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Väinämöinen

  • Juicy Pale Ale
  • Octane rating: 5.5%vol.
Väinämöinen

"From the virgin air and the blue black sea he was born
The magic Sampo with lid of many colours was forged
By his sagas shattered and forever lost
Eternal white bard of Kalevala
Drink the beer of the wisdom-maiden of Kalew
With honey, bear spittle and pine cones was brewed
Spell the lost words, sing the magic songs"

Väinämöinen

The Background Story

"Words shall not be hid nor spells buried might shall not sink underground though the mighty go." ― Elias Lönnrot

Nordic folklore is the result of a collection of beliefs, oral traditions through metaphorical narratives and material culture, having been derived and passed down through generations by the peoples of common Germanic, and to a lesser extent, Finnish, Sami, and Baltic countries.

One of the main essences of this folkore is the intimate relationship of man with the eternal spiral cycle of Nature. All things are temporary but at the same time regenerative. All is restored but never repeated. This is reflected in many examples throughout the history of the Nordic cultures and still today. The Kalevala, Finland’s most significant piece in its literary history, is a prime example of such metaphorical narrative. It comprises an epic array of rune songs of Karelian and Finnish mythology, foregathered and published by Elias Lönnrot in the 19th century, describing shamanic symbolism, practices, and cosmology. The Kalevala begins and ends with the central character, divine hero Väinämöinen. He is the guardian spirit of the water, who comes from his mother, Ilmatar, the virgin spirit of the air. After spending hundreds of years in the womb of his mother floating on the sea, he escaped to land by praying to the sun, the moon, and Ursa Major. It was on this land that Väinämöinen cultivated the first flora and helped humans to find barley to plant as the archetype of fertility.

Another example of metaphorical narrative in the 20th century is the life legacy of Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson (1924-1993), who was an Icelandic rímur singer and founder of Ásatrúarfélagið (i.e. Ásatrú Fellowship) in 1972. He spent most of his life pursuing lcelandic rímur and edited textbooks of this verse style and several anthologies in order to preserve knowledge from the Icelandic folklore based on the Old Norse collective literary texts, Edda, written and compiled by the Icelandic historian, Snorri Sturluson, back in the 13th century (1179-1241).

On the other hand, as instance of this organic interrelationship between mankind and Nature is manifested in material culture, Nordic Classicism architecture created in Scandinavia between 1910 and 1930 is the result of the transition between the architectural movements National Romanticism (i.e. Jugendstil & Art Nouveau) and Functionalism (i.e. Modernism). The Finnish architect, Alvar Aalto, (1898-1976) is to be credited for the most prolific work of this movement. He based his “organic architecture” on diverse philosophical sources such as Goetian science, following the forms seen in Nature, and organisms free from straight angles as a foundation for the building plan. This approach can also be seen as the basis of other previous architect movements such as the anthroposophical architectural masterpiece, the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland, designed by the Austrian philosopher and architect, Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), which derived the architecture of Waldorf schools.

With this magical libation we bid you, sons of the Earth, to dive into the waters of Nordic folklore wisdom and to remind you that nothing is ordinary in our inseverable connection with Nature.

The fine prints

This label is a double tribute to the Finnish and Karelian national saga “Kalevala” [1835] compiled by Elias Lönnrot [1802-1884] and Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson [1924-1993]; sheep farmer and founder of the Ásatrúarfélagið in Iceland [1973].

The name of the beer is after the old and wise shaman god “Väinämöinen”, central character of the “Kalevala”.

A number of elements from additional inspirational sources came into play during the conceptual development such as “Prose Edda” by Snorri Sturluson [1179-1241], the “Poetic Edda” [1990] performed by Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson, the tragic play “Faust” [1808-1832] by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe [1749-1832], the books “Goethean Science” [1883] by Rudolf Steiner [1861-1925], “Second Goetheanum” building [1923-1928] by Rudolf Steiner, Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s imagery [1865-1931], Otto Joseph Alanen’s imagery [1885-1920] and Alvar Alto’s [1898-1976] architecture and furniture design philosophy as hint of Nordic Classicism style [1910-1930].

The label looks as if were engraved on wood emphasizing the crudeness in the aesthetic. A simple etching-technique to suggest the folkloric nature of the theme.

The shape of the label was produced in line with the Goethean Science [1883] by Rudolf Steiner. Jonathan Hultén (our artist) let his hand run free from one point to the other while drawing the form/frame of the label, thus letting it grow into being as if an organism. The shapes are inspired from the second Goetheanum [1923-1928], partly adjusted to fit with the components and mostly produced by chance, intuition and Jonathan’s hand pulse.

The label features the portrait of Sveinbjörn Beinteinsson depicted as Väinämöinen himself with his long white bard such as the mythological Green Man and The King Matjaž from Carantania. Väinämöinen is coming out from his mother's womb (Ilmatar, his mother) surrounded by the sea (his father) in line with the Rune I. “Birth of Väinämöinen” from the “Kalevala”.

The look of the sea is inspired from the sea in the image "The Defence Of Sampo" [1896] by Akseli Gallen-Kallela.

The pike found in the label is an allegory of the fire fish described in the Rune XLVIII. “Capture of the fire fish”. The illustration is derived from a pike that Jonathan himself caught at his grandparent’s place during summer 2012 in Ramsås (Härnösand).

It is also found the special ingredients of the beer - the pine cone, the bear's spittle, and the bee (honey) described in Rune XX. “The Brewing of beer”.

Above the logo it appears the magical Sampo forged by the skilful blacksmith Ilmarinen (the Eternal Hammerer) according to the Rune X. “Ilmarinen forges the Sampo”.

The latter elements from the three bullet points above are inspired by Joseph Alanen’s work depicting some motif on Kalevala at the time of the fashionable German Jugend-style (magazine) [19th century].

The logo font is derived and reworked from one of the Joseph Alanen's artwork.

The colour scheme suggests a plain notion of Alvar Aalto’s colour scheme concept in relation to his furniture design. The simple whites, blacks and nature-coloured wood dominate.

Flavour profile

Silky pale ale with straw colour like hazy winter sun. This brew has an epic flavour profile forged by hop fruitiness and refreshing juicy character. Drink the magical Sampo of the boundless forest of Kalevala!

Formula

Malts: Vienna, Wheat Malt, Naked Oat Malt and Rye Malt

Bittering hops: Challenger

Aroma hops: Styrian Goldings Celeia

Dry-hopping: Cascade, Mandarina Bavaria, Motueka and Styrian Wolf

IBU: 30

Availability

Late February

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