Good Beer in Russia
Drinking beer on a long train journey seems to be part of the the culture – for those that are beer drinkers of course. There is always hot tea available and good red wines!
Russia’s beer scene has changed! The art of craft brewing has gained credibility with several venues in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Brent, from our office, was on a research trip and managed to inspect two venues in Moscow. The first, Yves Durdin is everything you desire, great beer, good food and a lively atmosphere, but you can still have a conversation without shouting!! The food is well prepared Russian and regional cuisine. Aside from beer there is an eclectic range of vodka and country type Schnapps. We can offer two hotel options within easy walking distance of both these venues!
Fifth Ocean is a unique beer restaurant supplying beer via special pipes to all the restaurant tables. The restaurant brewer supervises the beer brewing all the time. Each table of the restaurant is equipped with a tap through which the beer is supplied directly from the brewery. The volume of beer is adjusted by the meters at each table. In addition to beer, the restaurant can offer a wide choice of European and Russian cuisine. A piano player plays on the ground floor of the restaurant every evening. A jazz trio plays for lovers of live music on the second floor on Thursdays.
Most excellent beer! And a most novel way to dispense the beer. Once the waiting staff have established your bill number away you go!
1516 Another Brew Pub has popped up in a well located suburb of Moscow. I have been advised that this is within walking distance to the hotel I stayed in in July 2013. That makes 3 such establishments within striking distance! I also noted that they run homebrew competitions and with the number of entrants this is a growing hobby area! When you translate some of the web text you get English you thought only happened in movies! In the glorious institution in 1516 a time of great brews, which will last almost the whole week.
Many Russian like to nibble small dried fish with their beer, and Kvas. You can buy small vacuum sealed packs of these fish at shops. I did try some and whilst I like dried and pickled fish, combined with beer and Kvas I found the taste mix not to my liking.
Other Regions in Russia
St. Petersburg Beer Festival
Around June 16 each year.
The festival was held for the first time in 1997. It acquired a national status in the year 2000. 163.5 liters of beer brewed at 10 Russian enterprises were sold at the festival in recent years. 1,500 artists participated in its entertainment program. The festival was organized by St. Petersburg’s City Administration, Journalists’ League and the largest breweries. Source: RBC.
Paulaner Brauhaus St Petersburg
Naturally many major beer names are opening up beer brewery/restaurant outlets in Russia and these can offer good food, beer and atmosphere for those that find Russian beer not to their palette
Imperial Russian Stout
Imperial Stout, also known as Russian Imperial Stout or Imperial Russian Stout, is a strong dark beer or stout in the style that was brewed in the 18th century in London, for export to the Court of Catherine II of Russia. From then, and right through the First World War, Imperial Russian Stout was shipped to the Baltic, often in large wooden barrels called hogsheads, containing 54 gallons of beer, where it was bottled by a company called Le Coq and sold in St Petersburg and other Russian cities.
Originally brewed by the Thrale’s brewery in London the beer later became known as Barclay Perkins Imperial Brown Stout. When the Barclay Perkins brewery was taken over by Courage the beer was renamed Courage Imperial Russian Stout. It used to be sold in Britain in small nip sized 17cl bottles. Imperial Stouts often have an alcohol content of nine or ten per cent ABV. In the early 20th century the beer was awarded the Royal Warrant of the Court of Catherine II of Russia for donating 5,000 bottles to various hospitals in which the Empress had taken an interest.
St Petersburg Beer Museum
There are beer museums in a number of countries. Saint Petersburg’s has the advantage of being located in the Stepan Razin Brewery, the oldest in Russia. The museum was founded in 1995 to honour the 200th anniversary of the Stepan Razin Brewery. Known in Soviet times as the Kalinkinskiy Beer and Mead Co-operative, it was originally founded – with the approval of Catherine the Great – in 1795 by Abraham Friedrich Krohn (a German immigrant) as something like a modern brewpub. The exhibition was opened exactly 80 years after the production of the first beer under the Stepan Razin brand. The name refers to the famous 17th Century Cossack rebel and pirate who became the hero of countless Russian folk songs and stories.
Displays in the museum explain the brewing process of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage, and the history of brewing in Russia. The focus, of course, is on the foundation and development of the Stepan Razin Brewery itself, but there are also exhibits that show the difference between industrial brewing and traditional home techniques. All the items on display are original, and some date back over 300 years. Pride of place goes to the museum’s vast collection of packaging materials used to store and transport the “liquid bread” (as Russians used to call the foaming brew). During museum tours, visitors get the chance to taste samples of the Stepan Razin range, which includes a wide variety of different brew types.
|Location:||11, Ulitsa Stepana Razina|
|Telephone:||+7 (812) 331-1212|
|Open:||Wednesday and Friday, 11 am to 5 pm.|
|Closed:||Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays|
|Accessibility note:||Sorry, this museum is not wheelchair accessible (stairs).|
|Entrance to the museum is only possible as part of an organized tour group. Photo ID (Passport) is required. Call to join an excursion.|
Balitica is the largest ‘Mass Market’ brand from Soviet times that still produces and exports. They have a range of beers, some are insipid whilst others a passable. They do a reasonable dark beer!!
You can contact the brewery (St Petersburg) for a brewery tour with tastings!
If you are ever on a Volga River cruise and stop at Samara then this local brewery is recommended by many. Don’t you just love the ‘Soviet’ style bar mat/logo!!
Zhiguli Brewery in Samara Address: Volzhskij prospekt, d.4 | Metro Rossijskaja, Samara, Russia Phone Number: (846)3322446
Collection of Russian Beer Advertising posters from Soviet Times.