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There’s surely no better reason to roll-out this semi-regular feature dedicated to one of the finer things in life than a beer festival. While we usually showcase smaller craft beer type establishments (we’ll make special mention of one later), this is too good an opportunity to miss.
Brought to you by the team behind the regular Ulichnaya Eda food festivals, the Kyiv Beer Festival is less about sampling cuisine. Instead, it is this much-loved amber liquid that takes top billing here. However, the event, to be held from 19 to 20 May, claims to have a significant point-of-difference to other beer festivals held in Ukraine. It does not focus on mass market brands – the emerging craft beer market is at the fore.
The organisers have a focus. In a country where craft beer has only won 1% of the market thus far, numbers in Ukraine are slowly, but surely, increasing as beer drinkers discover there are finely-crafted brews that are not mass-produced and are unlikely to be found in 2-litre plastic bottles.
Now in its second year, another goal of the festival is to introduce consumers to these specific brewers and suppliers, many of whom will be part of the festival and who lovingly brew or market craft brews from Ukraine and farther afield. Aside from the sampling, brewers will be on hand to talk about the features of their product, and to mentor newbies in how to open and promote their own business.
While we have profiled some participants in the past, one that is likely to be a part of the action is Syndicate – Craft Beer n’ Fire Grill. Like Varvar Bar (which featured on these pages in February) and Lisopylka, Syndicate is part of the family of craft bars from the Varvar Brewery family, created by Vasiliy Mikulin. Mikulin, a successful businessman who founded the Donetsk-based Yuzovskaya Brewery, relocated and rebuilt his business from scratch following the occupation of his region by Russian forces.
Located in the Perchersk district, this American-style bar is typical of Mikulin’s style, paired-back, intimate, and, in this case, just rough-enough around the edges to give that typical small-town US feel. Of course, the full range of exotically-named Varvar beers are available and if your craft-beer drinking skills are a little rusty, it is the perfect place to get in a little practice before the big event.

Kyiv Beer Festival Vol. 2
19 – 20 May at 11.00 – 23.00
Art Platforma (Belomorska 1)
150 UAH (with a glass for tasting)
100 UAH (without the glass)

Syndicate Craft Bar n’ Fire Grill
(Surorova 4/6)
Sunday-Wednesday 12.00 – 00.00, Thursday-Saturday 12.00 – 02.00
Tel: +380 50 307 5793

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