THE ORIGINS OF PÕHJALA BREWERY
The history of Põhjala dates back to the end of 2011, when four beer enthusiasts and home brewers decided to join forces to brew beers. Soon after, the Scottish head brewer Chris Pilkington joined the team, with several years of experience as a brewer at Brewdog.
They started as a gypsy brewery, and in April 2014 they opened their first own brewery in the district of Nõmme (Tallinn). Since then, they have become one of the most internationally recognized breweries - they are currently 57th in the world according to the Ratebeer ranking, and within the top 100, 73 of the breweries are from the United States -.
Today, Põhjala Brewery exports its beers to thirty different markets around the world, and its Imperial Stouts are the most coveted by those who love the style.
THE NEW AGE. PÕHJALA BREWERY & TAP ROOM IN NOBLESSNER
At the end of 2018 they decided to grow and move to the historic area of Noblessner (North of Tallinn). In this new location, in addition to the brewery and the laboratory, they have a bottle and merch shop (ground floor) and a spectacular tap room with 120 seats and 24 taps (first floor).
Like any beer enthusiast worth his salt, I must admit that my visit to the tap room was one of the highlights of my recent trip to Tallinn. And the truth is that, on a small scale, it reflects the character of a city we fell in love with: effervescent, creative, open, and modern.
In addition to a list of excellent beers, Põhjala Tap Room offers delicious Texas BBQ smoked meats courtesy of Canadian Chef Michael Holman. The meats can be accompanied with delicious salads, sandwiches, snacks and desserts. All their breads, sauces, pickles and cakes are homemade.
CELLAR SERIES: VAHTRA
Of the beers I tried, I have to highlight the so-called Vahtra from the Cellar Series, an Imperial Oatmeal Stout (ABV 10.8%) brewed with maple syrup and forest blueberries, aged in bourbon barrels.
I have no words to describe it. Luckily, I was a foresighted enough, and a bottle of Vahtra now rests peacefully in my fridge. When I decide to open it, I will share all the details.