Great choices in Tampere, Finland

Tampere is a nice place to be and we chose to stay another day to get a better feeling of the city. People in Tampere seems friendly and the city itself feels welcomming and open to new people. This is definitely a place I could spend time again. On this second day in Tampere we decided to go to a few places and settled on the world’s highest gravel ridge, a TV-tower and a few beer bars. Gastropub Nordic and Plevna was our bar choices.

The first bar ve went to was Plevna. Plevna is a brewpub in the old cotton mills of the Finlayson company in the heart of Tampere, Finland. The Plevna brewery was established in 1994 long before any craft beer revolution had hit Finland. In some ways the interior actually looks like the restaurant and brewpub is way older than that. Not that it’s worn down or anything like that. The style of the decorations is just very old fashioned. Don’t be fooled by this – the beers are quite tasty! We went for a flight of three tasters. The first three tasters were:

1) Simcoe APA – a very tasty Simcoe forward APA. In my world this was a very classic American pale ale with an evident bitterness and a nice hop flavor. This well made beer was a very good beginning and brought hopes up for the next beers.

2) Mummon Mustaherukkasiideri – This was a thirst quenching blackcurrant cider that brought memories of my grandmas tasty lemonade. Again quality in my glass was nice.

3) Mörkö MM – a very soft and smooth feeling with a sort of rye bread feel to it hit my mouth with this dark lager – another tasty beer.

When drinking the first three beers we read about the other Plevna beers and found out that more than one of the beers have been awarded medals through the years. Great excuse to try some more of them. Second flight which contained two of the awarded beers was:

1) Pikku Musta – a nice Czech style dark lager. Pikku Musta was crisp with evident bready notes and a nice bitterness. This is much how I like my dark lagers.

2) Plevnan Weizenbock – huge banana flavors and great wheat notes in a not too sweet weizenbock. Weizenbock is usually not my style of beer but this one is tasty. What I liked about this beer was that it wasn’t cloyingly sweet, which is what often makes me choose other beers than weizenbocks – actually all kinds of bock! This weizenbock had been awarded as beer of the year in Finland a year or three ago. I understand why. It’s a weizenbock that you can actually drink a pint of without a sugary stickyness being too much.

3) Siperia – a kind of classic imperial stout – Awarded as Finlands best beer four years ago…I think I know why! A firm but not over-the-top bitterness, nice roasted malt flavors and chocolate and coffee notes. This is a tasty beer. It’s very nice for once to have a well executed imperial stout that’s not loaded with adjuncts or aged in all kinds of barrels. Not that I don’t like those pastry stouts or barrel aged monsters, but this is what an imperial stout was before the age of adjucts hit us.

All of the beers at Panimoravintola Plevna(Pictures here) followed a long and hot day of walking to the top of the world’s highest gravel ridge and back down again. The view from the top of the ridge was amazing. You were really able to see all the lakes north of Tampere surrounded by absolutely insane numbers of fir trees.

Well…back to the beers and Panimoravintola Plevna. Siperia – the old school imperial stout was my favorite beers of the six we had. If you want rustic charm and great locally brewed beer. Panimoravintola Plevna is definitely worth a visit.

This was not our last stop in Tampere. From Plevna we walked across the river and into a side street to Gastropub Nordic, where we had some more beers and something to eat.

Gastropub Nordic is a light and inviting bar with a cozy and relaxed atmosphere and a more than decent selection of beer on tap. The owner/bartender was in the mood for a chat and turned out to be a very nice guy. We talked about the beer scene in both Finland and Denmark and about some ofthe beers that were on tap at the time. Center of the chat was the Drew Curtis/Will Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout 2018 by Stone Brewing. This amazing Russian imperial stout is loaded with great flavors of chocolate, bourbon, oak, coffee and possibly every great taste in a balanced barrel aged imperial stout. This stout is so much more than Siperia from Plevna that we had earlier on. Siperia was not bad, Drew Curtis/Will Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout 2018 is just so much more and really shows what skilled brewers can do if they know how to do adjuncts without overdoing them. I would really love to have a bottle or five of this super tasty beer in my basement to experience how it develops in the years to come. I’m sure that time will make this an even better beer.

