The main prize of “Finland’s best beer 2023” was chosen with the help of an international final jury. In addition, the competition’s main partner, Viking Maltreceived separate rankings in the dark and medium dark ale, stout and porter categories.
There were a total of 15 categories in the competition, of which the largest participated in the light lager, IPA and sour beer categories. The competition develops every year to meet the needs of both breweries and consumers. In recent years, non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers have had their own category, and this year the light lager category was split into two parts. The award for the best gluten-free beer is now being awarded for the third time.
Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery, creator of Suomen Paras Olut 2023, is a family-owned farm brewery located in Virolahti, Kymenlaakso. The malted barley and oats used in the beer come from their own fields, so it’s a truly local product. The judging panel described the winning beer as follows: “The winning beer had an inviting head and appearance. The aroma was subtle roast and complex coffee notes. The winning beer is full of flavors, yet easy to drink. It is the perfect partner for venison stew and Gouda cheese.”
In addition to Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery, breweries from all over Finland won in different series. Etko Brewing from Helsinki, Olari Panimo, Salama Brewing and Fat Lizard Brewing Co. From Espoo, Vanhan Porvoon Panimo, Tornion Panimo, TuJu Brewing Company from Lappeenranta, Kakola Brewing from Turku, Lammin Sahti, Hailuodon Panimo, Mallaskuun Panimo from Lapua and Sinebrychoff from Kerava were among the winners of the series. Special mention also goes to the gluten-free beer with the most points, which this year is Tired Uncle Brewing’s Prost! For the breweries selected from among the beers that participated in the competition as gluten-free for Espoo’s sedies.
The “Finland’s best beer” competition aims for objectivity: “In this competition, all beers are evaluated blindly to ensure equal operating conditions,” said competition manager Anikó Lehtinen from Olutliito. “We do not publish the names of the participating breweries during the competition, so that the judges do not have prejudices about the competition beers. Only the taste of the beer matters. Our jury represents a wide range of Finnish beer tastes, including enthusiasts, industry professionals. restaurant and retail trade, beer media and beer lovers. We have a rigorous training program for the judges before the competition.”
The “Finland’s best beer” competition was organized at Perho Business School at the beginning of June, year Jussi Rokkaan experienced beer editor and judge who acts as head judge, and Veera Savolainenlong-time restaurant professional, champion of the competition. André BrunnsbergThe chairman of the European Beer Consumers Association, headed the final jury, which included Viking Malt’s brew master Raimo Koljonen, Milja SeppäläVice-president of the Finnish Beer Association, beer writer and BJCP-certified beer judge Jouni Koskinen, Johanna SiikVice-chairman of the Finnish Beer Society, editor Mariana Nelimarkkaand international judges Thorsten Sander, Artur Napiorkowski, Marek Kamińskiand Michael Schmitt. They evaluated all 15 category winners and chose “Finland’s best beer 2023”.
“As in previous years, the jury performed its task carefully and with professionalism. The high level of the competition can be seen in the fact that the discussion at the judging tables when choosing the winners of the series was very thorough. The high level made the task of the final jury demanding, we had to consider the strengths of the winners of the categories from different perspectives before choosing the best beer in Finland 2023”, comments chief judge Jussi Rokka about the progress of the competition.
The winners of the competition were announced at Viking Line’s Beer Gala cruise on September 8, and the series winners (maximum 5.5%) can be reached at selected S-group points around Finland.
“Finland’s best beer” is the only competition that exclusively judges Finnish beers, and includes both large and small breweries. It is open to all regularly available beers produced in Finland. The aim of the competition is to guide consumers in choosing and tasting different beers, improve the status of Finnish beer and give breweries the opportunity to present their beer to a wide audience.
The competition is organized by the Finnish Beer Association, whose members are the Finnish Brewery Association and the Small Breweries Association. The Finnish Beer Association is responsible for the practical arrangements of the competition. Viking Malt is the main partner of the competition in cooperation with S group, Viking Line, Rastal, Suuret Oluet Pienet Panimot, Panimoliito, Pienpanimot ry and Perho Business School. Olutposti works as a media partner. The “Finland’s best beer” competition is one of the seven competitions approved by the European Beer Consumers’ Union (EBCU), the umbrella organization of the Olutliitto.
Finland’s best beer 2023 winners:
Finland’s best beer 2023: KASKI Black oats 5.0%, Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery
International Light Lager:
- Pumpable barbarian 5.0%, München Helles, Brewing company TuJu
- Barley powder 5.3%, German Pils, Olari Brewery
Other light lagers:
- 1873 Honey bock 7.3%, Helles Bock, Tornion Brewery
Dark or colored lager:
- KASKI Black oats 5.0%, Schwarzbier, Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery
Light or Medium-Dark Ale (supported by Viking Malt):
- Lammin Sahti 7.5%, Sahti, Lammin Sahti
APA and Sessional IPA:
- Borgå Hazy Session IPA 4.3%, Session IPA, Vanhan Porvoo Brewery
- Neon Beast 6.0%, Hazy IPA, Salama Brewery
- Splitty Westy West Coast DIPA 8.0%, American IPA, Fat Lizard Brewing Company
Stout and Porter (supported by Viking Malt):
- Lauha 9.0%, Imperial Stout, Kakola brewing company
- Wheat 4.7%, Wheat beer, Hailuoto Brewery
Unflavored and flavored sour beers:
- Vanilla ducks 5.0%, Spiced Sour beer, Ekto Brewing
- Pumpkin Ale 8.0%, Autumn Beer, Malaskuu Brewery
- DBA Big Mommam 10.4%, barrel aged beer, Olari Brewery
Non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers:
- Crisp Lager 0.0%, alcohol-free beer, Sinebrychoff
- KASKI Mustasavu 4.6%, Smoked beer, Takatalo & Tompuri Brewery
SPECIAL ADVERTISEMENT: Finland’s best gluten-free beer 2023: Cheers! Sedille 5.5%, German export beer, Tired Uncle Brewing
Source: The Nordic Page