A Tasting Tour of Russian Craft Beer

St Petersburg is driving the Russian craft beer revolution, and establishing Russia as one of the world’s top beer producers. With brew houses galore, the port city proffers some of the best brews crafted with passion for people with evolved palate. Join us on Russia Brewery Spotlight, as we embark on a tasting tour of St Petersburg. It’s good to know your best options, after all.  

AF Brew

Anti Factory (AF) Brew is a strange name for a taproom. But it’s no stranger to fame. AF Brew burst on to the scene in 2012 and went on to emerge as the leading destination for local and foreign beer geeks in St Petersburg. Initially, the taproom was a DIY initiative by a handful of beer enthusiasts and erstwhile members of staff at BALITKA. Today, the brewery exports delectable craft brews to some of the most frequented and classy bars across Europe. 

The indie ethos of AF Brew is visible across the board, from the offerings to décor. There’s a lot of history to the taproom, being nestled in Kurlyandskaya Ulitsa in St Petersburg in a building that once housed the STEPAN RAZIN, St Petersburg’s oldest brewery. Get ready to experience the industrial chick vibes once you lay foot into the taproom featuring a minimalistic décor. Have your fill with 20 brews on the tap and multiple others imported from across the globe.    

Red Rum IPA continues to be AF Brew’s flagship ale, and an absolute crowd puller. Hoppy and malty, the ale is characterized by a ruby red hue and an impressive personality. Looking for a porter to satiate your beer cravings? Breathe easy, the Black Magic American porter is there for you. It’s composed of roasted barley and exudes a strong coffee aroma. Feel free to experiment with some eccentric brews, including a stout named, Double Chocolate Banana Cake. 

Bakunin Brewery

Hot on the heels of AF Brew St Petersburg is Bakunin Brewery in terms of popularity. The name, Bakunin Brewery stems from a bar in which the brewery was conceived in 2013. The brewery is a brainchild of three craft beer geeks who were keen on adding stimuli to the Russian craft beer scene with some creative brews. They succeeded in their mission and how.   

Till date, Bakunin Brewery has introduced in excess of 150 variants of well-received beers. The beers reflect the founders’ interactions with various Old World breweries, brewing techniques, unique yeast strains and ingredients during their Europe travels. Sample a few experimental ales that’ll leave you clamoring for more in Bakunin Brewery’s taproom on Gorokhovaya Street. 

The taproom named, Rockets & Bishops is a vibrant place with a fascinating décor and lots to offer to satiate your appetite. From flagship brews to the recent releases, you name it. Plus, delectable burgers are there to elevate your craft beer experience. Don’t forget to sip the Red Maniac smoked Chili IPA, the flagship ale of Bakunin Brewery with refreshing, fruity flavor. 

Vasileostrovskaya

When in St Petersburg, it’s worth paying homage to a craft brewery that pioneered the Russian craft beer revolution. Located on the Vasilyevsky Island, Vasileostrovskaya has been delighting beer geeks with some of Russia’s most loved brews with bold, gourmet flavors. Since 2002, the brewery is one of the oldest private craft breweries in the port town with a cherished legacy.     

An epoch-making moment in Vasileostrovskaya’s journey came in 2012 when it created a non-filtered cloudy lager. It was a far cry from anything sold in Russia back then. The tendency to experiment stuck with the brewery, leading it to creating multiple globally-acknowledged beer varieties with bold, innovative flavors. You can credit the brewery for introducing the fermentation-in-the-bottle methodology, and unleashing a whole variety of seasonal beers. 

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