not much hops. Surprisingly light.
  • Magic #4:20 – 5.2% – Vanilla waffle wheat. Light vanilla, not particularly waffle-like. Sorta bready. Hint of lemon. Lightly bitter finish. Pretty much a regular pils.

Oh yeah, their pizzas are quite good, too. If you’re ever in Stockholm, I highly recommend checking out the Triangle (at your own risk, of course).

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