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Lervig’s massive plans

We see a lot of people accessing yesterday’s news from abroad, so here’s a synopsis in English.

Lervig yesterday held a press conference to announce their plans for a new brewery in Stavanger.

Lervig suggests to build a brewery attraction at Bekhuskaien, combining a new 10 million liter capacity brewery with a street food market, a harbour bath, a rooftop park and a visitor’s centre focusing on brewing. The idea is that this will be a massive draw for residents and tourist alike.

Bekhuskaien is an area which was historically used for taring boats’ hulls. The seabed is thus polluted and will need cleaning up. The area har been suggested as the new location for the Stavanger courthouse and for the Rogaland Theatre, but Lervig’s plans are to make it a place that can be used – a meeting place in a prime spot of Stavanger.

Photo: Stavanger Aftenblad

“What we are launching today are alternative plans for how to use the area. We want to tie the centre of Stavanger together with trendy Stavanger East”, says Kristoffer Stensrud, the main investor in Lervig. Together with Lervig’s management, a plan has been made for how to finance the construction. The estimated cost is 300 million NOK, or 27 million GBP, but it will not cost the municipality a single kroner. The brewery will pay for it all.

Stavanger is already internationally renowned as a beer destination; the city is host of what is arguably one of the world’s greatest beer festivals – What’s Brewing; it houses several breweries, amongst them Lervig which has a worldwide reputation for producing great beers and is possible Norway’s best brewery currently; and Stavanger is the home of several progressive bars and fantastic restaurants that serve quality craft beer, particularly our local beer. It is only naturlal to build on this to cement Stavanger’s reputation as  “Norway’s Beer Capital”.

Photo: Statens kartverk

Danish COBE Architects are responsible for the design. They are renowned for what they did with Paper Island in Copenhagen, where they turned old, derelict factory buildings into a thriving community housing amongst other things a museum and a street food market.

Papirøen sett fra Skuespilhuset

Anders Kleinstrup, the Lervig CEO, kicked off the presser by explaining the background for their plans: “Lervig has seen very rapid growth. The brewery is now too small, and to make matters worse, we know that there are plans to build a road through the brewery. We need to move.”

“We travel a lot and we’ve seen what works elsewhere, and now we want to bring this to Stavanger”

Architect Stubbegaard from COBE described the building: “Our role as architects is to be visionary, but also to create meeting places. Bekhuskaien is beautifully located, but it is not a living place. This is our suggestion for alternative use – this is how we want to turn this area into a living city space. A space where brewing culture meets food culture. We want to build a brewery that isn’t visible, inside a horisontal building, thereby preserving the skyline and ensuring that no-one loses their harbour view.”

“The brewery will be sunk into the building, and the tanks will be hidden inside the construction so as not to obstruct anyone’s sea view.”

“It will be an iconic brewery.
This is where Mike will continue to brew the world’s best beers,
for that is what they are!”

“On top of the building we’ll create a rooftop park with a skatepark and a place to grow hops and other plants used for brewing.
It will be a green space.
Lervig are giving Stavanger a park.”

“The building is an open structure based on arches. On the seafront we want to build a harbour bath which can be heated with excess heat from the brewing process. We also want to integrate a street food market and a visitors’ centre focusing on beer and brewing”

“The building will be a wooden construction, as is a tradition in Norway. It will be based on organic and sustainable principles, and it will be CO2 neutral.”

Anders took the microphone again to emphasise that this will be meeting place for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

“The arches are paying homage to the old breweries that were often located in cellars.”

Kristian Fredrik Stensrud, board member of Lervig Aktiebryggeri, explained to BR that “The reason why we’re doing this now, is to find out what the people want. If they want this, then will do it. We’re good to go tomorrow if we get the required permissions. If not we’ll end up in a grey, boxy building in an industrial area. We need to move anyway.”

Head brewer Mike Murphy explained why he as a brewer needs a new facility: “We’re not able to make full use of this brewery as it is and we can’t expand it much. If a put something new in, I have to remove something else. We’re expanding from a 2 million liter capacity to 3 million in the spring, but in the new brewery I will be able to brew 10 million liters.”

Canadian brewer David Graham gave a succinct summary of the plans:

“This will be the coolest brewery in the world to visit”,


All illustrations: COBE

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