My friend Allan is a Dane who has lived in Moscow for at least 17 years. He's one of the Three Danes of the Apocalypse, and formerly was Keeper of the Orange Couch.
We first met in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in 1987, over booze.
We moved on to Leningrad by overnight express train just in time for an impromptu Fourth of July celebration. Kim, Barrie and I gathered on the grassy, mosquito-infested bank of an urban canal, a scene made complete when a bottle of the finest Russian vodka materialized from Kim’s backpack. Illuminated by the White Night, we were introduced for the first time to Allan, who was passing through the city with a tour group of his own.
Ominously, as the bottle was passed around, its contents ingested and people slowly got to know each other, Kim and Allan began speaking in hushed tones about Denmark’s answer to Barrie: Kim Andersen, hereafter to be known as Big Kim. Their descriptions of Big Kim were offered to us in impeccable English, although occasionally they would lapse into Danish or even Russian in search of the proper words to explain this larger-than-life phenomenon.
Barrie and I visited Allan in Moscow in 1999, and "craft" beer existed, kinda sorta; it's a story I've told before, and will repeat some day. The following is a recent note from Allan and a few photos. They illustrate the growth of "craft beer" in Russia.
It sure wasn't this way in 1987.
Just visited my local beer pusher at the local market. He now has more than 50 Russian brews on sale, all from microbreweries. Some are in bottles, some are tapped into one liter brown plastic bottles. Many are nasty, some are quite good. See low quality photos attached.
On the last photos, the three I bought this time.
I think it is time for you to come to Russia, and take a one week beer excursion around the country. I will join you. Would be fun and educating.
Hope you are all well there.