Finland Beer

Today in 1917, Finland gained their Independence from Russia.


Finland Breweries

Finland Brewery Guides

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Guild: Panimoliitto

National Regulatory Agency: National Product Control Agency for Welfare and Health

Beverage Alcohol Labeling Requirements: Follows Eu Regulations

Drunk Driving Laws: BAC 0.05% [Note: 0.12% (aggravated). The penalty is a fine or jail up to 6 months plus license suspension from 1 month to 5 years. For aggravated, also a prison sentence (60 days to 2 years) is possible, usually as a suspended sentence. Routine breath testing without a probable cause is permitted and often practiced. Penalties vary by level of intoxication.]


  • Full Name: Republic of Finland
  • Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Sweden and Russia
  • Government Type: Republic
  • Language: Finnish (official) 91.2%, Swedish (official) 5.5%, other (small Sami- and Russian-speaking minorities) 3.3%
  • Religion(s): Lutheran Church of Finland 82.5%, Orthodox Church 1.1%, other Christian 1.1%, other 0.1%, none 15.1%
  • Capital: Helsinki (Helsingfors)
  • Population: 5,262,930; 116th
  • Area: 338,145 sq km, 65th
  • Comparative Area: Slightly smaller than Montana
  • National Food: Mämmi
  • National Symbol: Lion, Whooper Swan, Brown Bear, European perch, Ladybird; Lily of the Valley; Birch, Silver Birch; Finland’s Lion, Nordic Cross
  • Affiliations: UN, EU
  • Independence: From Russia, December 6, 1917


  • Alcohol Legal: Yes
  • Minimum Drinking Age: 18 (for possession and purchase of <22% a.b.v.) 20 (for possession and purchase of ≥22% a.b.v.) (18 for all in bars and restaurants) [Note: Age limits apply to purchase and possession. Police may search minors in public places and confiscate or destroy alcoholic beverages. Adults are responsible for alcohol use by minors in private; offering alcohol to a minor is a punishable offense if it results in drunkenness and is inappropriate with regard to the minor's age, maturity and other circumstances.]
  • BAC: 0.05%
  • Number of Breweries: 36


  • How to Say “Beer”: olut, kalja, pikkutekijä / slang: olvi
  • How to Order a Beer: O-loot moolek kee-tos
  • How to Say “Cheers”: Kippis / Kippis Terveydeksi (“to your health”) / Maljanne (“a toast to you sir”)
  • Toasting Etiquette: N/A


Alcohol Consumption By Type:

  • Beer: 46%
  • Wine: 23%
  • Spirits: 28%
  • Other: 3%

Alcohol Consumption Per Capita (in litres):

  • Recorded: 9.72
  • Unrecorded: 2.80
  • Total: 12.52
  • Beer: 4.59

WHO Alcohol Data:

  • Per Capita Consumption: 9.7 litres
  • Alcohol Consumption Trend: Increase
  • Excise Taxes: Yes
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Sales Restrictions: Time, location, specific locations, intoxicated persons
  • Advertising Restrictions: Yes
  • Sponsorship/Promotional Restrictions: Yes

Patterns of Drinking Score: 3

Prohibition: 1919 to 1932 in Finland (called kieltolaki, “ban law”) [In 1919, Finland enacted prohibition, as one of the first acts after independence from the Russian Empire. Four previous attempts to institute prohibition in the early 20th century had failed due to opposition from the tsar. After a development similar to the one in the United States during its prohibition, with large-scale smuggling and increasing violence and crime rates, public opinion turned against the prohibition, and after a national referendum where 70% voted for a repeal of the law, prohibition was ended in early 1932.]


Beer In Art #166: Albert Edelfelt’s Portrait of Louis Pasteur

Today’s work of art is by the Swedish-speaking Finnish artist Albert Edelfelt, who in 1886 painted a Portrait of Louis Pasteur. Pasteur, of course, while primarily known for pasteurization of milk, did his initial studies of fermentation and unlocked many of the mysteries of how yeast worked in brewing, paving the way for brewers to better understand and control the process of making beer. In 1873 he published his Treatise on Fermentation.


The painting today hangs in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris. The museum describes Portrait of Louis Pasteur:

Like many of his contemporaries from Northern Europe, the Finn Albert Edelfelt came to France when he was scarcely twenty to study at the fine arts school in Paris. He quickly took part in the official exhibitions and soon won medals and awards. The presentation of his portrait of the chemist and biologist Louis Pasteur at the Salon of 1886 marked a new stage in his career because it earned him the Legion of Honour. At a time when painters readily chose contemporary scientific subjects rather than historical painting, which was bogged down in the reproduction of anecdotes, this portrait of one of the most famous scientists of the time was very popular.

Pasteur is shown in his laboratory in the rue d’Ulm, in the midst of his experimental apparatus. He is holding a jar containing the spinal cord of a rabbit infected with rabies which he used to develop a vaccine against rabies. As a result of this discovery, he was hailed as a benefactor of mankind. Far from being a heroic representation, the painting is the epitome of poise, both in its composition and lighting. Light from a window out of sight on the right spreads delicately over the scene, highlighting the equipment and the scientist’s thoughtful face.

To learn more about Albert Gustaf Aristides Edelfelt, you can start with Wikipedia, and you can also see links to his works online at ArtCyclopedia, Painting Giant, Vaasa, the Athenaeum and Wahoo Art.

Finnish News Anchor Fired For Drinking Beer On Air

I’m not sure who moominvillea is, but they appear to have set up a twitter account for the sole purpose of tweeting news outlets about what he’s calling “beergate.” I don’t know much, but apparently “Finnish news anchor Kimmo Wilska [was] reporting on misconduct of bars selling alcohol [and was caught on camera pretending to drink a bottle of beer]. He was fired later at same day.”

According to the Helsinki Times:

The Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) has sacked Kimmo Wilska, a newsreader who pretended to drink from a beer bottle during a bulletin featuring a report on alcohol licence inspections on Wednesday.

Wilska had worked for YLE’s English-language service on an occasional basis.

Timo Kämäräinen, a managing editor in charge of the English-language service, said the public broadcaster did not tolerate the kind of behaviour seen on Wednesday in any of its news bulletins.

The UK’s Asylum adds the following details:

In what turned out to be his last on-air report for YLE, Finland’s second-largest TV channel, [Wilska] carried out a rather amusing prank that unfortunately got him oh-so-very-fired.

As you’ll see from the clip below, as he speaks over footage of beers being poured, the camera quickly cuts back to the studio to show Kimmo, beer in hand, the amber nectar dribbling out of the top.

He swiftly puts the boozy beverage down, and carries on with his report. A joke, of course, but his bosses failed to see the funny side, promptly giving him the boot.

Known as ‘Finland’s Barry White’ because of his sonorous voice, a Facebook support group has already sprung up, defending Kimmo for a joke he promises wasn’t meant to be aired, and was solely for the crew’s amusement.

A Facebook support page, the Kimmo Wilska Support Group, as of this evening has attracted over 48,000 supporters. Even the L.A. Times is covering the story.

Below is the video, at least for now. Several sources are saying that YLE is “forcibly remov[ing] the YouTube video claiming copyright law, even though there are GAZILLIONS of other YLE videos on YouTube. They seem to be particular[ly] angry about this one.” If it’s gone, just search his name and you’ll undoubtedly find another version, because I don’t think YLE will be able to shut down all of them now that it’s gone viral.

At first blush, it certainly seems like the television station’s knee-jerk reaction to fire him was a fairly stupid decision.