Welcome to the Finland themed issue of the SBR

Welcome to the first issue of the SBR in 2020 and the first-ever Finland-themed issue of the SBR!

With this issue of the magazine, we complete the ‘cycle’ of country-themed issues – the previous Norway-, Sweden- and Denmark-themed issues were Nos. 2, 3 and 4, 2019, respectively, of the magazine.

Again, in this Finland issue, it would still be an exaggeration to say that I was able to pick and choose among numerous potential articles. Nevertheless, herewith a very warm ‘thank you’ to those of you who’ve contributed to the 6 Finland-themed articles in the SBR issue at hand. An even bigger ‘thank you’ goes out our good friend and loyal supporter Mikko Salmi, who personally sourced each and every one of the Finland-themed articles. Thanks, Mikko, for making this possible!

After all, we’re covering topics such as the Sahti tradition, yeast cultures for traditional farmhouse beers, a historical look at both the whole emergence of craft beer in Finland as well as the brewmasters making Sinebrychoff so highly successful over the past 200 years, the regional brewing scene in Jyväskylä, and, finally, a piece on a Finnish whisky distillery. 

Being able to complete the aforementioned ‘cycle’ ought to mean that I’m a very happy editor. However, there are bitter drops in the cup of sweet Finnish beer! Looking first specifically at the issue at hand, I have to say that it is very disappointing that I have proved unable (I can assure you that it is not for lack of trying!) to source any material at all from either the Finnish breweries themselves or from any of the ‘official bodies’ in the Finnish brewing- and soft drinks industry – neither the Finnish Master Brewers’ Guild, The Finnish Brewers’ Association nor the Finnish Craft Brewers’ Association has chosen to submit contributions to this issue. In fact, they’ve not even bothered to reply to my numerous requests, pleas and reminders…

Looking at the broader picture at this point, it’s of course logical to ask the question as to whether the idea of country-themed issues, seen as an important element in the ongoing efforts to revitalize the SBR, has been a success. This question can obviously only be answered by you, our readers, and our advertisers. So what has the feedback been from these? Well, virtually non-existent! As always, my perpetual calls for feedback in my editorials have been answered by total silence. The only encouraging fact in this context is that when I’ve met you readers in person, the feedback I’ve received has been very positive.

As I’ve reminded you several times also in these editorials, my work as the technical editor is only symbolically reimbursed economically, so the driving motivation for me has to be the ambition to make a difference – to help drive the SBR forward. So the apparent total lack of interest from anybody out there is extremely frustrating! When you’re in a very crucial process of trying to make improvements, it is, of course, necessary to know if your efforts are working, and how far down the road you have gone. And in our situation around our magazine, we have very little information to use as the basis for our evaluations. 

On the positive side, though, our initiative with offering free subscriptions until and including June of this year seems to a been a success, totalling more than 50 new subscribers/readers. And yes, this offer still stands; just go to https://scandbrewrev.dk/subscribe/ and sign up. And why not tip a few friends about this offer as well?

Please remember that we at the SBR always very strongly encourage you to comment on anything you wish to comment on in the magazine, but obviously particularly to the editorial.  Please forward your comments to anders@kissmeyer.dk.

Best wishes for a prosperous and joyful 2020 to you all! 

Anders Kissmeyer, Technical Editor
Scandinavian Brewer’s Review