IPA and APA -category winner is made by Olarin Panimo which also made the best sour beer and the best fermented beer. The awards of twelve competition categories were given to breweries all around Finland from Hailuoto to Uusikaupunki and Jyväskylä.
The Best Finnish Beer 2021 is Runaway, a New England IPA 7,1 % made by Olarin Panimo in Espoo. The international final jury described the IPA and APA -category winner as well as the number one judged beer in the overall competition as well-made, excellent representative of its style. In the judging, attention was drawn to the inviting, good aromas and fresh hops, which brought several different levels to the beer. As a whole the beer is both complex and easy to drink.
The Best Finnish Beer was chosen among 12 category winners. The final judging was done as a blind tasting and discussion so that the judges were told only the beer style indicated by the brewers themselves. S Group supports winning beers (max 5,5 %) by making them available to consumers through its own grocery store network throughout Finland.
Olarin Panimo also grabbed category wins in flavored and unflavoured sour beers and fermented beers. The best sour beer is Zesty Case Gose 5.3 %. The winner of the fermented beers was declared DBA Big Momma barley wine 10.4 %.
In 2021 the category wins spread all over Finland. The best wheat beer, Wheat 4.7 %, was made by Hailuodon Panimo. The victory of the stout and porter category went to Ikiiurso 12 % at Hiisi Brewing Company in Jyväskylä – for the fourth time in the competition’s history.
The best light lager Prykmester Keller 5.0 % comes from Uusikaupunki and is by Vakka-Suomen Panimo, and pils Sulku Pils 5,2 % from Vääksy from Kanavan Panimo. Bock’s Corner Brewery from Vaasa made the best dark or colored lager Bock’s Dunkel 4.9 %.
The Finnish beer-style sahti took the win in the light or medium ale category, the best of which was Pihamaan Panimo’s Pihamaan Sahti 9.0 % from Heinola. The winner of the flavored beers was CoolHead Brew’s Party Smoosh 5.0 % from Tuusula. In the Other beers -category, where beers that did not fit into the other categories competed, the victory was taken by Fiskarsin Panimo’s Kaksi Kotia Vailla Humalaa by 5.6 %.
The 2021 competition included a new category of non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers. The victory went to Olvi Rye Mild Neipa 2.8 % in Iisalmi.
Mariaana Nelimarkka, journalist and chair of the final jury, praised the judges’ work in the rigorous final discussion: “The discussion went sensibly and quickly. The jury was knowledgeable and we had a great time analyzing the beers and discussing them thoroughly but smoothly. In the end the views were pretty much aligned and the winner was very clearly agreed on!”
This year, the final jury included beer and travel journalist Herlinda Heras from the United States, beer sommelier Diego Pompele from Italy, experienced beer judge Markus Raupach from Germany and beer expert Lana Svitankova from Switzerland. Finnish members of the final jury were Jouni Koskinen of the Tuopillinen blog, Olli Majanen, beer sommelier, brewmaster Raimo Koljonen of Viking Malt, Kari Häsä, S Group’s selection manager, André Brunnsberg, a member of the board of the European Beer Consumer Union (EBCU) and Juha Sinisalo, the beer maker of Perhon Panimo.
The main sponsors of the competition are S Group and Viking Malt. Other sponsors are Lappo.fi, Jukolan Juusto, Rastal, Suuret Panimot Pienet Oluet -festival, Perho Liiketalousoppilaitos, Pienpanimoliitto, Panimo- ja Virvoitusjuomaliitto. Mediapartners are Olutposti, Shaker and Viisi Tähteä.
Main photo: Olarin Panimo
More pictures (source has to be mentioned): https://olutliitto.fi/materiaalit/kuvapankki/