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The Mattsson brewery is a specialty beer brewery in Lahti

The Mattsson brewery is Hartwall’s specialty beer brewery, named after the grand old man on beer-making in Lahti, the founder of the Mallasjuoma brewery, Henrik Mattsson.

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In autumn 2017, Hartwall opened a specialty beer brewery in Lahti. There is demand for the brewery because specialty beers are becoming more and more popular in Finland.

The brewery boldly develops new beer flavours and works with international brew masters.

The name of the brewery was found in a naming contest that was organised for Hartwall’s personnel. The winning entry had both local flavour and a reference to the history of beer-making. The new brewery was named the Mattsson brewery.

Mattsson was the father of beer culture in Lahti

Henrik Mattsson (1838–1922) played a major role in beer-making in the Lahti region in his time. At first, he worked as a mason and a shopkeeper. He entered the beer industry in 1874 when he bought the Niemi beer factory. In the beginning of the 1880s, Mattsson had several beer shops in the Lahti market town and the surrounding countryside.

However, the turn of the century was not easy time for beer breweries. Limitations were set for making and selling beer and other alcoholic beverages, especially in the countryside. Consequently, Mattsson decided to concentrate his operations in the Lahti market town. He closed down the Niemi beer factory and set up a new brewery, Lahden Uusi Olutpanimo Oy, in the market town. Mattsson’s son Ernst became the brew master of the new brewery.

Henrik Mattsson and his wife Amanda had seven sons and one daughter. The father of this large family was actively involved in local construction projects, in the market town government and in journalism. He enjoyed sailing and was a member of the volunteer fire brigade.

Mattsson established the legendary Mallasjuoma brewery in Lahti

The temperance movement had much influence in the Finnish government, persuading it to set limitations for production of strong beer. Despite the difficulties, Henrik Mattsson was a persistent entrepreneur. He founded yet another brewery in 1912, this time for low-alcohol beer and soft drinks. And so Oy Mallasjuoma saw the daylight.

After a challenging start, Mallasjuoma became a success story. In 1916, the brewery produced almost three million litres of low-alcohol beer. After the end of the civil war in Finland in 1918, the brewery was allowed to continue its operations despite the oncoming Prohibition Act because it produced yeast for the bakeries in the region. Carbonated soft drinks were added into the product range in the 1920s. In the end of the 1930s Mallasjuoma was one of the most modern breweries in Europe.

Hartwall gained a prestigious addition to its portfolio when it bought Mallasjuoma in Lahti in 1988. Some of the beers of this legendary brewery are still in production today. With the new specialty beer brewery, Hartwall makes the beer culture in Lahti even more vibrant.