Heineken axes historic Russian brewery
Stepan Razin is a brewery with a long and fascinating history. It was foudned in the late 18th century by a Swede named Abraham Krohn. He supplied beer to the palace of Tsar Peter I, who encouraged the spread of commercial brewing. The brewery was first called Kalinkin after a bridge over the River Neva and it brewed English-style ales, porters and stouts. It switched to cold fermentation late in the 19th century.
Following the Russian revolution, the brewery was renamed Stepan Razin in honour of a Russian Cossack who led a failed attempt on the life of the Tsar and was put to death in 1671.
The brewery was encouraged to expand in the 1920s by Leon Trotsky, the former Commissar for War, who helped obtain modern brewing equipment from Germany.
As well as the brands, there will be a major qeustion mark over the future of the splendid brewery museum at Stepan Razin, which traces the history of brewing in Russia and has many fascinating artefacts from the Soviet period, including the award of the Order of Lenin.