How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution
A Russian pagan republic championed hops before microbreweries went mainstream now it wants to be back on the global beer map, The Calvert Journal reports
Cheboksary is merely a night train ride away from Russias capital but it could be on another planet. By 10 am the temperature is already approaching the high twenties, its trees are decorated with ribbons and animal bones, and shop windows are painted with intricate geometric designs.
The city is the capital of the Chuvashia Republic, a place that has for centuries defied Russian Christian hegemony and where locals still conduct colourful pagan rites and follow a pantheon of divinities.
The republic is also one of the worlds oldest beer-producing regions, with a tradition of harvesting hops and drinking beer as part of their religious worship.
Now, in a bid to return to its former glory as a Soviet-era hop superpower, local scientists and brewers expect that the fad for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.
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