Drew Curtis/Will Wheaton/Greg Koch Stone Farking Wheaton W00tstout 2018 was not the only tasty beer we had in Gastropub Nordic. We also had beers from @cloudwaterbrew, @omnipollo and @amagerbryghus. To see what it was you can go to my instagram post about Gastropub Nordic. This place is definitely one that I would like to return to in the future – people, food and beers were all great.

This is all for now – when I’m back again, it’s places to drink great beers in Helsinki, Finland – see you!

Pyynikin Brewhouse – Tampere, Finland

After long day of traveling by boat and train from Åland we arrived in Tampere, Finland in the evening. Being a Saturday evening we were not ready to sleep early so we dropped off our bags at the hotel and went to Pyynikin Brewhouse and their big, but very cosy brewhouse and beergarden.

The Pyynikin beergarden was packed with people on this light and warm nordic summer night that invited to beers outside. Eventhough it was summer the inside was packed with people aswell. The beers were great and we enjoyed every bit of this place.

The four Pyynikin beers we enjoyed were:

1) American IPA – a very tasty and kind of old school american ipa, but with a rather low bitterness.

2) Rød Berliner – a raspberry berliner weisse. This one is a real thirst quencher with a balanced acidity and fruit addition.

3) Cloudberry Saison – a farmhouse ale with a very low, actually non-existing carbonation – very tasty beer.

4) Mosaic Lager – a super nice lager with very evident Mosaic hops.

Cloudberry Saison and American IPA are very recommendable beers and the other two were solid beers aswell Pictures of the beers and the beer garden can be seen here.

If you want to go to Tampere, Finland and Pyynikin Brewhouse my recommendation would be to go in the summer and sit outside to enjoy the great beers and the light in the evening.

More from Tampere, Finland will come in my next post – see you!

Åland and Stallhagen Brewery

Well arrived at B&B Stalldalen we found out that the nearby Stallhagen Brewery had a Texas barbecue buffet every Wednesday in the summer. We had to go there and try it out! The added benefit was that we could try some of their beers along with the very tasty food.

The four beers all from Stallhagen were:

1) Baltic Porter – Very nice baltic porter with hints of coffee, chocolate and a tiny bit of smoke.

2) US Red Ale – Tasty red ale with a satisfying bitterness and some fruity hop notes from a small amount of dry hopping.

3) Honungsöl – a kind of dry and rather refreshing honey beer.

4) Stallhagen New England IPA – Not very hazy and not very New England, but it’s quite okay for a sunny BBQ at the brewery.

All beers were well executed and tasty thou they may not be the most innovative beers out there. Pictures of the beers and the inside of the brewpub can be seen here

The next day we went hiking and when we returned to the B&B we decided to go to Stallhagen again for dinner and beers (Stallhagen was the only place nearby to eat) and once again we were satisfied with the food. The menu is different kinds of tasty Finnish food and very well suited for their tasty lagers of different kinds. Infact we were so satisfied with the Stallhagen Brewpub that we returned a third time.

The third and last visit at Stallhagen was on yet another warm and sunny Scandinavian summer evening. We had super tasty beer braised cheeks of beef and some tasty beers.

The three beers all from Stallhagen were:

1) Håppy Lager – Refreshing and thirst quenching hoppy lager with a nice citrusy hop note.

2) Twist & Stout – Tasty coffee stout that pairs very nice with beer braised cheeks of beef.

3) Dark Honey – Very forward honey flavors on a quite malty base – nice beer with beer braised cheeks of beef

Pitures of these beers can bee seen here and some pictures from the brewery shop and the brewpub are here.

Stallhagen Brewery (find it here) may be the only brewery on Åland but its definitely worth a visit.

This is all from these very friendly, tasty and beautiful islands – see you in Finland.

Man In The Moon, Stockholm

Next beer bar on my Baltic Sea beercation is Man In The Moon in Stockholm. Man In The Moon is a very nice place with a relaxed atmosphere and a huge selection of bottled beer. Some of the bottled beers are 20+ years old! Among them were Cuvée van de Keizer – Blauw dated 1998 by belgian Het Anker. The taplist was also quite impressive with 25-30 taps with beers of all sorts – some of them brewed for this bar only. A pale ale by Buxton (Månens Pale Ale) and a lager brewed by Fjäderholmens Bryggeri.

