Suomenlinnan Panimo

A short ferry ride from Helsinki is Suomenlinna, an old military fortress spread across six islands that is now a World Cultural Heritage Site and hosts museums, restaurants, various events, as well as a brewery/restaurant, Ravintola Suomenlinnan Panimo. My visit unfortunately fell in between lunch and dinner – the menu options looked quite good, though.

Two beers at Suomenlinnan Panimo

Two beers at Suomenlinnan Panimo — Suomenlinna, Finland

    Rob’s Picks

  • Saison La Fleur de L’ile – 5.5% – A bit muted. Light caramel malt start and a touch watery, but then the coriander and light clove and pepper kick in. Not all that great, but the best of the three I tried.
    The Rest

  • Höpken Pils – 4.2% – Clear straw yellow color. Light and bready with a lightly bitter finish. Touch of herbal hops.
  • Amphion Ale – 4.5% – Unfiltered. Hazy golden color. Kind of bitter. Not much in terms of malt or hop flavors. Registers as a beer, and that’s about it.

Their terrace was a great spot to hang out and have a beer after wandering around the islands. Just wish the beer had been better. Next time I’m in Helsinki I’ll be sure to stay for dinner.

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Stadin Panimo

I arrived in Helsinki on a Friday, with plans to meet up with friends of a friend that evening. After checking into my room, I made my way on foot through the city en route to their neighborhood in order to get my bearings. Met them at their local night market, and then walked to Stadin Panimo, which was not far but in an out-of-the-way spot. Might not have found it on my own.

The name basically means “City Brewery.” Stadin (“The City”) was the nickname for Helsinki, in much the same way that folks in the SF Bay Area refer to San Francisco as The City. The Stadin Panimo taproom is a cozy spot with a good number of taps, as well as an impressive bottle list — after making our way through the taster trays pictured below, I bought an on-premise bottle of Cantillon.

A whole lot of tasters at Stadin Panimo

A whole lot of tasters at Stadin Panimo — Helsinki, Finland

    Rob’s Picks

  • South Pacific Lager – 4.5% – Light, fairly crisp, lightly fruity. Doesn’t have that lager edge I’m used to, but quite drinkable.
  • American Saison – 6.5% – Tannic, hay aroma and flavor, with lemon, light funk, light pepper, and some caramel malt.
  • West Coast Session IPA – 4.5% – Light and very citrusy, decent body, easy drinking.
  • Gasometer Baltic Porter – 6% – Coffee/chocolate aroma and flavor, with light body, touch of alcohol, and a little sweet.
    The Rest

  • Stadin Kellerbier – 5.3% – Light and sweet, with light caramel. Not much for hops.
  • Stadifornia Common – 5.3% – Pretty smooth, with caramel malt and a hint of whiskey, but a touch watery. Interesting.
  • Stadin German Pils – 5.3% – Light, crisp, bready, with a touch of bitterness at the end.
  • American White IPA – 6.5% – Some coriander, light funk, light clove/banana, and some herbal hops.
  • Savuruis Portteri – 6.5% – Sweet (lactose or molasses?), chocolate/coffee, with dark chocolate bitter finish and a bit of smoke. Underlying hint of citrus adds some brightness. Sweetness builds up too much, though.

So yeah, a nice variety of beers on tap and a great bottle list. Pretty cool spot, if a little crowded. I also got plenty of brewery and travel suggestions to keep me busy for the next several days. Hopefully I’ll get around the finishing those subsequent brewery posts more quickly than it’s taken me to finish this one. Fingers crossed!

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