Text : Violetta Teetor | Photos : Header: Suomenlinnan Panimo

“I drink beer when I’m really thirsty, I drink beer when I need a boost, I drink beer after sauna, I drink beer with my food, in fact I drink beer because I drink beer.” Not a direct quote but you get the picture. Finns love that golden nectar and while craft breweries have sprung up all over the world, they have mushroomed in Finland. Now you can taste them and many more in restaurants all over Helsinki. 

Bruuveri

Located in an unlikely spot called Kamppi Shopping Centre, this cavernous beer hall serves malty lagers, hoppy bitter, rich porters and fruity ales all on tap. These can be paired with a daily lunch menu which changes according to the whims of the chef and an evening menu with snacking portions and whole-hearted meals that include deep-fried vendace and the ubiquitous burger all at reasonable prices which in this town means under €20. Fredrikinkatu 63 AB, www.bruuveri.fi

Bruuveri
Photo: www.facebook.com/bruuveri/

Bryggeri

The place smells like a brewery and so it should since they brew their own stuff. The Brew Master selects his ingredients with care. Barley and yeast come from Finland while hops is sourced from all over the world to add interest and uniqueness. Around four of their own products are on tap but there’s also a huge selection of others available. Sustenance plays no second fiddle here and their 3-course menu which changes according to the seasons can be consumed with wine or beer recommendations. Sink your teeth into slow-cooked elk with hints of garlic and juniper berry, wash it down with an aromatic porter and your winter day is set. Sofiankatu 2, www.bryggeri.fi/en/

Bryggeri Helsinki
Photo: www.facebook.com/BryggeriHelsinki/

Suomenlinna Panimo

On the fortress island of Suomenlinna, a Unesco Heritage Site and a 15-minute ferry ride from Helsinki, this brewery prides itself on the quality of its beer and food. This is the closest you’ll come to fine dining while sipping your tipple. Their slow-braised, malt glazed pork cheek is more than a treat but you can also just indulge in a game zakuska, that sharing plate of meats and pickles made famous by the Russians that once occupied this stronghold. Suomenlinna, www.suomenlinnanpanimo.fi/en/

Suomenlinnan Panimo
Photo: www.facebook.com/SuomenlinnanPanimo/

Teerenpeli  

Originating in Lahti, this brewery’s fame has spread far and wide and now you can find their franchises in five cities across Finland, two in Helsinki. They have a vast range of their own products including smoked and rye beer and even a milk stout. The names are interesting if you understand Finnish and there’s a hard ginger beer too. Their Sulami Giant Toast is a winner with several stuffings and spreads to choose from. Sliders, steak and smoked salmon with hops butter are some more substantial offerings on the menu. Olavinkatu 2 и Keskuskatu 7, www.teerenpeli.com/En/Home.aspx 

Teerenpeli Kamppi
Photo: www.facebook.com/teerenpelihelsinki

Viisi Penniä  

‘Five Pennies’, the price of a beer? Hard to believe today but since this joint has been open since 1956, it is possible. Their beers on tap include everything from Finnish to Fuller’s London Pride. The place has recently refurbished and the owners have managed to keep the old atmosphere in tact. The restaurant has it’s own entrance but fare can also be consumed in the bar area. There’s a strong emphasis on Finnish staples like meatballs and vorschmack, that Eastern European mixture of minced meat and salty fish served on a baked potato with gherkins, beetroot and Smetana as sides. Mannerheimintie 55, www.viisipennia.fi/p/home.html 

Viisi Penniä
Photos:www.facebook.com/ViisiPennia/

Kaisla 

With lots and lots and lots of beer and cider on tap, you can’t say that you didn’t find something you liked. This has to be the biggest selection in town. A huge, dark pub filled with students since it’s so close to the university, it’s always a-buzz. Nosh takes the shape of toasted sandwiches, garlic escargots and chicken nuggets, all at affordable prices. Vilhonkatu 4, www.raflaamo.fi/en/helsinki/kaisla

Kaisla
Photos: www.raflaamo.fi/en/helsinki/kaisla

Bier-Bier

These guys may not have the biggest range but they sure know their products and how to categorise them in innovative ways. Fancy something Fresh & Crispy, Dark & Roaster or Sour & Strange, they cater to your every urge. Besides that, there are ciders and high quality wines for those not so interested in the malty stuff. Cheese and meat platters complement the flavours and are available in 100g portions. Eat as much or as little as you like. Erottajankatu 13, www.bier-bier.fi

Bier-Bier
Photos: www.facebook.com/bierbierhelsinki/

Solmu

On Vaasa Street in Kallio where competition is tough, this stylish, cosy pub is never empty. They make their own beer, not on the premises, and stock a whole batch more. From time to time, you can meet the brewers from imported as well as local businesses. Vaasankatu 8, www.solmupub.fi

Solmu Pub
Photo: www.facebook.com/solmupub/

Brewdog 

The brewery may be in Aberdeen but their presence is felt all over the world these days with quirky named products and a marketing strategy that’s clever, bordering on the brilliant. No additives, chemicals or preservatives are used and every one tells a story. Snacks come in the form of a meat and cheese platter big enough to share. Tarkk´ampujankatu 20, www.brewdog.com/bars/worldwide/helsinki  

Brewdog
Photo: www.facebook.com/BrewDogHel/

Tommyknocker Craft Beer Bar 

pioneer of American microbreweries, most of the products come from Colorado with a strong injection of American-style pints from Finnish brewers. Plonk yourself down on a bar stool or with a cushion in the window and watch the never boring crowd go by on this walking street called Iso-Roba. Iso Roobertinkatu 13, www.tommyknocker.fi

Tommyknocker
Photos: www.facebook.com/TommyknockerCraftBeerBar/

 

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