Ukrainian beer photos
Posted in Beer on 2006-12-02 12:53
During the Russian/Ukrainian holiday I took a number of beer photos specifically for use when blogging about the beer, but then they were lost, so I did the blog posting with new photos taken at home. Now, of course, most of them are found again, and so I decided to do a piece with just beer photos. I thought about calling it "Ukrainian beer porn", but decided that pictures of industrial pale lager wouldn't be desirable enough to warrant the name "porn".
Kiosk selection (Hurzuf, Ukraine)
This picture shows the beer selection in a perfectly normal kiosk in the Ukraine. I count 40 different beers, most of them Ukrainian, and for the Ukraine that's slightly above average. Elsewhere in the world finding that many domestic beers in one place is really out of the ordinary. You can't read the price tags in the downscaled picture, but most of the beers are priced at 4 UAH, which is about 0.50 EUR, but one of the local beers (from the Crimea) is at 3 UAH. The irony is that that was one of the better beers.
Drinking beer, Ukrainian style (Hurzuf, Ukraine)
We quickly got fed up with the very loud and annoying music in every place that served food and or drink, and so decided to drink our beer the way that the locals did. This meant buying it in a kiosk like the one above, and then sitting down anywhere you could outside to drink it. This is on the beach promenade. We've tried park benches, railway stations, and the beach as well. It's actually much nicer than you might think before you've tried it. As long as the weather holds, that is.
Desant DMB (Hurzuf, Ukraine)
I'm quite happy with this picture, although the beer it shows is nothing much out of the ordinary. The name is Desant DMB (a brand with a military image, as you can tell), and it's brewed by Obolon, the biggest Ukrainian brewery. I rated it at 2.7 out of 5, and summarized it as follows: "Not much taste, but refreshing and free of any off tastes." That's a reasonable summary of Ukrainian pale lager in general.
Note that the label says 10.5% on the left and "Alk 4.3% vol". This may sound contradictory, but the 10.5% is the strength of the beer on the plato scale. (The plato scale indicates how much sugar there was in the wort before fermentation.)
Arsenal Mitsne (Hurzuf, Ukraine)
A "strong" beer, at 6.5%. Most Ukrainian breweries offer both a "svitle", meaning pale (which is normal industrial pale lager), and a "mitsne", meaning strong (which is the same, but a little stronger). The picture is taken on the beach promenade just like the drinking picture above.
Russia and the Ukraine may sound like terrible destinations for anyone looking for a decent pint of beer, and while both countries are for the most part deserts of pale lager, things are not nearly as bad as they may seem
Read | 2006-10-28 15:55
Parvez Khan posted a long list of questions in the comments, and I thought I'd take a separate blog entry to reply to them, since he had quite a few questions
Read | 2008-01-01 22:39
winnie - 2008-09-19 15:29:33
Hey! Did you know in Ukraine it is considered very rude to sit on concrete / rock. Just thought I'd let you know in case you get nasty looks and remarks from locals.
Like your sight though as I'm trying to find the name of a beer dh liked while there so I can find it stateside.
tatyana - 2011-02-09 11:28:54
I'm ukrainin, and never in my entire life (I'm 40) heard such nonsense like this one; number one : sitting on the rock or concrete is never concidered to be rude, and number two "locals" don't usually give nasty looks, and especially remarks to the guests - this is actually a sign of a bad taste! This comment upseets me - that's how rumors about countries and nations are created!
Sergey - 2011-04-26 02:51:03
Hey dude, I thought you promised not to call Ukraine "the Ukraine".
Lars Marius - 2011-04-26 13:43:28
@Sergey: I did, but this posting is from 2006. I'm not going back and retrospectively changing all postings. After all, as I pointed out, there's nothing disparaging about "the Ukraine" as opposed to "Ukraine".
Sergey - 2011-05-06 07:42:21
@ Lars Marius: I understand that you don't want to go back and change all postings. You should have left it at that. However, as a Ukrainian I will tell you that it's very "disparaging" to call Ukraine "the Ukraine".
Lars Marius - 2011-05-06 07:46:25
@Sergey: How is it disparaging? Why? After all, nobody considers "the Netherlands" disparaging, so why should "the Ukraine" be different?
That it's clumsy, inelegant, and that there's no good reason to include the "the" are all arguments I can agree with. But "disparaging"?
JoddEHaa - 2011-05-06 08:17:45
Hvis dette stemmer (det er mye rare feil i arikkelen) så forklarer det hvorfor Sergey er litt miffed.
