November 2017 Friday Session: the missing local style - in search for the Finnish beer

I guess this month host, Eoghan Walsh from Beercity Brussels, made this topic a difficult one for me. Here at the village where I live we have one micro brewery and I tasted some of their beers and they are ok. In order to be able to write something interesting I have to widen the perspective a little. From village, to town to metroplex to country. And that's where my journey into local missing beer style starts. 

Since I came to Finland in 2016 I've been searching for the Finnish beer style. I started with the more common known ones, like Nokian Panimo, and went all the way to Mathildalin Panimo. I tasted a lot of different styles and reviewed a lot of them

Most of the stuff was pretty well crafted beers. There are the IPAs, the PPAs, the Exports, the Dunkeles, the Wheat Beers, the Pilsen - actually let's  forget about Pilsen - and there are pretty coold trends like WIT or Sour, but (actually would need to write this in capitals) there are no beers that really reflect Finland. Most of the brewed beers were first developed somewhere else, like for example the IPA in England or the Kölsch in Cologne. The big question is where are the Finnish beers. Where the heck is the Finnish beer style? 

I asked that question some of my friends and it seems like no one really understood my question. I often got the answer that there are good breweries with decent beers. And yes, there are. But they are not brewing with their heart in the right place, they brew for what is expected but not beyond it. They keep the crowds happy but they don't inspire. They are mostly like artists that "invent" the next version of an IPA - they are in my opinion remixers.

To really develop something unique, something that sticks out of the mass, that incorporates what Finnish beer really should be about takes a brewmaster that I have only come here in Finland across once. Basically one of a kind. And I hope to see more of it. 

Dominik Jais's picture