We can see Russia (‘s emerging craft beer market) from our house. Well, our mothership taproom in Alpine, Wyoming to be exact… Sarah Palin knows.
To be more specific, interest in craft beer in Russia has increased in the last five years, which we think is pretty cool because it’s our mission to bring hops to the people. The legend of the West Coast IPA has spread all the way to the chilly tundra, and Melvin Brewing is on board. Turns out IPA’s are just as magical as we suspected: hops transcend both politics and geography.
The Brewer’s Association’s Export Development Program recently made a trip to Russia with a grant to promote and educate about American craft beer. “BA Executive Chef Adam Dulye led five seminars that covered in-depth information about American craft beer, proper storage and handling, and beer and food pairing,” the brewers association states. 15 breweries were featured, and Melvin Brewing was one of them. This is kind of a medium deal… and we are totally honored.
Chef Dulye travelled to both St. Petersburg and Moscow with Heyzues and 2x4 in tow, and was met with general stoke from the industry folk at both seminars and tastings. Duyle explains,
“Russia is young in their craft beer journey. Breweries there have a huge challenge when it comes to access to quality ingredients, like quality hops. They loved the IPA’s and pale ales we brought over, because they just can’t get that stuff. 2x4 was a big hit.”
Breweries in Russia are making a lot of Pilsner style beer based on the ingredients they can access, and although big beer still reigns supreme, there are a couple of local, small breweries that are making quality brews. Access to American craft beer remains limited, but the Brewer’s Association is working to change that. According to Duyle, quality and freshness in the craft beer that they are getting are big concerns, since a lot of it is coming from Europe and is sold past its shelf life. He aims to spend time and energy in 2019, under their three year emerging market program grant, addressing these issues by providing proper training and education.
…Which means that there will be another round of tastings and seminars, and Melvin’s on the menu. Who knows, maybe Russia has an untapped taste for kung-fu and hip hop? Stranger things have happened. Stay tuned for more updates on how and why Melvin is getting global.
Words By Michelle DeLong // Photos Courtesy of the Brewer’s Association.