> Ukraine: Both AmE and BrE have the Ukraine, but both my informants and I believe that since it's become a country in its own right, we're more likely to call it Ukraine. We've probably been influenced by the fact that many newspapers are now eschewing the the. It's thought to have originally meant 'borderland', and the the came from the sense of the name as a description.
Lars Marius - 2011-05-06 08:32:33
@JoddEHaa: does it explain anything? If the independence of Ukraine makes any difference, how long is the Netherlands going to have to wait to get rid of the "the"?
I looked at Wikipedia, too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Name_of_Ukraine#.22Ukraine.22_versus_.22The_Ukraine.22 No explanation there, either.
Lars Marius - 2011-05-06 08:36:10
@Sergey: I'm afraid we have different tastes in beer, then. Here are my favourites: http://www.garshol.priv.no/blog/169.html
The Ukrainian beer I liked the most was definitely Lvivske Porter.
Is there a Slavutych microbrewery in Kiev? Do you have more details about it? If there is one we should list it on RateBeer: http://www.ratebeer.com/Places/Country/Cities/kiev/208.htm
JoddEHaa - 2011-05-06 09:37:10
@larsga true, no explanation like for: the Netherlands - plural the Gambia - river the Bronx - land belonging to the Bronck family, or the river
the best explanation I can come up with is contagion from German or French.
Sergey - 2011-05-06 20:08:53
@Lars Marius. I respect the fact that we have different taste in beer. You seem very knowledgeable when it comes to beer. I'm a casual beer conensure and that's why I drink popular brands. On the other hand your taste seems more sophisticated. Perhaps I can try your recommendations some day. However it will be hard for me because I live in USA.
As far as Slavutich microbrewery, I went to your link and it's already there under it's short name Shato. It's full name is Shato Slavutich Brewery (Øàòî Ñëàâóòè÷ Ïèâîâàðíÿ). Here is a more descriptive link http://www.restaurant.ua/kiev/restoran/shato-brewery/ Unfortunately English version only has bare bones information. So here is a translation from Ukrainian (just the part about beer). There is a reason why this establishment is called a brewery. Here beer is brewed fresh, aromatic, on tap. You can witness on your own the process of drink preparation, which you're drinking. The equipment is exclusively provided by the firm "Slavutich". Three types of beer are brewed - "Silver" (4.5% density 12) "Golden" (5% density 12) and "Platinum" (5.5% density 14). Degustation is recommended in the order in which it was listed, transitioning towards more precious metals.
Now let us get back to " the Ukraine". Your buddy JoddEHaa was almost right. Ukraine does not mean borderland, in Ukrainian it means hinterland. However, because it was part of Russian Empire for about 200 years (until it's independence in 1917) "the" was used because it was a region within an empire. This whole ordeal is not exclusive to English language only. Today in Russia people say "íà Óêðàèíå" but Ukrainians prefer "â Óêðàèíå". So I will re post my previous statement why saying or writing "the Ukraine" is disrespectful. ------ Does English grammar require the definite article the before Ukraine? Ukraine is the name of an independent country. There are only two groups of countries which require the article in English: Those with plural names such as the United States or the Netherlands. The others have names with adjectival or compound forms which require the article, such as the United Kingdom, the Dominion of Canada, or the Ukrainian SSR. We may conclude then, that the use of the definite article in English before the name Ukraine is awkward, incorrect and superfluous. Writers who care about good style in their English grammar and the correctness of their language will always avoid the use of "the Ukraine" and use only the simpler and correct "Ukraine."
Lars Marius - 2011-05-10 06:08:27
@Sergey: Actually, the US has probably the best selection of any country on earth. The Rochefort and Great Divide beers should be available there, probably the De Dolle beer too, with some effort. I really recommend trying them, even though they probably cost a bit more than mainstream beers.
Thanks for the info on Shato. I was there when we visited Kyiv, but I didn't realize it was owned by Slavutych.
I accept your reasoning about "the Ukraine". It's true that there are grammatical reasons for the definite article in other country names, which don't apply for Ukraine. And I see that for people who speak Russian the analogy with the Russian form of the name can make them see the English definitive form as disparaging, even though I think no English speaker would intend that. Thank you for explaining this.
Sergey - 2011-05-14 23:30:16
@Lars Marius. I will be on the look out for the beers you mentioned. However, I live in a small town in Kentucky and there are very few places to find good beer. Lexington Kentucky is not far away so next time I'm there I will go to Marikka's Restaurant und Bier Stube and try my luck. I've been there twice and it's a great place. There are literally over 700 different beers available.