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!
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
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 ;)
We already heard that a new “American-style” beer bar is set to open next month, at the site of The Stage on Iso Roba. A little more was revealed today about the newcomer, the third new beer-focused bar to open in Helsinki in as many months.
Continue reading Knock Knock
Walking into Oljenkorsi last night, it was immediately obvious that something was Going On. All the staff were decked out in matching t-shirts, and the latest thing to come out of the wellspring of innovation in Espoo was already on tap: Fat Lizard‘s 101 California Pale Ale. Is that a good metaphor? Would a lizard come out of a spring? Who knows..
Before long, a van pulled up outside and sent forth a bunch of energetic-looking people, who carried with them some not-so-typical accessories. A frying pan. Bunch of coriander. Ok, cool, we might get some snacks. Is that a worm farm? Yes. Yes it is. Continue reading Enter the Lizard
Brewdog Helsinki opened its doors shortly before Christmas, but for various reasons I haven’t managed to visit until now.* Fashionably late, I am here now to answer the question that I asked myself a year ago: is this something new that will shake up the local bar scene, or just more of the same? Continue reading Beware of the Dog?
The Helsinki bar ‘scene’ has seen some changes recently, with Viisi Penniä closing its doors for renovation over the summer, and most of S-Group’s Czech-themed bars undergoing a Nordic rebranding. But is this actual progress, or mere facelift? I wandered up Mannerheimintie last weekend to find out. Continue reading Keep the Change
“For the love of beer”
In part one of my interview with Antti from Ruosniemen Panimo, we discussed the brewery’s origins, the Finnish brewing scene, and the value of collaborations. Here in part two, we talk about being a craft brewery, beer festivals, the power and responsibility of bar staff, and the Alko situation. Continue reading Ruosniemen Panimo interview, part 2
I have only been in The Gallows Bird once before; me and a drinking buddy decided to go west instead of east for our semi-regular beer/cycle trip. It was August, it was mid-afternoon, and the place was pretty quiet. We had a couple of halves of something decent, served by a perhaps slightly gruff barman (not that there’s anything wrong with that), before saddling up and, if I recall correctly, stopping by Viisi Penniä and Janoinen Lohi on our way home. Good exercise..
For a place on the edge of a dual carriageway, sandwiched between a fire station and a couple of burger joints, Gallows Bird seemed relatively impressive. Still, I came away without any particular desire to hurry back. Continue reading A Note on Conviviality
Ruosniemen Panimo emerged onto the Finnish brewing scene in 2012. Comprised of a bunch of engineers brewing for the love of it, but still on a large enough scale to sell their beers in quite a few of Helsinki’s bars, they occupy an interesting position somewhere between hobbyist and professional.
At OlutExpo back in October, they told their story, mentioning at one point that they sold their first beer to “an English guy” in Pikkulintu. Now, I happened to be in Pikkulintu that day when they tapped the first keg of their Pikkupomo, and I happen to be an English speaker, so I thought that just maybe they were talking about me. I got in touch with them, presented this possibility, and asked if I could have a quick interview. Continue reading Ruosniemen Panimo – interviewed