Yarilo Kvass

Total Score: 6.6/10 Bread1 DarkFruits1 BrownSugar1 PokalStange1

KVASS! Mother Russia’s favourite beverage, more popular than Coke and Pepsi combined, in fact Yarilo Kvass (which is actually brewed in the Ukraine) is so popular a brand that Coca-Cola™ bought the entire company. I recently seized the opportunity to buy a 2L PET bottle of this stuff when I was in Brisbane visiting my Brisbanian peeps and it dawned on me, as you’ll soon find out, why the comparisons to Coke/Pepsi are so very astute. Anyway enough talk of Kvass, in Russia Kvass-time is everytime! Note: This stuff is so low in ABV (1.5%) that even kids are allowed to drink it… it would take a couple litres to get even close to tipsy with this stuff.

Poured from a 2L PET bottle into a Peroni stange.

A: Clear cola coloured body with a tan head that dissipates quickly leaving behind a beverage that looks an awful lot like Coke™. The carbonation bubbles are big and reminiscent of a soft-drink. At this stage I’m not sure what to expect or how to score it as this is my first Kvass… I’ll go with a cryptic 7/10.

S: BIG stale sourdough/rye bread note with a slight date and raisin tingle. Soft-drink sugars linger on in the background. The staleness of the bread character really stands out as something not ordinarily experienced in any brew, and for some people (people I know) it’s a real turn off… but I am with it, Kvass-style! 6/10.

T: An interesting melange of stale sourdough/rye bread, hints of cane sugar and a light sweet date/raisin touch. Overall the sour notes come out on top but it balances out as an easy to drink bread/dark fruit flavoured soft-drink. Again I’m not sure if Kvass is supposed to taste like a soft-drink but this one does. 7/10.

M: Light bodied with a big bubble fizzy carbonation – it’s Russian (no Ukrainian!) Coke… as a regular drinker of big/thick beers it feels like this could definitely benefit from a bit more body. 5/10.

D: This is actually a lot better than I expected it to be – when you think of the fact that it comes from stale bread and it actually doesn’t taste shit I’m certainly impressed. The flavour really grew on me and I could see knocking a big chilled glass of this in the middle of summer. No wonder this is more popular than Coke/Pepsi in Russia and it comes with the added bonus of a miniscule amount of alcohol, I’m sold, these Russians have the right idea: “Let us find way to put booze in soft-drink da?” Mission accomplished Russia. 7/10.

Food match: In Russia food matches YOU [come on, you knew I was going to say that].