The most popular style in Sweden in the period 1870 to 1920 was, by a street, Bayerskt öl. I had been assuming that this was a dark lager in the Munich style. As so often is the case, it's actually a little more complicated than that. According to the Svenska Bryggareföreningen's magazine of January 1887, there were many differences between the Swedish version and the original. Bayerskt öl:
- had a higher OG
- used lower quality hops so wasn't as bitter
- was paler - between pale yellow and pale brown, whereaas the original was closer in colour to Porter
- had a higher alcohol content because of the higher OG and because the paler malts used meant it was more highly attenuated
- had a higher CO2 content because:
- it was served directly from the barrel and not bottled
- Swedes liked highly-carbonated drinks
You may (or more likely not) be interested to know that one Swedish brewery, Falkenberg, still brews a Bayerskt. It's pretty pale, and is only just about dark enough to count as amber.
In 1884, the Bayerskt öl of Nürnbergs Bryggeriet in Sweden had a gravity of 13.8° Balling and was 3.84% ABW (5.3% ABV). In the same period, Pripps Bayerskt öl was 16° Balling and 6.7% ABV. By way of comparison, Löwenbräu (Munich) Lagerbier in 1887 was only 4.25% ABV, despite having a gravity of 14.75° Balling.
The first Swedish Pilsner was brewed in 1877 by Hamburgerbryggeriet in Stockholm. Paler and much bitterer than the better selling Bayerskt öl, it immediately found a market, though quite a small one. For both Pripps and Nürnbergs Bryggeriet it only made up around 5% of output in the period 1880-1920. Though, unlike some other styles, its popularity was relatively stable.
The Pripps version was around 15° Balling and 6.4% ABV. Just as with Bayerskt, this is considerably stronger than the original. Even the export beers brewed in Pilsen were only 5.25% ABV.
In the 188o's Grönwallska Bryggeriet introduced a new style of pale lager, Pilsnerdricka. It was a realtively weak beer, intended to offer a cheaper alternative to Pilsner. Many breweries introduced their own versions under a variety of names (Nürnbergs Bryggeriet's was called Iskällerdricka - "Ice cellar drink").
These are the details of a few beers of this type:
S:t Eriks Bryggeriet 7.4° Balling 2.8% ABV
Nürnbergs Bryggeriet 10.8° Balling 4.5% ABV
F.R. Neumüllers Bryggeriet 8.6° Balling 3.2% ABV
Erlangens Filial 8.2° Balling 3.2% ABV
Münchens Bryggeriet 8.8° Balling 3.4% ABV