The journey of beer from malt to pint glass has been long and eventful. Beer has been used to pay for soldiers' wages, employed as a method of payment and as a medical cure, and is even mentioned in the Code of Hammurabi, in which innkeepers who sold beer at exorbitant prices were ordered to be drowned. The earliest known document that mentions beer goes as far back as 4,000 years to ancient Mesopotamia.

The ancient ancestors of the Finns also enjoyed beer, and our national epic Kalevala does include a rather voluble account of beer brewing. The drink's importance is perhaps underscored by the fact that Kalevala's account of beer brewing is a fair bit more verbose than its account of the creation myth. Indeed, beer even had its own deities , such as Pellonpekko, who allowed barley to grow, and Osmotar, the smith of beer. A lot later, in 1853, our national writer Sakari Topelius launched an idea that includes a comment on beer as good, nutritious and, even when taken cold, warming and healthy.

Finland's only brewery museum

Beer has been brewed successfully in Iisalmi for more than 135 years. Its interesting history can be studied in the brewery museum opened in 1988. The museum introduces visitors to the various aspects of beer's development and a step-by-step account of its production. Museum visitors can immerse themselves in century-old beer equipment, laboratory and office facilities and the advertising workshop which came up with and produced handmade advertisements for shops, cars and newspapers. The one-of-a-kind brewery museum is located in Iisalmi, in the Olvi Oluthalli, close to Olvi's present-day brewery. After their tour in the museum, visitors can enjoy a tasty and varied lunch in the unique restaurant of Olvihalli.

Entry to the museum is free of charge. The museum is open Mon–Fri, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Brewery museum/Olvi Oluthalli
Luuniemenkatu 4, 74100 Iisalmi, Finland
tel. +358 44 781 5154