If in Tallinn, places to go for beer

From Helsinki it’s only a short boat ride to Tallinn, Estonia. We went there to visit different sights and the midieval city, which is one of the best preserved of its kind in Europe. One place that was on top of our list was the Põhjala Brewery and the Põhjala Taproom. We went there on a hot and sunny summer evening and hoped to find a table outside. Luck was not on our side and we had to sit inside – no problem at all. Põhjala just recently moved into newly renovated buildings in what seems like an old industrial neighbourhood a short busride from the center of Tallinn.

We wanted to try many different beers and went for flights of five beers. This was a great way to try a lot of the tasty Põhjala beers. All in all we ended up trying 11 different beers of all sorts – some of them core range, some collaborations and some from other breweries than Põhjala.

The 11 beers were fruited gose, sour IPA, gose, milkshake IPA, baltic porter, porter, IPA, pastry stout, berliner weisse, imperial stout and session IPA. If you want to know more about the beers you can read it here. Most of the Põhjala beers are great and among the ones we had, were collaborations with AF Brew, Coppertail Brewing, Collective Arts Brewing and Other Half. The best beer we had was the super tasty imperial stout “Hämarik” – a collaboration with Other Half. This imperial stout is super balanced in the adjuncts – rye, vanilla, coffee are great and a boozy note works together in a near perfect combination – If you are anywhere near Põhjala Taproom go get this beer (if it’s still on tap…!).

Before we left Põhjala Taproom we had a super tasty Three Meat Platter from their Texas BBQ kitchen washed down with a session IPA from Estonian brewery Pühaste. A perfect way to end this tasty visit to a very great taproom.

In Tallinn it’s also worth to mention Koht Moonshine Bar – a bar that is only open when it’s open!! A sign on the door says so and we found it to be true. Only the third time we returned to the little side street was the bar open. It turned out to be a very nice place with a great selection of beers. Unfortunately we only had half and hour left when we finally found Koht Moonshine Bar open. We managed to try two beers an English bitter brewed for Koht and a buckwheat amber lager from Pühaste – both nice beers. From Koht we walked on to the restaurent Rataskaevu 16 where we enjoyed tasty Estonia food and beers from a selection way better than the average restaurent. It was also at Rataskaevu 16 that I tried my first ever kvass. Kvass is much like liquid rye bread and non-alcoholic. It was a very nice thirst quencer on a hot Estonia summer day.

To end our visit to Tallinn we found a supermarket and found many great beers – both Estonia and foreign – to bring home to enjoy later.

Tallinn is definitely a place I would like to go back to and Põhjala Taproom alone is worth traveling for if you ask me.

This is all for now… next I will return with beers and places to drink them in Turku, Finland – 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.

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.