Finland has a long history with beer dating back to the Middle Ages, and is home to the oldest commercial brewery still in existence in the Nordic countries, Sinebrychoff (1819). Finland even has its own beer day, celebrated on October 13th, and ranks as one of the top countries in the world in per capita consumption of beer.
“This is a beer-loving country, perfect ground for the latest Mikkeller location,” says Janne Lankila, who is Mikkeller’s partner and co-founder of the bar. He has always been passionate about food and beer and has years of international experience from time spent in the Netherlands, Barcelona and New York. Being a fan of Mikkeller, the opportunity to establish a Mikkeller bar in Helsinki was a dream come true.
“Helsinki stands as a link city between West and East, a diplomatic hub and an ever more popular tourist destination. With such a mix of people, cultures and palates, our main mission at Mikkeller Helsinki is not only to open a new space to drink craft beer – there are plenty of those in town – our goal is to introduce a space curated to provide our guests with a memorable experience, delivering great beer choices hand-in-hand with a friendly, knowledgeable and bespoke service,” he says.
In charge of the daily business of the bar is Portuguese-born Rui Da Costa, who started working behind the bar in his dad’s restaurant at age 13. While attending University in Lisbon, he opened a bar with a colleague to help pay for his studies. Rui recently left Barcelona, where he lived for the past nine years, to be part of this new Mikkeller project.
The Helsinki Bar will stay true to Mikkeller’s bar concept. It will have 20 rotating beers on tap from Mikkeller and other top craft breweries and collaborators, plus an extensive bottle list. The bar will also serve a light food menu consisting of smørrebrød (open-faced sandwiches) and snacks.
Though the overall concept is ‘classic Mikkeller,’ the bar will be one-of-a-kind in its design. Behind the interior is Mikkeller’s new designer, Denmark’s own Camilla Monsrud. She came up with the idea of having Mikkeller’s art director Keith Shore create unique illustrations for the walls inspired by Swedish-Finnish author and illustrator Tove Jansson, world-renowned for creating the Moomins. Shore has merged inspiration from Jansson’s work with his own famous label designs featuring Mikkeller mascots Henry and Sally. The illustrations complement the minimalist design of the bar, with its distinctive colors, beautiful tile floor and a bespoke wooden bar.
Mikkeller Bar Helsinki