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Ale and arty in Finland

Pharmacy in Turku

Pub crawl, Finnish-style

It has taken profound scientific analysis to reconstruct the recipe for a beer that was found in a shipwreck off a Finnish island in the Baltic. That beer, dating from the early 1800s, is now being brewed afresh by Stallhagen in Aland and served in the brewery’s own restaurant.
The Finland Convention Bureau suggests that Finland has so much to offer beer aficionados, that a ‘Beercentive’ would be a good idea during a visit.

For example, in Turku, the country’s second city, a group can find itself in some strange places. All kinds of old buildings have been transformed into pubs. They include a girls’ school, a bank, a pharmacy an even a one-time public toilet.

There is a micro-brewery called Suomenlinna Panimo that has been set up just offshore from Helsinki in a disused fortress. In Tampere, which has in the past been known as the ‘Manchester of Finland’ because of its textile production, boasts the Plevna brewery located in former Finlayson cotton mills.

Bryggeri Helsinki, in the centre of town, can serve groups with good food whilst they watch skilled brewmasters at work preparing the beer to go with it.

The beer that is known everywhere in Finland is Lapin Kulta (Lapland’s Gold), but very special is one called Sahti, which was the first in the EU to get a ‘Protected Designation of Origin’. It has been brewed for centuries, has different flavours in different parts of the country and was, for long, kept secret by the Finns.

So, Finland affords groups the opportunity to claim they are off on a cultural, architectural and scientific incentive, when in fact it’s a pub crawl!

Pictured: Pharmacy in Turku

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