Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sinebrychoff Porter

When one thinks about beer, the country of Finland does not usually come to mind.  For me, I remember a Scandanavian beer tasting that Clare and I went to where we were able to sample about ten different craft brews from Denmark, Norway, Sweden and, yes, Finland.  Recently, when my parents to Clare and me to AMP 150, I got to try a porter brewed by Sinebrychoff Brewery.

Sinebrychoff Brewery claims to be the oldest brewery in Scandinavia, originally founded in 1819 in Helsinki by a Russian emigrant, Nikolai Sinebrychoff.  The brewery is best known for its porter, but it also produces soft drinks, holding the license to produce all Coca Cola products in Finland.  Since its founding, the company has become one of the largest brewers in Finland.  It has also become part of Carlsberg A/S, an even larger brewing company based out of Denmark.

Setting aside the large corporate nature of the brewery (as I usually prefer small brewers over larger ones), this beer is a good example of a "porter."  I use the quotation marks because, according to the brewer, their "porter" is brewed in accordance with the imperial stout style.  They use four malts -- pilsner, Munich, brown and caramel -- with the latter two types of malts giving the beer its distinctive color, aroma and taste.  The brewer also uses Saazar and bittering hops in the brewing process.

The brewer recommends this beer be paired with game and meat dishes, along with oysters and chocolate desserts.  I had this beer with the first few courses of my Chef's Choice dinner at AMP 150.  It went well with the Velvet Mushroom Soup, the Chicken Liver Pate and the Grilled Sweetbreads.

All in all, this beer is a good example of an imperial stout/porter.  Although I have not seen it in stores, it may be available in larger beer stores or at restaurants like AMP 150. 

ENJOY!

For more about the Sinebrychoff Brewery, check out its website and Wikipedia.

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