Before arriving in Moscow, my husband and I had been warned that while imbibing alcohol was certainly a daily tradition in Russia, we should not expect to enjoy kicking back with a nice bottle of beer unless we were willing to shell out big bucks for an import at a Western-style restaurant. Always eager to test such truths, we purchased various local brands at kiosks, with varying degrees of success. Although production quality has come a long way since the Soviet era, beer remains remarkably inconsistent from batch to batch. In fact we were actually reduced to pouring several truly undrinkable beers down the drain, an action I would have previously considered unthinkable.
Issue: July 1998