It goes without saying the situation in Ukraine is something that is horrific to watch and hear about and it’s incredibly difficult to imagine what it must be like for those involved.
Whilst there is only so much we can do from here, we can help raise some funds for the people of Ukraine. With this in mind, this month’s beer column from me is to introduce you all to VARVAR Brew – and also a very good cause we’re taking part in.
We’ve teamed up with one of our importers who are bringing over their entire stock of beer, with the proceeds going to Drinkers for Ukraine. This organisation is raising money for humanitarian aid. Our part in this is to bring these beers to you – and further help the fundraising effort. We will have the beers available (all being well, I can’t imagine it’s easy getting beer out of a country under attack) from April 14 and will be making a donation from every bottle sold to Drinkers For Ukraine.
The VARVAR team have this to say: “Our brewery has been unable to operate since the war began and we have stock in our warehouse in Kyiv that we were desperately looking to sell. The situation in Kyiv is unpredictable, and we don’t know exactly how many days we will still be able to get our hands on our beer so it’s amazing to be working on a rescue mission.
Hopefully each and every beer that leaves the country can provide real enjoyment but also play a role in keeping our fight at the front of people’s minds. Our beer is made with a lot of Ukrainian passion and the finest ingredients so we don’t want to see it destroyed and certainly not drunk by the Russian invaders.”
VARVAR are based in Kyiv and were founded in 2015. They’ve brewed with some of the best breweries around the world, including Marble, Pomona Island and North in the UK. Their focus is on producing modern craft beer – spanning anything from pales through to barrel aged stouts and sours. The range is really interesting, creative and quite exciting – something fairly common from breweries in Eastern Europe I find, they really know how to push boundaries of style and flavour and aren’t afraid of experimenting. We should have over a dozen beers arriving with us so here’s 4 to look out for:
Samurai’s Daughter: An ‘oriental ale’, this pale ale is brewed with ginger and rice. Light, with subtle ginger spice under the citrus forward hops. One to try with some sushi or noodles!
Ipanema: A hazy IPA, one for the hop heads out there. Tropical fruit notes, apricot, peach and a lingering bitterness.
Midnight Velvet: This is a big, rich imperial stout finished in Heaven Hill Bourbon Barrels no less which add a lovely touch of vanilla and spice to the beer.
Captain Salt: A german style Gose, or sour beer. Tart and citrussy, Gose is a style brewed with salt, which adds a touch of moreish salinity to the beer.