The Helsinki Fish Pub Crawl


On 12 December 2003, the first documented Helsinki Fish Pub Crawl was held. This is its story.

[IMG: ahven] Punavuoren Ahven

We assembled at the Punavuoren Ahven (west of Iso Roobertinkatu, at Punavuorenkatu 12), where Phil and Anna set about assembling a strange paper and cardboard creation that would be our companion for the evening). While we were imbibing beery liquids, Phil explained the plan for the evening:
He prepared two sets of cards. One set contained the names of the crawlers (Philippe, Topi, Markku, Anna, and Phil). The person whose name was selected would select a card from the eight in the other set - six pub cards and two other items.
One of those items was the cardboard creation - a fish hat. When chosen, the fish would be placed atop the head of the lucky person selecting it. After the selection of the next pub, the travel there, and the drinking of some beer, the hat would be removed.
Phil remained silent as to the exact nature of the second special card.

After the drinking of such liquids as Fuller's ESB and what I seem to recall might have been London Pride, the cards were produced. Phil chose the card for the Hilpeä Hauki.

[IMG: in the Ahven


[IMG: hauki] Hilpeä Hauki

Four of us arrived by bus at the Hilpeä Hauki, in Kallio (at Vaasankatu 7), as Philippe had to leave early. As Andreas couldn't be with us, there was no-one to admonish us for not walking all evening.
I remember draught Young's Double Chocolate Stout being drunk. Again, Phil took a photo to document the progress of the evening - cleverly ensuring that he himself didn't end up on film. I picked the card for the Janoinen Lohi, and we were off again, by tram to Töölö.

[IMG: in the Hauki]


[IMG: lohi] Janoinen Lohi

We did a little bit of extra walking due to slight confusion (there are two Fish pubs in Töölö). But we did arrive unharmed - and ready for a drink - at the Janoinen Lohi (Linnankoskenkatu 12). We found ourselves in the middle of a pre-Christmas party complete with costumed characters standing between us and the bar and toilets. However, we did not remain thirsty for long. Huvila ESB was on tap, so we had some of this lovely beverage. Phil chose the Leijuva Lahna, and a discussion ensued about the best way to get there. I seem to recall that a taxi won.

[IMG: in the Lohi]


[IMG: lahna] Leijuva Lahna

In the Leijuva Lahna (Iso Roobertinkatu 13), Topi met up with some friends and explained to them how Fish pub crawls work. We drank Andechs Dunkel and possibly other things on this rather relaxed stop on our journey.

Finally, someone chose a card for something other than a pub. It was Topi. It was the fish hat. He dutifully placed it on his head.

[IMG: smiling fish]

We still needed to know where we were heading next. Markku chose the Kaunis Kampela. After a little more beer and socialising, we headed to Lauttasaari by taxi.

[IMG: in the Lahna]


[IMG: kampela] Kaunis Kampela

A credit card waiting patiently behind the bar of the previous pub saw us separate, but we were soon reunited at the Kaunis Kampela (Lauttasaarentie 10). The fish survived the journey too, though the barmaid wasn't sure what to think of it at first. However, once we explained what was going on, she seemed to have no problem serving us Anchor Christmas Ale and giving us a package to take to the final pub.

[IMG: a tipsy fish?]

With three cards remaining, Anna chose the Vastarannan Kiiski, and Topi removed the hat. Phil revealed that the second non-pub card would have required the lucky winner to drink his/her next beer through one of the straws that had journeyed with us the entire evening.

[IMG: in the Kampela]

[IMG: same, another view]


[IMG: kiiski] Vastarannan Kiiski

[IMG: Are we there yet?]

Finally, after another trip by bus, it was back to Töölö for the Vastarannan Kiiski (Runeberginkatu 26). Sadly, we were without Topi for the final pub, where I believe we drank some beer to finish the Fish evening. Phil and I caught the night bus, but Markku's evening wasn't quite finished.

[IMG: the fish prepares for the ride home]

Very tentative plans began to form for a William K pub crawl. We aren't sure what would replace the fish hat, though.

[IMG: in the Kiiski]


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