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.