Wednesday 10th June 2009
This pub describes itself as a beer house and it certainly is, with a magnificent selection of brews from Finland and other European countries. Yet in appearance it looks like any other smart Helsinki bar until you notice the large number of beer taps.
Any further illusions you might have are dispelled by a glance at the beer list on the blackboard. I separately detail the Finnish beers below with background on their breweries.
The foreign beers are a roll call of the continent's large brands with the following on draught.
From Belgium: Frank Boon Kriek, Palm Speciale and Popperings Hommelbier.
From Czech Republic: Budvar Pale and Krušovice Dark.
From Germany: König Pils, Paulaner Hefeweizen Dunkel and Warsteiner Pils.
From England: Shepherd Neame Spitfire.
From Ireland: Guinness.
And finally, from Scotland: Belhaven Ale.
I didn't see the point of paying twice the amount for these beers than what I would in their respective countries of origin. There is also a massive range of bottled beers.
Beers from Finnish breweries at Kaisla on 10.06.2009
MALMGÅLM PANIMO from Malmgård, about 80kms northeast of Helsinki, located on a large organic farm in the grounds of a huge mansion. They use Finnish malt with East Kent and Styrian Goldings hops.
Huvila ESB (5.2%), a dark brown bitter and Pekko PA (4.2%) an English style pale ale.
PANIMORAVINTOLA PLEVNA from Tampere, Finland's second city. A really nice brewpub in the building of an old cotton mill built in 1887 by Scotsman James Findlayson. It was established in 1994.
Smörre Rye IPA (5.9%), Plavna Stout (7.0%), a dry Irish-style beer.
LAITILAN WIRVOITUSJUOMATEHDAS of Laitila, which is near the Gulf of Bothnia in the west, north of Turku.
Laitilan Kievari Humalainen IPA (4.5%) and Kukko Pils (4.5%).
STADIN PANIMO (aka Downtown Brewery Ltd), founded in 1998 in the Helsinki suburb of Kyläsaari.
Cascade IPA (6.2%)
Kaisla, Vihonkatu 4, Helsinki Tel: 01076 63850
Open: Sun-Thu: 13.00-02.00; Fri-Sat: 13.00-03.00
This bar is five minutes from the Central station with its main line and suburban trains. It is also where you catch the high speed Allegro trains to St Petersburg in Russia and also the overnight Tolstoi express to Moscow. Which is exactly what I did after a few beers in this bar.
It is even closer to the Kaisaniemi metro station. It's also less than five minutes from the Airport bus stop and all the other buses and trams, so it couldn't be in a better spot.