It’s happening! To Øl City is shaping up to feel like an actual city. We’ve got citizens and a state of the art and fully functioning brewhouse at the heart of it all. As the first beers have been brewed up and are ready to be shipped, we sat down with Tore Gynther to talk To Øl City and what it feels like seeing it come to fruition.
Check out the full To Øl City story as we’re releasing the webdoc-episodes – our six episode long documentary – on YouTube. Sixth episode about the accomplishment of establishing To Øl City and brewing the first beers can be watched here.
For the past 14 months we’ve been busy. We took over an old ketchup factory and made plans to build a brewery, to invite other producers to come here and turn a former food production facility into a craft beverage mekka.
We’ve been scrubbing floors, knocking down walls and setting up equipment to create an infrastructure for beer production. We’ve installed a brewhouse, a packing facility and sorted out logistics for a warehouse. And we’ve made new friends through individuals coming together to make this dream of ours come true.
»There’s been sacrifices and compromises, but for a long time we were looking for the dealbreaker and we just didn’t find it. All the pros stayed and the cons disappeared – that’s pretty amazing to discover. Of course it’s a mix of hard work and having a goal, but also a fair share of luck and fortune,« says Tore as To Øl City is on the verge of shipping the first beers ever produced at the brewhouse in Svinninge.
14 months ago, when we saw the factory for the time, there were three of us. Now there’s more than 25 people producing beers, spirits, ciders, kombuchas and even fermenting vinegars and potatoes here in To Øl City.
»Seeing so many individuals working together in the most crazy and independent way is amazing. We have five different brewers from five different nationalities working together to brew some of the best beers we’ve ever produced, I think that’s something to be proud of,« says Tore.
We’ve gone from having our beers brewed and transported to Denmark from De Proef in Belgium to produce right here where we live. It’s our very own To Øl City, which right now is a small city in the wild, wild west Sjælland, but it will grow.
»It feels like a city, a pretty brutal and rough city on the west coast of Sjælland. We got citizens, we got our sherif and we got a bunch of people here. It’s like a dodgy western,« Tore says:
»It’s completely crazy to think that just 14 months ago we were standing here in front of an old factory we hadn’t taken over yet, and now we can see the first beers and cocktails being produced – mission accomplished.«
As Tore have stated earlier, this is us going all in – there’s still no plan B. The possibilities with a facility, that spans over 26.000 square meters of space, are slowly but surely coming together; the brewhouse gives us the ability to adjust and tinker with the beers in a way we’ve never been able to before, tweaking recipes to create the most hoppy and aromatic IPA’s and the heaviest of stouts. We’ve dreamed up wild beer-programs to try out crazy flavours, and our new distillery enables us to make spirits from the ground up. Everywhere there’s all kinds of new experiments taking place. And something we almost dared not hope for – neighbours. Our vision for To Øl City was to create a brewery and also a hub, where craft beverage producers could come and experiment, learn and create together with us.
»We talked about this being a hub for craft beverage producers, and we have them here – Læsk, Phantom Spirits and Æblerov are actually here already, and we love it,« Tore says:
»When we set foot here originally, we thought there was a lot of space and suddenly there’s new citizens moving in, so even though we’re not limited on space, we can’t take everybody in at the moment – but we’re always looking for talented and ambitious producers, who wants to talk through their product and not just their brand.«