«Not only for tasting fish: a trip to Kamchatka for the tastiest beer»
The Kamchatka Peninsula is a region of unique nature and the Eastern outpost of Russia. Many tourists come here to take a look at volcanoes and hot springs, to taste the seafood and have a rest away from noisy megacities. The obligatory touristic program will soon be supplemented with beer tasting – local masters will brew it from the pure waters of Kamchatka, with love and expertise
Eduard Sokolov, General Director of Kamchatsky Pivovarenny Zavod LLC (Kamchatka Brewery LLC), provides more details.
– How did the idea of establishing a new brewery in Kamchatka appear? It is hard to say that there is deficit of such products in our stores, rather to the contrary...
– Unfortunately, almost all beer sold here is imported. To be precise, the share of imported beer in Kamchatka Peninsula is almost 70 %, and of course, these are products with long shelf lives and contain preservation agents. Our brewery brews beer using local water and Russian malt, which gives it quite a different taste and quality. It is known that the water in Kamchatka is the purest in all of Russia, and we still can drink it from the tap. And when it comes to the malt, our main partner, Baltiyskaya Solodovennaya Kompaniya (Baltic Malting Company), is one of the best raw materials suppliers in country. Just try our beer and you will be surprised!
– The brewery was commissioned after a long construction stage. Did something significant occur during this period?
– As you know, the Kamchatka Krai is an earthquake-prone region. It was important to develop a construction project that would avoid any negative consequences for us, and local residents, in case of an earthquake. Our foundation is one solid plate along the entire construction footprint with special reinforcement in the area of fermenting tanks. The risks have been reduced to the minimum.
Regarding internal equipment, it is produced and supplied by GEA Process Engineering – a globally recognized German company, the leader in its industry. All equipment was assembled accurately and adjusted by German specialists. Some unique solutions have also been implemented – for example, a Swiss filter for handcrafted beer. It is safe to say that our brewery is built at a state-of-the-art brewing level, the factory is of the latest model and automated, having no analogues in our country.
– Implementation of such a large-scale project is associated with high costs. Where did you get the financing?
– The state helped us significantly. The Ministry for Development of Russian Far East provided a subsidy for infrastructure development, we also were supported by the authorities of the Krai and the municipal government. Huge assistance was provided by the Asia-Pacific Bank, we were granted a letter of credit for equipment worth EUR 5,355,000 at a minimal interest rate.
It is important to understand that state support was provided for a reason: first we receive it, and then we give it back. Once we are in full operation, the Krai and federal state budgets will receive taxes in the amount of nearly 1.5 billion rubles for ten years. Moreover, thanks to our brewery, more than 50 new jobs will be created in production plant, in which the youth of Kamchatka are working now, the industrial engineers who underwent special training and education. Foreign specialists are also engaged in the work, but these are rather exceptional cases – for example, we have a German «Professor» of brewing with work experience exceeding 28 years, who created his own yeast strain.
– What are the future prospects of your business?
– Today the capacity of the brewery is 60,000 Gcal per year. During the last stage of implementation, we are planning to reach 150,000 Gcal and to achieve a planned capacity of 240,000 Gcal per year. These figures seem to be tremendous, but in fact, the current capacity of 60,000 Gcal is sufficient to cover a 25 % niche in the brewery products market in Kamchatka. And as you can understand, is not too much. Our initial goal is to show our product to the people, and we count strongly on receiving feedback from buyers. Actually, the timing of the implementation of the second stage depends on it. We should also note that our brewery will be producing non-alcoholic beverages, including mineral water. For us, quantity is no less important than quality.
– What brands of beer do you offer?
– Currently there are two: Avachinskoye Light and Avachinskoye Amber, and we are planning to expand our product line in the future. The basis of both brands is the purest water of Kamchatka, high-quality malt and a little bit of hops! For reference: high-quality beer has a transparent intense color and the foam in the glass of such a beer remains for at least 5 minutes, with a height of at least 5 cm.
Our brands meet all these requirements. And, what is rather important, the prices of our beer are quite affordable. In short, try it, and you’ll not be disappointed!