Disabled people brew up a storm in Osaka’s former slum

Award-winning brewery start-up helps ex-addicts and other unemployables change gear

Building a brewery in an area once notorious for alcohol-fuelled riots may not seem like the most sensible idea. But Derailleur Brew Works, a craft brewery in the Japanese city of Osaka, is helping transform this unfashionable district with the help of men and women who once thought they were unemployable.

The brewery grew out of Cyclo, a nursing-care provider based in Nishinari, a deprived ward of Osaka long associated with day labourers, dosshouses and social unrest.

Men flocked to the southern Osaka neighbourhood after the second world war in search of casual employment until work began to dry up after Japan’s bubble economy burst in the early 1990 s.

Today, many of Nishinari’s poorer residents are combating narcotic and alcohol addiction, and a significant number have mental health issues and disabilities, according to Akinori Yamazaki, who runs the brewery.

” We ensure an increase in the number of disabled people among our nursing-care clients a few years ago ,” says Yamazaki.” A lot of them couldn’t find work, even though they had the ability to work. We thought they could put the skills they learned as younger men to good use .”

The nursing-care firm opened a cafe that encouraged ageing day labourers to swap their usual morning brew for a coffee. Before long it became an unofficial task centre.

” A plenty of people came to the cafe and asked us to help them find regular, meaningful work ,” says Yamazaki, whose passion for road cycling gave the brewery its name( derailleurs shift a bicycle chain between cogs ).

Yamagami,
Yamagami, fondly known as Yama-chan, began at Derailleur after he lost his sight.

” Some of them used to make their own beer- although they didn’t necessarily do it legally- and indicated opening a brewery here .”

With a bank loan and instruction on constructing brew from a sympathetic brewer, Derailleur rendered its first batch in 2018- an American pale ale named Nishinari Riot Ale. The brew was a nod both to the large number of western backpackers staying in the neighborhood and to the street combats between disaffected day labourers, police and yakuza gangsters that earned Nishinari a reputation as a no-go area in the early 1990 s.

Derailleur utilizes about 70 people, many of whom have physical and intellectual disabilities. They are dedicate on-the-job training and perform tasks ranging from brewing, labelling, sales and delivery, as well as serving food and drink at the brewery’s three pubs- two in Osaka and one in the central city of Nagoya.

Mr Yamagami- known affectionately as Yama-chan- spend his youth drinking illicitly rendered alcohol and get into fights, but decided to apply for a chore at the brewery after he lost his sight.

” It’s fun to be able to work alongside my friends ,” says Yama-chan, a 47 -year-old former fishmonger.” Handling the bottles by touch alone is the sort of work I can do without any problem. I need assistance getting around, but apart from that I can do my job freely. I really enjoy it .”

Full-time employees run a four-day week, and casual employees can devise their own work schedule depending on their disability and frame of mind.” The biggest single group are drug addict who overdosed and now have to deal with physical and mental conditions caused by their addiction ,” says Yamazaki.” Before they ran here they spent all of their hour at home, doing nothing.

Mr
Mr Nishizawa, known as Sho-chan, began at Derailleur after heavy drinking made him ill and he lost his former job.

” Some are unable to concentrate for long so work for, say, 30 minutes per day ,” he says.” I don’t think they’d be able to find work anywhere else .”

Mr Nishizawa- knows that it his friends as Sho-chan- determined work at Derailleur after his excessive drinking constructed him ill and he was forced to quit his job as a rubbish collector. The 55 -year-old, who once made his own hooch, does several undertakings, including packing bottles, milling grain and selling the end product.

” When I first arrived in Nishinari there were humen sleeping in the streets, and there are still people here who beverage from the morning, deal in stimulant drugs and gamble illegally. But this is a place that accepts foreigners, and it’s cheap so you can survive even if you’re on benefits.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian gentile republic championed hops before microbreweries ran mainstream now it wants to be back on the global beer map, The Calvert Journal reports

Cheboksary is merely a night develop 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 colorful pagan rites and follow a pantheon of deities.

The republic is just one of the worlds oldest beer-producing regions, with a tradition of harvesting hops and drinking brew 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 are hoping that the furor for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft beer revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of brew and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summers Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to quench the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, rapidly transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( nation farms) were producing 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming rapidly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of the regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka afterwards inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local brews. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet decline

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international beer giants flooding the Russian market and sweeping away local mills.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to just 200. Much of the remaining crop is appeared after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which sees the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of the bigger beer factories inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is building an alliance with a brand-new mill in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a running brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the area to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently constructing beer, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of canadian institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The crops are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly females. They examine and take care of the plants as the temperatures made the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has spent most of their own lives preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a guardian of Chuvash hop gems. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with hints of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft beer revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and beer is often presented as a gift at weddings and important occasions including Seren, a pagan vacation on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of such articles first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guide to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian gentile republic championed hops before microbreweries went mainstream now it wants to be back on the global brew map, The Calvert Journal reports

Cheboksary is merely a night develop 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 gods.

