This ancient Finnish style of home-brewed beer (6.0-8.5% ABV), often brewed with rye, enjoys the rare distinction of being a heritage beer style found mostly in only one country.  Typically it has little or no carbonation, is somewhat turbid and contains few if any hops, meaning that its relatively brief shelf life restricts its availability to its home region.  It varies in colour between yellow and dark brown and includes banana, juniper, rye and clove flavours, due to a combination of yeast effects and being filtered through juniper branches.  Light tartness is acceptable, sourness not.  It is distantly related to some of the other folk beers of the Baltic rim, more obviously Estonian koduõlu.


Pihtla Ölleköök on the island of Saarenmaa in Estonia brews both traditional koduõlu and more modern beer styles. (photo: André Brunnsberg)

Other Folk Beer styles

Small production, traditional farmhouse-style beers have been preserved better in the Nordic and Baltic countries than anywhere else, the tradition spilling over into the earthy, coarse-grained Dutch Kuit (also Kuyt or Koyt), a beer that can appear in a variety of forms. 

Norway has a tradition of farmhouse beer styles, collectively Gardsøl, with local names like Heimabrygg, Kornøl and Stjørdalsøl, tracing their origins to the time when the Gulating law obliged all grain farmers to brew ale.  The ancient much-recycled yeast clusters with which these are brewed are called Kveik, which has given its name to a trending craft style.