In Marennes, France, we met sailors and fishermen with touching personal stories.
Luna and Achilles met with Kaj, an amazing guy with a brewery that goes as far back as 1873.
Today his company Tornion Panimo looks brand new and trendy: a microbrewery with young staff and a range of attractive products, including gluten-free beers. But Kaj and the people there see themselves as continuing a much bigger story, a story of Lappish persistence in brewing a genuine Lappish beer.
The brewery in Tornio was the first in the region. It survived through the wars and the prohibition, and struck gold with the beer Lapin Kulta in the 1960s. “Lapland’s Gold” became an export success and a domestic favourite. So much so that in the 90s every third beer drunk in Finland was a “Lapin Kulta”! But then the brewery was bought by a multinational company which eventually shut down the local production in 2010.
Fortunately, the brewery was not demolished as first intended, and the area was redeveloped with EU funding into an entertainment complex. It now hosts a restaurant and a concert hall, an activity park and an escape room, sports facilities – and the microbrewery Tornion Panimo! The new company itself also benefited from EU support which helped re-establish the artisanal way of brewing and open up new export prospects.
Luna and Achilles tasted several products including – surprise! – Road Trip Project Beer! It’s a very enjoyable light lager, according to our travellers who were happy and grateful to be given a couple of boxes by Kaj – to share with new friends along the Baltic route!