Sociable Innovation

Things have been quiet on the Scoop lately; I’ve been working on my MA thesis, which is finally finished. (Spoiler alert: it’s about beer.)

It’s called Examining Craft Brewing as a Social Innovation Process, and while it’s an academic work (or it’s supposed to be, at least), I’ve tried to make it readable. There’s a big chunk of theory, but I’ve also gathered a bunch of nice examples of beer and brewing having a positive effect in the world – including some bits from Finland, and that’s why I’m sharing it here. You can grab the pdf if you’re interested.

Sima – not just for Vappu!

The Herkkujen Suomi (Delicacies of Finland) event was held for the fifth time last weekend at Rautatientori, incorporating the Syystober beer festival. While you might question the wisdom of having another beerfest so soon after SOPP, it strikes me as a very good idea to have these food and beer events together–for two reasons: it can bring smaller local breweries to the attention of people who wouldn’t go to a purely-beer event, and it treats beer properly, placing it at the heart of food culture rather than positioning it as something to fear.

It’s at Syystober that the Finnish beers of the year are announced, the overall winner this year being Plevna‘s Siperia imperial stout (the winner every year in my book). But something else caught my eye as I roamed the tent.

Continue reading Sima – not just for Vappu!

Tavastian Tapas

After lamenting the lack of good pub snacks here, and bragging about all the great tapas elsewhere, some sort of karmic event brought me to Olutravintola Birger in Hämeenlinna last week. Thirsty after a long bike ride, I made straight for the bar, and didn’t notice the trays of tapas until I was ready to leave.

Tray of tapas?

Turned out it was Tapas Thursday. Three or four options, 2 euros apiece. I didn’t get the chance to taste, but I have to applaud the effort. Nice pub, too. You don’t need any “service concept” nonsense to have good beer and atmosphere.

Return to Tallinn

I was back in Tallinn recently, and thought it worth mentioning a couple of new things I noticed since my last visit a few months ago, including beer in unexpected places and beer in unexpectedly convenient places.

Continue reading Return to Tallinn

Springtime in Suvilahti

Stadin Panimobaari opened its doors yesterday amid spring showers in Suvilahti, but the rain didn’t deter a sizeable crowd from coming to check it out. I arrived just before the advertised opening time of 16:30 to find the place already full–not difficult, as it’s one of the smaller bars in town, with seating for 42 people–and there was a steady influx of visitors after that, the bar queue stretching out the door for at least the next hour.

Continue reading Springtime in Suvilahti

One Pint, no nonsense

I don’t usually do links, but I liked this straightforward review of a straightforward beer bar. At least that’s what I’ve heard–I must confess I still haven’t visited the place. One Pint Pub is a stone’s throw from Ruoholahti Metro station, and should be well worth a visit when you start to feel worn out by the hype around the Punavuori upstarts ;)


Want to drink Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?

Today is the Irish national holiday, which for some reason or other is inextricably linked with alcohol consumption. So as not to disturb the stereotype, I thought I’d give a quick run-down of the options available here for anyone who wants a genuine Irish beer experience–no green beer here! Continue reading Want to drink Irish on St. Patrick’s Day?

Estonia: a Baltic Beer Boom

The craft scene in Estonia seems to have exploded out of nowhere. It must be only a year ago that I was reading about the homebrew scene there, and the first brew from Põhjala. Since then, over a dozen microbreweries have popped up, and they’re not afraid of experimentation. Estonia (specifically Tartu) played a role in the history of imperial stout, so maybe it’s no surprise to see a variety of stouts being produced (including a very minty mint stout); there’s also pale and red ales, weizens, and so on. Continue reading Estonia: a Baltic Beer Boom