Thursday, 2 February 2017

KYRGYZSTAN: Craft Beer Brewery In Bishkek

Kyrgyzstan has gotten its first craft beer brewery thanks to the efforts of two beer-loving women. Savetheales opened in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, in May of this year and has quickly found an audience.

The idea was conceived by partners Aida Musulmankulova and Arzu Kurbanova, who love beer and sampled numerous styles of craft beers whilst travelling the world. Feeling a lack of variety in the Kyrgyz beer offering, the two decided to begin brewing their own beer three years ago. They taught themselves to brew by reading online sources and tried various recipes. They told Eurasianet.org, “we decided to brew it ourselves. We learned everything from the Internet. It wasn’t as difficult as we thought.”

In May, the pair opened their taproom in Bishkek. All the brewing is done onsite. The pair said a large proportion of their sales go to expats. Though Kyrgyz drinkers have not yet caught on to the craft beer trend, Kurbanova and Musulmankulova hope to change that. The pair are also making waves by being the first female brewers in the country and employing an all-female staff. Like in many places, beer was traditionally only drunk by men in Kyrgyzstan.

Savetheales is a micro-bar with a sparse interior. Light bites are served, but the brewers want the main focus to be the beer. Drinkers can try taster flights to get a feel for all of the brews on offer, which include a popular IPA, darker stouts and porters, and fruit beers.