I recently introduced a friend to imperial stout–specifically Thornbridge‘s Saint Petersburg Russian Imperial Stout. This event led to a not-unreasonable question:
“Why is the name so long?”
I proceeded to explain what little I know of the history of the style: back in the 18th Century, Catherine the Great was a fan of the then-new porter/stout/entire style from England, and began ordering it in large quantities from English breweries. To better preserve it on its long voyage, the beer was brewed stronger than for the domestic market—something around the 10% mark—and lo, a new style was born. Or something like that, anyway..
This episode reminded me of a thought I’d had, how a beer like this is a history lesson all by itself. At least, it is when there’s someone at your table prepared to give you a long-winded explanation. And why is the name so long? There’s a whole lot of conjecture and misinformation surrounding this, and at the risk of adding to that, I shall now attempt to break it down: Continue reading History in a Glass
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
After my last post, I poked around the web a bit and realised there’s a severe lack of English-language coverage of the Finnish beer scene. There’s quite a few beer bloggers here, but (surprise!) pretty much all of them are writing in Finnish.
So here goes. I’ll be trying to avoid reviewing beers, and instead look at the scene in general, and maybe the Finland-specific aspects of the situation that the locals might miss.
Wish me luck..
or, What have the BrewDogs ever done for us?
So the nice people at BrewDog made an announcement today: they’re looking to open a bar in Helsinki to complement their existing establishments, which are mostly in the UK, with one outpost in Stockholm that opened a year or so ago.
Interestingly, most of the comments on their blog post centre around whether Finland is or is not a part of Scandinavia – the post asks “why don’t we expand our presence in Scandinavia?” (incidentally, Finns never seem to mind being included when Scandinavian design is being praised)
Anyway, nobody has yet questioned what a BrewDog bar might actually bring to the city, so I thought I might as well give it a shot. Continue reading Do we need a BrewDog bar in Helsinki?