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Anikó Lehtinen is our guest on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter today. We will talk about Sahti, the ancient Finnish national home brew style with Herlinda Heras in studio and with Anikó Lehtinen on the phone from Helsinki.
But first, today’s show has a couple of Preludes.
Prelude No. 1:
Chris DiMatteo has brought the audio of two old TV ads from the 1960s, for Italian Swiss Colony Wines, just to remind us of how awful the early tv commercials could be. There are plenty of cringe-worthy old beer ads too, and we will hear some of those soon.
Prelude No. 2
Steve Jaxon remembers Tom T. Hall, who passed away just a few days before this episode was recorded. He wrote the song “I Like Beer” one of our unofficial anthems on Brew Ha Ha, and he also wrote the hit song Harper Valley PTA.
Then at 6:46 the regular Brew Ha Ha episode starts.
Our guest on Brew Ha Ha with Steve Jaxon and Mark Carpenter is Anikó Lehtinen, whom Herlinda Heras visited on her recent trip to Finland and Estonia. Anikó can be found on these social media platforms, here is her LinkedIn page, her Twitter account and her Instagram page. We record Brew Ha Ha in the 5:00 PM hour California time, and Anikó is 10 hours ahead where the local time is past 3:00 AM.
Anikó Lehtinen is a journalist, radio producer and university lecturer who covers beer and other subjects. On her recent visit to Helsinki, Herlinda met Aniko, where they judged competitions together, visited breweries and met with brewers.
While waiting to get a connection with Helsinki, we discuss the Sahti. This bottle that we are tasting is pasteurized, but mostly it is not pasteurized when it is brewed and served at home in Finland. It is a dark amber-colored uncarbonated brew that is flavored with juniper berry branches, or more recently, other flavors like birch and lingonberries. Mark notices that it is hazy and has no carbonation, so it is sold in milk cartons in Finland, because the package does not need to support the pressure of carbonization.
Anikó describes how she got into the business of covering beer and the beverage business. She studied History at university and needed some work as a student, so she worked in some bars that served beer. Then she got an opportunity to build a training system at the biggest Finnish brewery. Here she got to know beer at all levels, including its styles and its history, and she finds it fascinating. Kipis! That’s Cheers in Finnish.
They are drinking the Sahti that Herlinda brought back, made by their friend Pekka. There are more than 120 breweries in Finland, mostly micro breweries, for a population of about 5.6 million, so beer is popular. Pekka did important work to preserve the habit of making Sahti, which Anikó describes.