Meet Craig and Kerryn
Craig and Kerryn run Nordic Kiwi Brewers located in Ekerö. They are both originally from New Zealand and both moved to Sweden for love. It's now been 17 years for Kerryn and ten years for Craig since they decided to move to Stockholm.
Q: Why did you start the brewery? Why make beer?
Kerryn: When I first moved to Stockholm, beer was really expensive and there were very few products, so I wanted to make my own. This allowed me to brew styles that I liked, that they have in New Zealand.
Craig: I think it was Kerryn’s home brew. We of course have always loved beer growing up, but when our paths crossed – we started making home brew and discussing it. It was exciting because it was so creative.
We started to see the trends commercially for beer taking off and we saw an opportunity to make a commercial product ourselves.
Q: Why did you pick Ekerö?
Kerryn: We train quite close to here, we’ve paddled around the island and skied on the slope nearby. We thought it would be nice to have a location where we could bike to work, paddle to work.
Craig: Here is Ekerö you are in the city, yet in the nature - away from the hustle of the city center. For us it’s a nice environment to work in.
Q: How is the public transportation in Stockholm?
Craig: It’s a fantastic city for public transportation, you can get anywhere - literally - in the city, almost at any time. There’s a lot of people not even buying cars anymore, you can get by without them.
Q: What is it like being an entrepreneur?
Kerryn: The business organizations here in Ekerö that help you start your business - they are so friendly. The commune is so friendly, easy to contact. And the neighbors help each other out in different aspects - that’s what we found really fun from the start.
Craig: We’ve met with the mayor, and the head of the business council here in Ekerö. They’ve been very supportive of us, and they want to see Ekerö grow as a community and be a good place for business.
Q: If someone was thinking of starting a business in Stockholm, what would you tell them?
Kerryn: When I first moved to Stockholm, I didn’t want to work for a large company. When I started my own carpentry business, it was quite easy - just filling out some forms. I would recommend getting good help with accounting, but other than that it was quite easy.
Craig: Stockholm is extremely fast-paced and dynamic at the moment. It’s one of the innovation hubs of Europe. From a business perspective, I think it’s really a growth city, especially in tech.
Kerryn: Startup Stockholm and the Business Council give a lot of great help and support. It’s a very multicultural city, you can always find help in your own language. Do learn Swedish - it makes everything easier and more social. From a business perspective, you can get by with English, but it definitely helps with the social aspect.
Q: How international is Stockholm?
Kerryn: When I first moved here, I didn’t want to be part of the New Zealand or British community, I wanted to get into the Swedish community. But after a while you get a little home-sick. Now, with Nordic Kiwi Brewers (NKB) we meet a lot of different cultures.
Craig: Just speaking about people we work with, there are people from England, Holland, Canada, and America. We meet people from Australia, so many countries. I think being a foreigner here, and with the brewery, it means we meet a lot of great people.
Q: What is a strange Swedish tradition?
Craig: In New Zealand we have Vegemite and Marmite, which is from down south. We compare this to Kalle’s Caviar, which my Kiwi friend calls ‘fish toothpaste’ because it comes in what looks like a toothpaste tube.
Kerryn: The annual festive events are actually really fun, and everyone does them. You’re almost forced to take off the holiday to celebrate. In New Zealand you could easily work through the holidays and forget all about them.
Craig: It’s important to people here to keep the Swedish traditions alive. In New Zealand we don’t really have the same holiday traditions – at least not connected to special food or seasons.
Q: What is your ‘pitch’ for Stockholm?
Kerryn: If you’re talking about city life – it’s a beautiful city.
Craig: The water, the archipelago, the summers are fantastic with the long daylight hours. There’s few cities that can top it. The sailing and boating life in summer just makes the city – for me personally.