I ended up with three beers to quench my thirst after heavy sightseeing in Stockholm.

The three beers were:
1) EvilTwin Brewing – Perfect AM Parfait. The Great NYC Garbage Disposal Revival Edition 1 – A very well balanced fruity sour with a quite muted acidity but a nice kind of oily mouth feel on top of loads of fruit and berry flavors.
2) Prairie Artisan Ales – Era – A farmhouse ale with nice farmhouse flavors paired with a satisfying bitterness and nice dry hopping flavors from the Citra and Centennial hop additions.
3) Buxton Brewery – Månens Pale Ale – A nicely hopped and refreshing pale ale with a satisfying bitterness and evident dry hopping. Månens Pale Ale is brewed exclusively for this bar.

By the way…they do have some cool beer coasters a this place

Now we are off to Åland. Hopefully we’ll find tasty beers there as well – see you!

Mikkeller Bar Stockholm

Follow the sign and you’ll find tasty beers.

Mikkeller Bar Stockholm is a nice bar in a quiet street. When we arrived we found some seats outside as it was a warm summer evening in Stockholm. Brahegatan a really quiet street with next to no traffic, so sitting inside is really not a choice if you can find a seat outside. To begin with we settled on two beers. The two beers were:

  • Upp Med Flipan! from the Swedish brewery Unibärsum. Upp Med Flipan! is an American IPA with grapefruit, cranberry juice and Citra hops. Bitterness is soft and lots of grapefruit and delicate cranberry flavors makes this beers a nice summer sipper.
  • Bezzer Weisser from Mikkeller. Bezzer Weisser is a passionfruit berliner weisse. Passionfruit is evident in flavor but I would have liked Bezzer Weisser to be way more sour to be really great.

When we had finnished these two beers and outside temperature had dropped we moved inside to enjoy one last beer to end a long day of travelling. The interior is light and welcoming with a relaxed atmosphere. Service is nice and friendly and is more than willing to guide you in your choice of beer. People visiting the bar is a good mixture of young and old and beer nerds and regular beer drinkers. Music played at the bar is a mix of classic and modern rock. Mikkeller Bar Stockholm is definitely worth to visit again. Now back to the beer we went inside to drink.

  • Smoldering Holes from WarPigs Brewpub. This is an explosion of taste in your mouth – chocolate, espresso, licorice and roasted malts in a super smooth and surprisingly easy drinking imperial stout. This beers is one to enjoy slowly to let it develop more flavor as it slowly warms itself. Indeed a super tasty beer!

You’ll find Mikkeller Bar Stockholm here: Maps

Systembolaget – a large selection of beers

Entrence to a Systembolaget shop in Stockholm.

When we arrived in Stockholm, Sweden one of the first things we did was to find a Systembolaget shop to check out their selection of beers. We found one in the basement of the NK shopping center. It was a quite big Systembolaget with more than a few meters of beer shelves. This time I just bought a few beers to sip a the hotel in the evening. The rest of the time was just checking out the selection to know what to make room for in my backpack, when I return to Stockholm on they way home again.

I decided on just two beers to sip at the hotel. The two beers were:

  • Can-O-Bliss Tropical IPA from Oskar Blues Brewery – an American IPA with a huge tropical aroma and taste that’s much like it, but it’s maybe just a bit too muted compared to the aroma. All in all a very nice beer.
  • Amarillo from Oppigårds Bryggeri – a kind of old school pale ale with a nice bitterness and some fruity hop notes from the all-Amarillo additions.

This was a promissing start on my beer ventures in Systembolaget in Sweden. Here you’ll find the Systembolaget we visited.

Beer and travelling

Is it important to your travel planning that craft beer is availible at your destination? For me it’s not a decisive thing when I choose my destination, but it’s something I always like to look into before I go. I also like to go out and investigate the local supermarkets to find out if their beer selection is better than my local supermarkets at home (who have a very poor selection).

My next blog posts will be about what beer related experiences I have this summer. I’ll start here in Denmark and then move around part of the Baltic Sea – destinations will be in Sweden, Åland, Finland, Russia and Estonia. I’ll take a look at local craft beer bars, brew pubs and craft breweries when I happen to come across them.

Stay tuned for a summer of beer and traveling.