When Bryggeri Helsinki opened their doors in February 2013, the on-site brewery was not ready. Two batches of beer, a 4.7% German-style Pilsner and a 4.5% English-style Brown Ale, were produced at Saimaan Juomatehdas in Mikkeli, a 200 km distance to ship kegs and bottles, to carry them through until the new brewery was operational.
In May, the new equipment turned out a batch of Bavarian-style Hefeweizen. The house-made batch of Pilsner was left unfiltered, this was zwickelpils found outside of Germany which was cleanly-fermented, bright and expressive in the nose, lemony, crisp and refreshing with a burst of soft carbonation and a washing of noble hop oils across the palate. 4.0-level unfiltered lager once again.
The Pils would be adored in Franconia. The snappy and toasty Altbier would bring smiles to Düsseldorf. The phenolic and doughy weissbier would do better than a number of native renditions in the beer halls of Bavaria.
It has been my experience that newly-opened breweries need time, one or two years, to adequately dial in their recipes and technique on new equipment. It’s no secret a lot of breweries are used as classrooms while learning on the job. Rare is the brewery that pulls off 4.0 lager. I admit I was craving clean beer, we had just arrived from Lithuania after cutting short our stay in Vilnius. I needed clean beer and quickly bought into the scene Bryggeri Helsinki.
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Just outside the brewpub is the Helsinki Cathedral and the central town square. In the summertime the sky stays lit until near midnight.
Finnish law restricts off-premises (to-go) beer sales to before 21:00, so as twilight slowly turns outside you must drink inside to be within the law. Of course you could gather provisions and plan ahead, but public drinking isn’t a huge thing in Helsinki. There were a few beer drinkers enjoying a long yellow sunset on the grassy hills of Uspenski Cathedral looking back west on Helsinki Cathedral.
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