« Helsinki - another fine day | Main | Silja Lines (シリヤライン) - a very cool cruise ship »

June 09, 2005

The Gold of Lapland

Finland is the home to one of my favorite beers, Lapin Kulta, which translates as the "Gold of Lapland". I hear that the company actually had to buy a gold mine in order to use that name and for a long time they described their business as "gold mining and brewing".

I am not going to argue that Finland has some special process for making lager beer that makes this a fantastic drink, but I do have personal reasons for liking it.

In 1990, I took my first real trip abroad, spending six weeks in Scandinavia and Russia. When our group was leaving Russia, we discovered that we had tickets for the train, but no reservations, and we could not board the train. As a result, we had to find an alternative way to leave the country.

This was actually a serious problem. At that time, Russia was the USSR and visa violations were a crime. And the last thing one wanted to do was be American and over-staying one's welcome.

Anyway, we ended up renting a bus to take us from Leningrad to the border with Finland. And to prepare, we went to the hard currency store to stock up on food and drink. I bought a six pack of Lapin Kulta beer. That was sufficient to keep me pleasantly buzzed through out the trip and I arrived in Finland feeling pretty good about things.

I saw an advertisement for the beer today. It made me realise it is more fun to dodge Russian border guards than to go to client meetings. Obviously, I have made some poor career choices.

Posted by Kirk on June 9, 2005 05:36 AM