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Thu, 2010-05-20 07:49 -- bob

BEER isn’t the first drink you tend to associate with Mother Russia.

Most people can be forgiven for thinking the Ruskies just stick to vodka – imagine how mundane the world would be if that were true.

Fortunately they don’t and fortunately for Aussie beer drinkers, we can get access to one of their better brews in Baltika.

It is a classic pale lager from St Petersburg , brewed under licence here and is a real surprise packet. Apparently it is the number one brand in Russia.

Not having tried Russian beer before, I found Baltika to be an extremely easy beer to drink.

It has a clear straw coloured appearance with not a thick head but it does have a distinctive hoppy aroma which is appealing.

While being a lighter style of lager (in that it isn’t heavy in the gut), Baltika does have a surprising full body to it which is smooth and a little creamy across the palate which is unexpected.

It is crisp with a slight bitterness in its aftertaste which draws you back for more and it certainly isn’t a beer which has you feeling bloated after a few which some Euro beers can do.

In fact, Baltika has very good sessionability and it would be easy to down a few, especially in warmer weather.

I found it to be very refreshing but this isn’t a lightweight beer at 4.8 percent.

I think it might be better suited to seafood, light Mediterranean dishes or even some mild Asian foods and summer foods than winter cuisine.

It might not be as robust in flavour as our Aussie lagers but for those who are looking for a beer in a blonde style which offers some flavour (even if it has carbs), or those after a beer which will quench the thirst, Baltika is one to try.

It is certainly one Russian I would take to any party or barbeque.


Serve this lager up nice and cold and make sure you have a few in the fridge because it has that certain appeal which means you can down a few quite easily. It’s a great social beer but priced towards the premium end of the market at $17 a 330ml six pack.

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