Walk into a church on Sturegatan street in the Swedish municipality of Sundbyberg, and you’ll find a very special service. No, not mass: bar service. Welcome to Sundbybergs Köksbryggeri (Sundbybergs Kitchen Brewery).
It all began in 2008, when a few friends started brewing beer together. Their original “brewery” was, as the name suggests, a household kitchen. But it wasn’t long before the budding beer entrepreneurs had outgrown their humble digs, and found themselves on the hunt for a new location. The brewers aimed for a basement that could house 110-gallon (500-liter) equipment, but no such place could be found. Then came an unlikely suggestion: Why not use the neighborhood’s old, empty church?
There was only one question: how to support the complex requirements of modern brewing in a setting more fit for consecration than fermentation? So began a serious renovation project. The brewers decided to increase their capacity, replacing the old church’s floors, installing drains, and bringing in brewing equipment that could handle up to 330 gallons (1,500 liters). Last but not least, a bar was created in the elevated galleries of the church, where an organ or choir may have sat previously.
Today, Sundbybergs Köksbryggeri offers a unique environment in which to grab a casual drink. From the elevated bar, you can sip a beer and look down on the brewery nestled in what was once the nave. In the future, the owners hope to up the aesthetic experience even more by adding an on-premises art museum. While Sundbybergs Köksbryggeri’s brews may not offer enlightenment, the quality of original beers such as the coffee stout, ginger pale ale, and seasonal passionfruit brew is sure to be miraculous.
Update as of June 2021: The brewery Omnipollo has bought Sundbybergs Köksbryggeri, rebranded it as Omnipollo’s Church, has installed new brewery equipment, and started production again. There are plans to open a brewery pub but until then it is not possible to visit. One can, however, look through the windows of the building and see the brewery equipment inside.
Know Before You Go
The brewpub is open Wednesday to Saturday 4:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sundbyberg can be reached by metro (blue line toward Hjulsta) or commuter trains (toward Bålsta) from downtown Stockholm.