Beer has been a drink in Russia for centuries. The country has good supplies of hops, malts, and wheat that grow well in the North European climate of it. Russia also imports beers, including the fruit beers, Belgian beers, and the German lagers. But certain western sanctions stopped the inflow of liquor, which proved to be benefitting for the local brewers. Foreign beers turned to be highly expensive for the Russians, and the lagers (being produced for masses) required an alternative as well. The 6th largest beer market of the world now produces enough of its beer at home itself and is also developing exciting new tastes.
Beer Consumption Rates in Russia
Beer is ranked as the second most popular alcoholic drink in Russia, after vodka. The per-person consumption of alcohol in Russia is 12.5 litres, out of which beer accounts for 4 litres while the rest is vodka. In the last decade and years, many new Russian beer recipes have been fermented, and new technologies and countless pubs are contributing to the growth of beer culture in the nation.
Craft Beer in Russia
New drinking culture is developing in Russia, and people are now drinking for taste and not for getting drunk. More than two dozen craft beer bars have opened in Moscow alone in the past few years. The home-brewing culture of Russia is also supporting the new phenomenon and culture of Russian beer consumption. Also, there is no license required for brewing/selling the new beer form, and the set-up costs for it are also nominal. While vodka remains popular in the older generation, the love of the young ones lies with beer. Russians are considered to be rampant drinkers, and their average life of 64 years is because of alcoholism. A switch to beer (which may only have 5% to 10% alcohol content) will also be apparent from a health perspective.
Developing Local Flavors
The new microbreweries use the German Malt and the American hops (flower of the hop plant used for flavouring beer). But the local tastes and flavours are also being developed. The breweries in Russia are using ingredients including buckwheat, birch sap, and others for developing the local flavours are being appreciated as well for their innovations.
The craft Russian beer is being increasingly popular, and the craft beer bars are opening every week or a month. It is only 2 or 3 years since the new development starts to progress, in the year 2014. The beer owners will soon be expanding their business, and will also venture abroad.
Beer facts in Russia (the data and analysis) suggest that the craft beer market has managed to assume a 1% share of the total market in only a few years. With the popularity of the beer consumers increasing, the market will continue expanding, bringing Russians and the world new beer flavours and varieties. People can now try many fresh ales, and at a very nominal cost! Craft beers are quick to boil and ferment and can be sold quickly as well. Hence it is also a profitable business that requires the least of resources and inputs. Lastly, it may even end Russia’s “alcoholism” problem and make alcohol consumption safer for the countrymen.