Celebrating the 300 Ölbeats and an uneven number of other stories, Skitbits and stuff, I decided to stop for a moment and look back at the blogposts. How have I spent the virtual space of the blog? What countries and breweries have had the questionable honor to be present on the blog the most? Which artists have gotten the most playing time at the blog?
Have I been unjust towards others – whether we talk about, for example, the styles in beer or music? Well, of course I have: I like IPAs and barley wines more than, say, wild ales and dubbels. I like Iron Maiden and Led Zeppelin more than Finnish evergreens and the crap they call Suomirap.
First in the line are the countries of the beers’ origin.
|In a stat post you just got to have a histogram, don’t you?
First of all, since I don’t have a scientific mind or a statistical memory I was surprised of how few countries’ beer I have reviewed. The total number of countries is 18. I thought that from the 300 Ölbeats and ten-something Skitbits would include brews from at least 20 countries. But I was wrong. One huge surprise in the countries completely missing from the list is Czech Republic – not one brew from the country that is one of the best known beer countries in the world. I even started drinking beer years ago with Urquell, Budvar and Krusovice. Shame on me! The Irish beers are completely missing, too, but do they really have something else than Guinness? Of course they do, just have to find them.
Another surprise was how unevenly the amount of different beers is divided between the countries. Only Italy, New Zealand and Russia have just one Ölbeat on their belt, other countries have two or more. Spain, Sweden, Poland and Iceland have less than five Ölbeats each. Scotland, Norway and Belgium are 8th, 9th and 10th with 10, 9 and 8 beers, respectively. Denmark is 7th with 16 Ölbeats, while Germany and Netherlands share the 5th place with 18 brews both. These forementioned countries cover roughly only one third of the beers reviewed.
England comes 4th with 24 brews – no surprise, since breweries like Thornbridge and Buxton aren’t considered hostile visitors at the blog. United States gets the bronze in the contest – the availability of American brews has gotten better in Finland. The growth in the number of microbreweries in Estonia – and probably my fandom towards a couple of breweries there – gives the country the 2nd place in the contest so far. Estonian, American and English brews make approximately one third of the blog’s stories.
Number one shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone: Finland. All in all, this is still a Finnish beer blog and most of the beers available in Finland are Finnish. That’s the simple reason for the bright yellow jersey in this phase of the race.
However, I think that only one third of the beers in the blog are from Finland. Almost all Skitbits are Finnish, I’ve reviewed parts of two Alko artisan spring selections of almost ten beers each and I have considered The Flying Dutchman a Finnish brewery. So there is a base for even higher number of Finnish beers. But there aren’t. Probably because in this phase of my hobby I’m still curious and willing to taste foreign beers two times as often as Finnish beers.
And this blog isn’t a website that exists mainly for promoting the export of Finnish quality brews. Why? Well, that’s a good question. Probably since I’m perfectly unwilling to do that kind of shit without decent contract and paycheck.
The best from the biggest
So, what are the three best Finnish beers in the blog so far. We’ll have to shortlist first because there have been dozens good ones from Finland. Let’s pick the winning trio from these ten:
In the end, the choice was easy. The lucky three winners, in the order of Ölbeat number, are:
|From left: Mufloni CCCCC IPA, Malmgård Barley Wine and Pyynikin BBA Imperial Stout
Mufloni CCCCC IPA got to the podium because of consistency. I’ve found some differences between the best and the good batches, but it’s always a sure, fresh and solid choice.
Malmgård Barley Wine is one of the rare Finnish barley wines and according to my taste, after some maturing, the only really delicious one that has been well available. Have to admit that the first contact wasn’t unforgettable but the second one over half a year later was.
Pyynikin Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout strikes directly to the perfect button of a fan of impies and bourbon. Both the beer and the barrel show up in the beautiful flavour. Excellen from the tap, too.
Ölbeats as they were
Mufloni CCCCC IPA
Guns N’ Roses: Paradise City (YouTube)
From the 1987 album Appetite for Destruction, the song was written by Guns N’ Roses.
Malmgård Barley Wine
From the 2007 album Dark Passion Play, the song was written by Marco Hietala and Tuomas Holopainen.
Pyynikin Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
Cold Kingdom: Let It Burn (YouTube)
From the 2015 album The Moon and the Fool, the song was written by Cold Kingdom.