Maku, it means taste

Finland is known for its sauna, so Maku Brewing from Tuusula developed the Bastu Pale Ale, which is designed to be enjoyed especially in connection with steam. Bastu is a light and fresh beer made from Finnish barley malt, the ideal thirst quencher for the sauna. How did sauna beer got its start and what it’s like to be a brewer in Tuusula? We interviewed Maku Brewing’s community manager, Juho Virtanen.

“Our brewery was originally established 9 years ago in the hall behind us and from there we have expanded to adjacent halls over the years. We don’t intend to go anywhere from here – even if the space is gradually getting small for us, we have bought an extra tent in the yard as a storage for dry materials. I don’t think we’re going to leave from this region.

The best thing here are the local people who come to the brewery and buy beer. Especially during the corona pandemic, when there was uncertainty everywhere, we were grateful that people found their way here. We’ve also noticed a funny thing that we are talked about a lot to relatives and friends outside the area. We often hear that people want to buy local beer as souvenirs – we have our own attaché the size of Tuusula, Järvenpää, and why not Kerava, who tell the story of Maku Brewing.”

The operation of the brewery is completely carbon neutral, even carbon negative with double compensation.  The circular economy also plays an important role – for example, the mash produced as a by-product of beer is used as feed for horses and other animals in the surrounding area.

“We noticed that even though we are a Finnish microbrewery and have made a lot of different beers, we don’t have any beer designed for the sauna. Our production team worked hard to make the beer easy to drink and fresh, but at the same time full-bodied in taste. It’s important for the brewery, whose name is “Taste”.

Community Manager Juho Virtanen presents some new beers. The idea for ÄPY beer came directly from technology students of Otaniemi: the hope was for an easy-to-drink beer with a little extra, so a little blood orange was added for it. The students from Aalto University have been publishing a humor magazine of the same name since 1948 and it is usually sold on in the Finnish May Day carnival.

World’s Best Taste

“Last summer, we were a bit bustling when the Maku Brewing O’Makkara sausage, which we developed in cooperation with Helsinki-based Wotkin’s meat wholesaler, won the title of the best salami sausage of the year. Also, our cider won the Best Cider in Finland competition in its own category. We were already getting anxious to see when our beers would start to thrive, because it’s our main product after all. ” Virtanen laughs.

It wasn’t long before Maku Imperial Stout was successful both in Finland and globally – their first victory was in the Finnish Best Beer competition, and then in one of the world’s most prestigious beer competitions, European Beer Stars, held by the Association Private Brauereien, in the Imperial Stout category. 

“When we received the prizes, there was only about 1500 liters of beer left, so it sold out in less than two weeks. Imperial Stout has an eight-month maturation period. After four weeks of fermentation, the beer, which is so rough, is still quite sharp. So, we didn’t get to sell beer during the biggest boom, but there is no shortcut to happiness in beer production. Now the new batch of beer has just been completed and can be purchased either directly from the brewery’s own shop, various beer restaurants or the order selection of Alko.”

Maku Imperial Stout is a black, full-bodied, and barrel-less Russian Imperial Stout, whose flavor profile is dominated by toastiness, dark chocolate, and coffee. 

Maku Brewing

Maku Brewing is a small brewery from Tuusula, Finland, established in 2014. Their name “Maku” means taste in Finnish.

Sarvivälkkeentie 12
04300 Tuusula

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