Austmann was founded in 2012 by Vinko, Anders and Thomas in an old warehouse by the fjord’s edge in Trondheim, Norway. With limited resources and a big idea, the three founders refinanced the homes of two mothers and one aunt. Backed by freshly borrowed money, a business plan and a little help from their friends, a 9hl brewhouse was built out of recycled dairy equipment and repurposed pumps. The first batch was brewed on July 2nd, 2013.
In the first six months of 2014 Austmann won a record number of tenders in the Norwegian wine-monopoly system. These beer releases generated a stream of media attention and launched Austmann into national awareness. Broad distribution through the wine-monopoly made Austmann available throughout Norway. By 2015 the little brewery made of reclaimed dairy equipment was pushing max capacity and the need for further expansion became apparent. This time the investment requirements pushed the envelope of what was possible to borrow by refinancing family homes….the ‘founding mom’s’ politely declined.
At the same time Austmann made a push into Germany and the Netherlands while participation in international beer festivals across Europe brought the Austmann name to the European craft beer scene. Export volume had begun. The staff grew from the three founders to 8 employees. With the brewery now bursting at the seams the search for an investment partner grew even more intense. After exploring, negotiating and declining many possibilities Austmann finally found a solid and strong ally in Hansa Borg – a Norwegian family owned strategic brewing partner.
In January of 2016 Hansa Borg came on board with a 50 % equity stake in Austmann. This gave the brewery breathing room, the ability to increase production, press the envelope in innovation and improve quality control and internal routines. Austmann gained access to Borg Bryggeri in the south of Norway where our head brewer, Anders, now produces our core range on an ISO 22000 certified brewery.
Throughout the rest of 2016 Austmann grew its market share in both Norwegian off-trade and on-trade, quickly becoming one of the leading brands in Norwegian craft beer with heavy national distribution. New export markets began to open with Spain and Finland taking center stage.
In the second half of 2016 Austmann launched its new line of cans for Norwegian on-trade; they were an overnight success. No other craft brewery in Norway has experienced such rapid on-trade growth since. Austmann has appeared at beer festivals and events in Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, the UK, Germany, Latvia, Ukraine and all across Norway. Currently a growth leader in Norwegian on-trade, Austmann is one of the best selling craft beer brands in Norway.
2017 marked a turning point as the search for a new home became a top priority. The small, home made production facility at the waters edge just wasn’t sufficient and Austmann needed a new place to live for the long term. At the end of 2017 the decision was made to move to the up-and coming area of Sluppen, just south of the Trondheim city center. In August of 2018 Austmann completed the construction of their brand new brewhouse – a modern 30hl system – complete with lab, new packaging equipment and most importantly – the Austmann Taproom.
The Austmann Brewery and Taproom are open for visitors Tuesdays through Fridays from 15:00 and on Saturdays from 18:00.