Heading out to Russia for a small trip, starting your Transsiberean journey or just dropping by for the 2018 Football World Cup ?
Red square, be there or be…
Our latest trip (Dec. 2017) was a wonderful experience, and so were the beers. For 5 days, we wondered around all the cultural highlights: from the Hermitage museum, to snowy Peterhof and the beautiful Kremlin complex. Afterwards, we hit the main beer spots in the night. So do not miss the vibrant craft beer scene that has been going on in both St Petersburg and Moscow.
Here’s our Russia Craft Beer Guide.
These are our personal opinions based on our visits. There are more places to visit of course. This is just a starting point…
Hermitage, both in- and outside, pure beauty…
St. Petersberg Craft beer
1. Beer Geek Bottle Shop / Bar
Initially, we had some problems finding this small watering hole. Its a small basement bar / bottle shop, which you first need to enter a courtyard away from the street.
The selection of beers was outstanding. Lots of Russian, European and American bottles for sale, even some Belgian lambics. Probably over 300 different bottles. There are 12 taps, having a nice mix of Russian and foreign drafts. The staff and locals helped us out a bit. Small tasting pours are possible.
Panorama view of this cozy place
We opted for a 12.5% Oak Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout with Brett called Wild Russian from Oka River, a small brewery from Alekanovo. This was actually quite good. The medium sour effect had a nice interchange with the woody, chocolate taste of the Imperial Stout. We also had Mosaic IPA (6.5%) from Salden’s brewery, located in Tula. According to the locals, this brewery makes some excellent IPAs. This one was not bad, but it missed some body and fruity character.
12 lovely taps…
and plenty of bottles
They have some nice BA stouts to take back as well, many of them just came from the breweries.
Opening hours: Daily 12-22h
2. Red Rum Tap Room
The Red Rum bar and tap room is elegant, has a nice seating area and is located in a comfy neighbourhood. The interior is in kind of a Scandanavian style and has a lot of character. The draft list is impressive (24 taps) and they often have some crazy-hoppy beers available.
A lot of the local AF Brew brewery on tap. I had tried this brewery before in Belgium, so it was fun to have taste some of their fresh hops.
and lots of choices at fair prices!
Tasters were a great way to get your bearings. We went for a taster set of 5 (approx 500 RUB or 7 EUR), including: AF Brew’s Black Magic (5.8% American-style Porter), Eat the Dust DDH Citra (8% NE IPA), Crossover Milk (5.5% APA), Redrum IPA special edition (8.8% DIPA), Sourrealism Galaxy+Vic Secret (5.7% Sour Ale) and a full glass of AF Brew Goseline Pump: Blueberry (4.8% Gose). We were pretty stoked about the Blueberry Gose. Good mix between the fruity sourness and refreshing character of the beer.
They also had some small snacks, in case you get hungry from all those beers. Don’t miss this great place!
Opening hours: daily 15:00 – 0:00/2:00
Moscow Craft Beer
1. Eric the Red
Probably the biggest craft beer bar of Russia. At first, you wont notice its that big as it sits casually on Arbat street. The ground floor has 20 taps and 100+ bottles. Taps included some nice Russian crafts, as well the heftier De Molen, Pohjala, … .
Lots of choices…
The basement and the upper level again had 20 taps and bottles, each a bit different in atmosphere. You can literally start a vertical pub crawl just within this place.
The top floor also had a very nice selection of Lambics, I even found a 3 Fonteinen Cuvee Armand & Gaston.
even some Belgian goodies
I was lucky, since there had just been a release of the very first Methode Traditionnele Russian Lambic. 8 Barrel Brewing made 5 different variants. The blackcurrant variant for sure tasted promising.
A must visit in Moscow !
Opening hours: daily 09:00-02:00
2. RULE Tap room
Nested in a courtyard steps away from Borovitskaya station, the Moscow Kremlin and Vozdvizhenka street to the Arbat area, Rule Taproom brings craft beer of all sorts to the discerning audience determined and loyal enough to find it.
They have Zagovor brews on draft plus a variety of others. The atmosphere is great if you are into rock and roll – there’s always a mix of punk and (some) metal in the music as well as the decor and overall vibe. Sit back and enjoy anything from a sour beer to a triple IPA, all the while people-watching craft lovers such as yourself enjoy themselves and their tipples. A gem worthy of many a return custom.
Opening Hours: daily 16:00-0:00
What are you waiting for? There’s lots of history and culture to explore, tasty local dishes to try and yes, the Russian Craft Beer scene is booming!
We hope our small guide can already get you a little bit started. Don’t worry about the Russian tourism visa, it’s quite easy (Read More).
Enjoy your time 🙂
Did you make it to Russia? How was the beer? Share your stories with us!