The republic is just one of the worlds oldest beer-producing regions, with a tradition of harvesting hops and drinking brew 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 are hoping that the craze for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft beer revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summertimes Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to quench the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, quickly transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( state farms) were rendering 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming quickly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of individual regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka afterward inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local beers. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet decline

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international brew giants flooding the Russian market and sweeping away local mills.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to only 200. Much of the remaining crop is seemed after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which insures the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of “the worlds biggest” beer mills inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is constructing an alliance with a brand-new mill in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a working brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the region to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently building brew, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of the institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The crops are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly females. They analyze and take care of the plants as the temperatures made the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has spent most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a custodian of Chuvash hop treasures. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with hints of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft brew revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and beer is often presented as a gift at bridals and important occasions including Seren, a pagan holiday on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of such articles first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian gentile 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 store 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 rituals and follow a pantheon of divinities.

The republic is just 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 are hoping that the fad for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft brew revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summertimes Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to slake the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, speedily transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( nation farms) were creating 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming rapidly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of individual regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka later inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local brews. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet deterioration

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international beer giants inundating the Russian market and sweeping away local mills.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to only 200. Much of the remaining crop is looked after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which assures the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of “the worlds biggest” beer mills inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has recently restored some of the machines in its brewery and is constructing an alliance with a brand-new factory in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a running brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the region to its former superpower status. We require hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently attaining beer, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of canadian institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The crops are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly girls. They examine and take care of the plants as the temperatures reached the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has expended most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a custodian of Chuvash hop treasures. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with clues of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft beer revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and brew is often presented as a gift at weddings and important occasions including Seren, a pagan vacation on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of this article first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

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 only a night develop 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 store 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 just 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 are hoping that the craze for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft brew revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summertimes Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce brew to slake the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, speedily transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( nation farms) were creating 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming promptly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of individual regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka afterward inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local beers. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet decline

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international brew giants flooding the Russian market and sweeping away local factories.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to just 200. Much of the remaining crop is appeared after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which ensure the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of the bigger beer factories inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has recently restored some of the machines in its brewery and is building an alliance with a brand-new factory in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a running brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the area to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently inducing brew, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of canadian institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The harvests are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly women. They analyse and take care of the plants as the temperatures hit the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has spent most of their own lives preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a custodian of Chuvash hop gems. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with clues of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft beer revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and brew is often presented as a gift at weddings and important occasions including Seren, a pagan vacation on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of this article first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian pagan republic championed hops before microbreweries ran 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 store 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 colorful pagan rites and follow a pantheon of divinities.

The republic is just 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 are hoping that the furor for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft brew revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summers Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to slake the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, rapidly transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( country farms) were producing 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming promptly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of the regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka subsequently inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local brews. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet deterioration

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international brew giants inundating the Russian marketplace and sweeping away local factories.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to simply 200. Much of the remaining crop is appeared after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which sees the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of “the worlds biggest” beer factories inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is constructing an alliance with a brand-new factory in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a working brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the region to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently attaining brew, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of canadian institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The harvests are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly women. They study and take care of the plants as the temperatures made the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has spent most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a custodian of Chuvash hop riches. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with clues of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft beer revolution.

As the team at canadian institutes works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and brew is often presented as a gift at bridals and important occasions including Seren, a pagan vacation on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of such articles first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guide to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

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 store windows are painted with intricate geometric designs.

The city is the capital of the Chuvashia Republic, a place that has for centuries eluded Russian Christian hegemony and where locals still conduct colorful pagan rituals and follow a pantheon of gods.

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 are hoping that the fad for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft brew revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summers Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce brew to quench the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, quickly transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( country farms) were creating 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming rapidly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of the regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka subsequently inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local brews. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet decline

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international beer giants inundating the Russian market and sweeping away local mills.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to merely 200. Much of the remaining harvest is seemed after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which find the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of the bigger brew mills inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is building an alliance with a brand-new mill in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a running brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the region to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently constructing brew, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of canadian institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The crops are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly girls. They analyse and take care of the plants as the temperatures hit the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has spent most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a custodian of Chuvash hop treasures. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with hints of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft brew revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and beer is often presented as a gift at bridals and important occasions including Seren, a pagan holiday on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of this article first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian pagan republic championed hops before microbreweries ran mainstream now it wants to be back on the global brew map, The Calvert Journal reports

Cheboksary is only 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 store windows are painted with intricate geometric designs.

