Well cheerio! This is the last remaining piece of my five-day hitchhiking challenge. If you missed any of my earlier posts and wish to catch up, you can take a look at the posts from Day One, Day Two, Day Three or Day Four.
DAY FIVE – 230km from Pori to Forssa via Turku
If there was anything weird about that morning, it was that I didn’t physically feel like a big bag of shit. Getting to have a close to decent night of sleep indoors seemed to be a miracle maker.
Even my mind was bright, knowing that this Odyssey would very likely come to a fine end. The Grande Finale of our trip would be a small microbrewery festival in the city of Turku. We didn’t have a clue about such an event before our supposed final destination, Mallassepät brewery, replied to our mail telling us that they’d be attending the festival.
We didn’t even need to drag our spoiled asses at side of the road ourselves, since our friend took us out the city. We grabbed our morning coffees and some breakfast from a motel where we were left at, and got on the road.
The following clarified that it was going to be a pleasant day again. We got our first ride after 20 minutes of waiting. A fun and lively woman and her elderly mother were on their way to a family event close to Turku, so we got a nice hundred kilometres further. It was an easygoing ride colored by the thickest Ostrobothnian (Pohjanmaa) accent that I’ve heard in my life.
From the town of Mynämäki, we made the last 30 kilometres to Turku with a guy of our age. He was a very nice, open an interesting dude who seemed to be a passionate skydiver. His hobby obviously offered us a highly intriguing topic for the whole ride. I’ll certainly have my go some day when I feel less of a chicken and a scrooge.
Anyway, it was barely midday and we had made it to Turku. We were taken right next to the beautiful Turku cathedral, where the festival was held. This time we could start our fine culinary work even before lunch.
Turku Craft Beer Park 2021
As the name suggests, this festival was held in the small and pretty park right next to the cathedral in the city center. Only a handful of microbreweries and a few food trucks attended, which made it a small and easy-going event to my liking.
Now, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, ready thyselves for my vulgar reviews once again. Here you go with some of my favorite picks from the day, s’il vous plaît.
Coolhead Brew (Tuusula)
Without a doubt, Coolhead was the most famous brewery in the park. In recent years, they have become widely known from their wide selection of delicious sour beers that are found all around the country.
Squish of Death Smoothie Sour 5% – A very thick, tasty and interesting sour. In the making, they’ve used peach, graham crackers, marshmallows, Madagascar vanilla, Ceylon cinnamon, milk sugar & banana puree. The result is certainly so smoothie-like that it was easy to forget I was day drinking.
Mamu Brewing (Helsinki)
Mamu was a totally new pick for me but a pleasant surprise as one. The brewery established in 2020 is fresh, just as the taste of their light and sour craft beers. Apparently the name of this immigrant ran business really does come from the slightly negative toned word “mamu” (Maahanmuuttaja = immigrant), so points on their approach.
Raw Sour 2,8% – Light, fresh and tasty basic sour flavored with coriander seeds. You’d easily expect a watery disappointment from such a low-alcohol product but nah, they truly delivered. A great summer drink that I’ll get more from their brewery some day to come.
It was time to meet our makers. In case you forgot from the first post, their stunning sour beer sent us in the psychedelia from where we got the idea for this bohemian brewery crawl in the first place. We obviously stuck to their counter for half the day like two little fan boys (that we are).
These guys were chill and fun but most importantly, their beer selection was as delicious as expected. It’s easy to believe they are serious when claiming their goal is to become the best microbrewery in Finland. Perfectional approach and the desire to create something different was noted in a few of their drinks.
Smoky Road Rauchbier 6,8% – Where German style smoked beers can sometimes taste like liquid sausage, this one stands out as something else. And that is as the most well-balanced smoked beer I’ve had so far.
Naantalin Eeppinen IPA NEIPA 5,0% – Hazy, juicy, hoppy goodness with its scent and flavor reminding you of a tropical breeze. From the billion IPAs I’ve had, Naantalin Eeppinen is once again something different and yummy in the market strength category. Bestseller of the brewery.
Liquorice Tonka Bean Raspberry Sour 5,0% – What a trio. It’s like the goddesses of beer, Ninkasi and Nephthys, descended upon earth and brewed this stunner with their own hands. It’s thick, sweet, sour and just exploding with flavor. In case you wonder, tonka beans are seeds of an exotic plant mostly used in perfume industry. In this beer however, tonka beans give a unique twist and an addition to a combination that already works. This candy of a beer is one of my all-time favorites.
Also yes, we were too busy sipping our precious candy sours to even snap a picture of it. Imagine Gollum getting his filthy hands on the ring, and you should get the idea.
It would’ve been a blast to stay for a night and go out in Turku but that was left for another time. I had promised to attend a regathering back at home that evening, which is why we had been in such a hurry the whole week. Shortly after meeting my friend, we got our backpacks back and started looking for a ride to take us home.
And BOOM. After a surprisingly painless effort in the sun, a pair of siblings stopped in the city center and took us in. They were on their way to Forssa too, which meant that the circle was finally closing. Our last ride was highly pleasant as well, as the duo turned out to be all open-minded and nice. The guy driving was an experienced solo traveler with whom we discussed about his experiences in Mongolia and other countries.
After an hour we were already taken directly to my home. That was the end of our fine journey – for now.
It was easy to feel like a winner. I don’t think anybody in their right minds would have tried the same challenge nor managed to stay faithful for the mission like we did. As a good reminder for that, we had several sunburns, blisters, severe exhaustion and sleep deprivation worth a week. But as an experience driven person, that’s all just cream in the big fat cake of extraordinary achievements.
One On The Road Finland – Bum Voyage Finland – HobOddysey Finland – Bohemian Craftsody Finland – or whatever this fine cultural act should’ve been called again – had it’s twists and turns.
All the engineer-minded people must’ve been waiting for me to turn in the excel files already, so here you go folks. The numbers of our journey are such:
- 5 Days
- 4 Nights
- 2 Thirsty hitchhikers
- ~1500 Traveled kilometres
- 21 Rides
- 3 Microbrewery visits
- 1 Craft beer festival attended
- ~4 Hours avarage of sleep per night
- 1 meltdown (2 x 0,5 meltdowns in Paltamo)
Then we had a ton of laughs followed by another ton of desperation, several sudden plan changes, almost unlimited hype but most importanly – zero regrets.