Beer, Cider and Medovukha

Story of craft revolution

By Federal Agency for Tourism

Beer by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Emerging from the Soviet era, Russia could not boast a wide range of beer varities. Since the 2010s, it has seen a craft revolution. 

Sick and tired of ‘euro lager’, beer aficionados all over the country started founding their localised small-scale breweries, adding new ingredients, opening bars with rich beer assortments. Today, any large city has at least one beer place.  

Grenader Brewery by Grenader BreweryFederal Agency for Tourism

There is hardly a beer sort that Russian craft brewers haven't experimented with from ultra-bitter IPA to fruit beer. Many craft bars serve strong and super-strong imperial stouts and barleywines. “Imperial” no longer even means “stout”. There are many craft bars that offer imperial IPAs and even goses, a traditional German beer style.

Beer with burger and fries by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Russians take a creative approach to brewing craft using different hops and malt, fruit, berries, vegetables, cereals, spices and beans.

The tomato gose that traces its origins to the Salden’s brewery in Tula is considered Russia's unique contribution to the world collection of craft varieties. Smaller breweries have been teaming up with their European and American counterparts for joint products.  

Beer by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Craft is not just beer. Medovukha is a traditional drink that traces it origins to ancient Russia. Slavs enjoyed what they called “standing honey” fermented for years in buried oak barrels. This drink was far stronger than the low-alcohol medovukha, a 19th-century invention.

Suzdal is home to Russia’s most famous medovukha brewery.

Glass of beer by RustourismFederal Agency for Tourism

Cider is another Russian craft. This low-alcohol drink was for a long time called “apple kvass”. The very word “cider” is first recorded in Russian in the second half of the 18th century. 

Today, Russia produces both industrial and craft varieties, the latter exclusively from direct-pressure fresh juice. Flavoured ciders feature fruit and berries, of which black currant is the most popular. 

Leo Wine&Kitchen restaurant by Leo Wine&Kitchen restaurantFederal Agency for Tourism

Cidererias offering these and other varieties have opened in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Saratov and Samara.

Credits: Story

Сhief Сonsultant — Ekaterina Drozdova, restaurateur, gastronomic entrepreneur, food and social activist, Contributors— Anton Obrezchikov, Proximity Russia, Denis Yershov

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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