Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ölmönger Special: Ölmönger's Calendar for Christmas 2017

A year ago I taunted the idea of a beer advent calendar heavily without remorse. Well, one year hasn't changed me a bit: there will be no self-made nor bought beer calendar with a beer to drink for each of the first 24 days of December 2017. I'll probably enjoy a beer now and then during the month, but they probably aren't so called calendar beers. Occasionally they can be, but that's pure coincidence.

In addition to the commercially available foreign beer calendars (like Mikkeller, To Øl, Saveur Biere, Boxbeers and so on), the one and only Finnish beer shop Pien put together its own beer calendar, that became an instant success and originally sold out very quickly. Despite the cold facts:
  • Every bottle has max 4,7 % abv beer -> Question: How about the flavour?
  • All 24 bottles are from different Finnish microbreweries. -> Question: How about the quality?
  • The beer calendar cost 119 €, i.e. approx. 4,96 € per bottle. -> Question: How about the value for price?
But let's not judge before we know. The fellow blogger at JaskanKaljat will open the calendar doors and rate each beer every day until Christmas Eve. Jaska's blog is in Finnish - so learn some Finnish, perkele!
The one and only true American beer calendar?
Instead of buying the Pien or any other commercial calendar or putting together/making someone put together one of my own, I carefully selected 24 good to great brews from the blog's backlog. The backlog has grown ridiculously long during pretty silent last months, so having an artificial beer calendar is a way to clear it up quickly. The beers in the calendar have been savoured during this fall (August - November), so the calendar could be called "Best of Fall '17" collection.

I don't recommend anyone to drink the beers that pop up in the blog on a daily basis, since the beers are somewhat strong (always over the magical Finnish 4,7 % abv barrier - many times hugely over the magical barrier), and at least I consider drinking one that strong beer daily for 24 days in a row as one form of alcoholism. So, if you like my choices, please save your liver and at least some of the beers for later. If you don't like my choices, stick to the bulk lager you're used to.

That's it for now. The fun starts tomorrow.


Wise people see beer advent calendars as utter crap. Understandably, some might interpret them as "adults' way of preparing for the season". My advice to those adults, who really need to "tune up for Christmas all December and even October-November" and "let the Xmas spirit flow to every corner of the home and to the neighbours, too", goes: Eat shit and...

Ozzy Osbourne: Bark at the Moon (YouTube)

From the 1983 album Bark at the Moon, the song was written by Ozzy Osbourne, Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Skitbit Nov 2017: Stadin Whale Ale & Open House Paradoxale

Bad luck. Had two bad beers from Finnish breweries during one evening session couple of weeks ago. Since I've become rather picky with beer that's nowadays so rare occasion that they both deserve to be introduced in this one Skitbit post.


Brewery: Stadin Panimo
Country: Finland
Style: American Pale Ale
Abv: 5,6 %
What about the beer?
Colour is clear golden orange with a 2-finger thick natural white head. Aroma has lemon, fruit candy and malts. Taste starts with strongly, piny and fruity bite. Salty bitter grapefruit takes over with spicy piny and sweet orange tones. Towards the end herbal pine and bittersweet citrus get mixed. Aftertaste has fruity bitter pine and strongly herbal, a bit harsh dryness.

Piny and harsh American Pale Ale. First mouthfuls are fruity and decent, but then we get more and more of pine and herbs. The freshness has died. Slight disappointment, though Stadin Panimo has had some variation in the quality of their brews.


The name of the beer, whale ale, makes one expect something huge. Well, it's tough enough to brew a huge American Pale Ale but when even the mediocre is too much, we'll have to pick some pompous but meaningless music to accompany the beer. Yes, there certainly is a lot of declaration in Ultra Bra's songs but mostly it's crap. Picked this one because in the lyrics old Helsinki, the capital of Finland and the home city of Stadin Panimo, is compared to Soviet Union - and I kinda like the comparison.

Ultra Bra: Helsinki (YouTube)

From the 1996 album Vapaaherran elämää, the song was written by Kerkko Koskinen and Anni Sinnemäki.


Brewery: Open Water Brewery
Country: Finland
Style: India Black Ale
Abv: 6,1 %
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a huge fluffy tan head. Aroma has orange, pineapple and sweet liquorice. Taste begins with herbal bitter, muddy roast. Muddy roast and herbal piny bitterness take over with some grapefruity hints in the background. No spectacular changes towards the end. Aftertaste is very earthy, bitter and dry.

India Black Ale completely ruined. New brewery for me, some expectations, but in the end, breweries from Åland have yet a long way to impress my taste. After a couple of mouthfuls, the rest of the bottle found its way to the sewage system.


In the mainland, the people of Åland are sometimes compared to the beloved citizens of Finland's western neighbour, the "dumb" Swedes. Probably because Swedish is the official language of Åland and the culture of the archipelago is somewhat closer to Swedish culture than Finnish. Well, I find both the Ålanders and the Swedes a lot happier nation than the Finns, so probably there's some point in the comparison. Swedish music industry has been and is internationally more successful than Finnish - that probably goes with breweries, too. However, I've always disliked the music from the first superstar band from Scandinavia, so I picked a song that can be interpreted here as a cry for help from the Åland breweries.  

ABBA: S.O.S. (YouTube)

From the 1975 album ABBA, the song was written by Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson.