Helsinki | Finland
Being a brewer and working abroad it’s always a special feeling returning home and being able to revel in the local beer scene. Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, sat by the sea is a very exciting place for beer and food, here are my top tips for the travelling beer enthusiast.
Bier-Bier is a sleek, modern and intimate beer bar equipped with eight taps that supply its drinkers with a constantly rotating line-up. Showcasing some of the best breweries from Finland and the world, Bier-Bier has what could be described as possibly the best bottle and can selection in the city with a wide variety of brews ranging from Loverbeer to local stars like Donut Island and CoolHead Brew. A great place to start a Helsinki beer adventure!
A bit outside of the city centre in the sleepy residential neighbourhood of Ruoholahti, lies one of the crown jewels in the Helsinki beer scene. With a selection of over 150 beers in the fridges, 11 taps and the friendly atmosphere of a neighbourhood bar you’re bound to stay longer than planned. One Pint also has house beers, Red Neck and Alpo’s IPA, brewed for them by Finnish brewery Malmgård and Belgium’s De Proef Brouwerij. Beer tastings and tap-takeovers are regularly occurring and once a month the bar hosts a live music night.
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Tommyknocker is a tiny craft beer bar located on the legendary bar-street, Iso Robeertinkatu. The bar is the first foreign venture for Colorado based craft beer pioneers and soda makers, Tommyknocker Brewery. This Helsinki beer bar specializes in American craft beer accompanied by a good selection of Bourbon and local craft beer. Tastings are regular but make sure to book your place as the bar is tiny.
Finnish craft brewers in exile, Sori Brewing, have returned to their homeland in the form of an extraordinary bar. Sori Brewing was founded by two Finnish entrepreneurs in Estonia to escape the famously complicated and bureaucratic Finnish legislature. The brewery has quickly proven itself as one of the best in the Baltic. The Helsinki beer taproom boasts an impressive amount of taps loaded with Sori’s own beers and a rotating selection of guest beers, providing drinkers with everything from IPA’s to barrel aged and sour beers. If you get hungry Sori Taproom is a great place to be, the kitchen serves up smoked meats with organic and locally sourced produce.
Pien is the first and perhaps the only bottle shop in Finland. In Finland only the state controlled monopoly is allowed to sell alcohol over 4.7% abv. Pien is fighting the cause of the small brewers and has managed to procure an impressive selection of small pack Finnish craft beers under 4.7% abv to take out. If it’s sessionable local Helsinki beer you are looking for then Pien is the best. Grab a few brews and some local snacks and head for a picnic at nearby Esplanadin puisto for the best people watching in the city.
This trendy brewpub located in the design district offers up uncompromising food paired with great beers brewed on the premises. Tastings and brewery tours can be arranged by contacting the restaurant before visiting. The atmosphere is relaxed and homely. It’s worth noting that this brewpub whips up one mean brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, and beer is included… obviously.
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This quirky bar located in the infinitely cool Kallio neighbourhood is not a beer bar per se, but offers guests an array of ever changing craft beers both in the fridge and on tap. Go for the music, quirky interior and chatty locals.
This brewery specialising in traditional beer styles is located on the fortress island of Sveaborg in former barracks just a short ferry ride from the city center. There is no better way of getting sucked into the atmosphere of the Finnish archipelago than with a beer on the brewery’s terrace. Attached to the brewery bar is a small restaurant providing the guests with traditional nordic food with a modern twist.
If you’re in Helsinki to attend the FLOW or Tuska music festivals you are in luck! On the site of this former power plant lies Stadin Panimo. Stadin Panimo is a brewery churning out hop forward beers, all brewed with whole leaf hops utilising a hopback. The former power plant hosts the two big boys of the Finnish festival season and naturally the brewery bar is open. If you happen to visit outside the festival season, don’t worry the brewery bar is open and offers regular brewery tours and tastings.
You can read more of our awesome city beer guides here