Beer is a common product, consumed on a regular basis by many of us. We easily take the quantity of different brands and flavours for granted without thinking where these beers come from and who made them. Making beer is a craft. It takes time to develop and maintain the tastes that end up in our glasses.
The new brewery on the Kakola hill opened its doors in the beginning of May, just in time for Summer. The owners of Kakola Brewing Company, Peter and Eeva Torniainen and Alexander Törnroth, are working hard to introduce exciting and surprising tastes to Turku.
Microbreweries have been popping up around Finland more and more in the past years. Last year, there was estimated to be no less than 85 locally owned breweries in the whole of Finland. Naturally the difference between a microbrewery and a more commercial brewery is in the production quantity- microbreweries brew in much smaller batches than bigger breweries. This allows them to produce high quality beers which excel in flavour and technique.
Panimoravintola Koulu settled in the centre of Turku in the late 1990s, and recently in 2014 Radbrew started brewing in Kaarina. While a few other microbreweries are located in Southwest Finland, Kakola Brewing Company is a welcome addition in Turku.
Making beer is both simple and complex at the same time. There are four basic ingredients, namely water, malted barley, hops and yeast, which are added in that order. The main process is the fermentation of sugars into alcohol, which takes 3 to 6 weeks to complete. The complexity comes with the variables such as temperature, measurements and, of course, time, which are regulated by the brewer. It’s hard work, especially in microbreweries where things are often done manually by very few people, to ensure that the processes run smoothly.
At Kakola Brewing Company the beer is brewed in three 1000L tanks and four 500L tanks. There are also two 1000l thanks which the beer can be transferred to, for storage and processing. A 1000L tank equals about 2500 bottles of beer. Everyday a sample is taken from each batch to taste how the beer is progressing. All the work is mostly done by the three owners, with a few helping hands here and there.
To get an idea of how long it takes to brew the beers from Kakola Brewing Company, here is an overview of the brewing times:
Hurlum, Helles Lager ~6 weeks
Riemu, Pale Ale ~3/4 weeks
Vautsi, Sour Ale ~3/4 weeks
Riviera, India Pale Ale ~3/4 weeks
The Kakola Brewing Company has a clear objective. Beer is an everyday product, and they would like to introduce people to good tastes and new beer styles without being overly educational. Therefore they want their brewery and bottle shop to serve as a space for connection in the neighbourhood, where people can explore tastes in a safe environment. They are working on a taproom at the brewery where people will be welcome to sample drinks in the search for the tastes they like most.
But before that is ready Kakola Brewing Company will attend the Food and Wine Festival Turku in late July. A great chance to taste good beers from local microbreweries and to get to know the people who made them!