Põhjala was started at the end of 2011, it was four Estonian friends that got together and decided they wanted to make beer they enjoyed. The Estonia craft beer scene at the time was non-existent but these guys where tenacious and had a vision, so to understand how a brewery operated better they decided to go to do an internship down in Scotland at Brewdog. It was here in Scotland and during the internship they met Chris Pilkington, who was curious of their plans to expand the craft beer scene in Estonia.
Curiosity turned into a beautiful partnership, after a few visits and I’m sure some late-night beers, Chris was sold on the vision. He joined Põhjala and became Head Brewer and moved to Estonia. After some months of homebrewing and product development their first beer called Öö (translation Night) in February 2013 was born. So, I guess you are wondering about the name? Well, the word Põhjala means *Northern land* or *Northern area* and comes from Estonian and Finnish mythology — it’s a cold and desolate land up north where mythical characters live.
They also draw inspiration from the Estonian nature and culture. This includes the whole Forest Series line of beers where they use local foraged ingredients and old folk medicine traditions. Today Põhjala brews wide range of beers, but their true passion lies in dark and bold that reflect the harsher winters and weather in Estonia. They now operate in a 100-year-old building that used to be a submarine factory. Since humble beginnings they have now expanded to have a brewery, a merch and beer shop, a barrel room, a Texas BBQ focused beer restaurant, a bit of office space and a sauna. Ace, right? Pohjala continue to move from strength to strength and we could not be happier to have them alongside some of the best breweries. Long live Pohjala!
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