Native Slavic Beer

Kvass (Slavic Beer)

Kvass: This historic Slavic beverage was first mentioned over 1,000 years ago in the Primary Chronicle of Kievan Rus where it was noted that ‘food, honey in barrels, and bread-kvass’ was served to mark the baptism of the Grand Prince of Kiev in 989 AD.  Kvass was even rationed to soldiers who spread and popularized the fermentable throughout the region.

Today, kvass is still wildly popular in several Slavic countries, often found being sold from kvass trucks, similar to how you might see food trucks or hotdog stands in cities in the US.

Kvass Stand

Like the historical reference to ‘bread-kvass’ suggests, kvass is typically made by adding several slices of toasted black or rye bread to boiled water, then tossing in some sugar and fruit (raisins, apples, lemon, strawberries, herbs or mint), and finally pitching the yeast once cooled yielding a weakly fermented beverage weighing in at around 1% ABV.  Many non-commercial examples of kvass are commonly soured with lactobacillus, which means it not only hits all the key points on our basic definition of beer (grain, water, yeast and/or bacteria), but kick up the ABV on this Soviet stimulant, and you can sign me up for a Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Kvass!

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