The city is the capital of the Chuvashia Republic, a place that has for centuries eluded Russian Christian hegemony and where locals still conduct colorful pagan rituals 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 brew 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 are hoping that the fad for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft beer revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of brew and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summertimes Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to slake the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, quickly transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( nation farms) were producing 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming quickly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of individual regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka afterward inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local beers. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet decline

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international brew giants inundating the Russian marketplace and sweeping away local mills.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to just 200. Much of the remaining harvest is appeared after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which assures the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of “the worlds biggest” brew mills inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is constructing an alliance with a brand-new mill in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a working brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the region to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently inducing brew, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of the institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The harvests are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly girls. They examine and take care of the plants as the temperatures reached the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has spent most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a custodian of Chuvash hop treasures. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with clues of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft beer revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and brew is often presented as a gift at weddings and important occasions including Seren, a pagan vacation on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of such articles first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian gentile republic championed hops before microbreweries went mainstream now it wants to be back on the global beer map, The Calvert Journal reports

Cheboksary is only a night develop 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 colorful pagan rituals 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 brew 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 are hoping that the furor for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft brew revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summers Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to quench the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, speedily transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( state farms) were rendering 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming speedily became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of individual regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka subsequently inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local brews. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet deterioration

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international brew giants flooding the Russian marketplace and sweeping away local factories.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to simply 200. Much of the remaining harvest is seemed after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which considers the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of the bigger beer factories inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is constructing an alliance with a brand-new mill in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a running brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the area to its former superpower status. We need hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently building beer, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of the institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The harvests are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly females. They examine and take care of the plants as the temperatures made the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has expended most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a guardian of Chuvash hop treasures. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with hints of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft beer revolution.

As the team at canadian institutes works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and brew is often presented as a gift at bridals and important occasions including Seren, a pagan holiday on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of such articles first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading

How the Soviets helped America’s craft beer revolution

A Russian gentile 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 eluded Russian Christian hegemony and where locals still conduct colorful pagan rituals 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 brew 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 are hoping that the craze for microbreweries springing up from Moscow and St Petersburg could once again bring investment to Chuvashs farms.

Celebrations
Celebrations in Cheboksary, Russias pagan heartland. Illustration: Ivan Mikhailov

Beer revolution

While American brewers experimenting with hops in the 1970 s have been credited with kickstarting the global craft beer revolution, few people know that the movement might not have been possible without scientists working in Chuvash during Soviet times.

Thanks to its historic love of beer and its unique microclimate steep terrains and hot summers Chuvashia was the obvious location to produce beer to quench the thirst of the industrial workers across the USSR, quickly transforming the Republic into a hop-growing superpower.

By the late 1980 s, local sovkhozes ( country farms) were rendering 95% of all hops for the Soviet Unions beer. Known locally as Chuvashias green gold, hops were so ubiquitous they appeared in everything from ice-cream to shampoo.

Hop-farming quickly became a prestigious scientific discipline which demanded its own bureaucratic hierarchy. The first Soviet hop research institute was established just outside Cheboksary.

One of the regions signature products the flavoursome Serebryanka later inspired scientists at the University of Oregon to breed Cascade, a citrus-flavoured hop which has now become popular with craft brewers.

Sampling
Sampling todays local beers. Photo: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Post Soviet decline

But the glory days werent to last. When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990 s, Chuvashias hop empire followed suit, unable to compete with the international brew giants inundating the Russian marketplace and sweeping away local mills.

In the 1980 s there were 35,000 acres of hop fields in Chuvashia, today that number is down to simply 200. Much of the remaining harvest is appeared after by the Chuvash Hop Institute, which assures the resurgence of artisanal breweries as an opportunity to promote the region as a quality supplier of hops.

The institutes director, Andrey Fadeev, is optimistic. The whole world is going crazy about aromatic hops. We cant lose this opportunity, he says.

Hed like some of the bigger beer mills inthe Urals and Siberia to consider Chuvashia as a viable national alternative to European suppliers.

Andrey
Andrey Fadeev in his hop fields. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

The hop institute has now been restored some of the machines in its brewery and is building an alliance with a brand-new factory in Tsvilisk to process delicate raw hops into long-lasting pellets which are more compact and easier to transport.

But it doesnt have a running brewery, and Fadeev concedes that there is a lot more work to be done to restore the area to its former superpower status. We require hundreds of tractors, modern equipment, young folks, he says.

The hop vault

Even if it is not currently stimulating beer, hops are still being cultivated and Fadeev offers a tour around one of canadian institutes fields outside of Tsivilsk, a town 20 miles( 32 km) away from Cheboksary.

The harvests are tended to manually by a small group of scientists-cum-farmers, who are mostly girls. They analyze and take care of the plants as the temperatures reached the mid-thirties.

Zoya Nikonova is one of the academics who has expended most of her life preserving the legacy of Chuvash hops. We grow hundreds of hops which we bring to Chuvashia from all over the world from New Zealand to Germany, she explains.

Zoya
Zoya Nikonova, a guardian of Chuvash hop gems. Photograph: Ivan Mikhailov/ Calvert Journal

Nikonova compares their work to Svalbards global seed vault in its mission to sustain a wide variety of plants for future generations including the legendary Serebyanka.

The semi-wild breed with clues of blackcurrant hasnt been efficient to grow, Nikonov says, pointing a a row of indiscreet pale-looking stems of a plant that kicked off the craft brew revolution.

As the team at the institute works to preserve the history of the glory days, there are signs around the region that the locals have never forgotten their green gold.

Many are skilled home-brewers and beer is often presented as a gift at weddings and important occasions including Seren, a pagan vacation on which evil spirits are expelled with barrels of alcohol and wild dancing.

A version of such articles first appeared on The Calvert Journal, a guidebook to the new east

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Continue reading
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