Brooklyn invades Sweden

Swedish Connection: Therese Flemstrom of Karlskoga, Sweden tours the Brooklyn Brewery, presaging the massive, table-turning invasion of Stockholm that is scheduled to begin Aug. 22. The Williamsburg beermakers estimate that some 20 percent of their tap tourism comes from Mother Svea.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

They gave us delicious meatballs and Ikea. Now, Brooklyn is giving Sweden an injection of indie rock and artisanal eats.

A four-day, Brooklyn-themed festival, titled Brooklyn, Sweden, will bring a quirky cross-section of the borough’s food, art, and music scenes to the strange soil of Stockholm, starting on Aug. 22. The party is in its second year and organizers say Brooklyn residents have more in common with their city-dwelling Swedish counterparts than they might think.

“Scandinavia has become known for many of the same things that Brooklyn is known for: a simplicity and foraging in cooking, and there is an explosion of indie rock from both places,” said Ben Hedson, marketing director at the Brooklyn Brewery, which put the fest together in partnership with Swedish music promoters Debaser (yes, like the Pixies song).

In characteristic Swedish fashion, the folks at Debaser are more blunt about the similarities.

“Brooklyn and Sweden both have loads of hipsters,” said promoter Annelie Telford.

Performers will include rapper El-P, punk goddess Lydia Lunch, and electronic dance composers Designer Drugs. The cineastes from the Found Footage Festival and the Bicycle Film Festival will screen their movies and organizers of the annual Brooklyn Blowout BBQ will team up with Brooklyn Brewery head chef Andrew Gerson to serve up local meats to the hungry Nordic hordes.

Sweden is the brewery’s second-largest market after Brooklyn. The Williamsburg brew pub itself gets some of the action: about 20 percent of the visitors who take tours of the beer works are from Sweden. The borough suds purveyors are hosting the festival to promote their second brewery, which it is currently being built in Stockholm. The company expects to open the ale factory in January and begin manufacturing a new line of beer called New Carnegie.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

Brooklyn, Sweden: Swedish beer-seeker Karin Kjellgren tours the Brooklyn Brewery, pondering the upcoming, universe-inversing Brooklyn festival soon to arrive in her homeland.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

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