Thursday, 17 September 2009

Heineken axes historic Russian brewery

Heineken has announced the closure of the Stpean Razin brewery in St Petersburg and plans to turn the site in to a giant warehouse and "logistics" facility. The Dutch group says the Stepan Razin brands will be brewed elsewhere in Russia but it's not clear how many will survive. The future of the 8% Porter, a now rare example of a Russian Baltic Porter, is in doubt.
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.

6 Comments:

Blogger Lars Marius Garshol said...

> the brewery was renamed Stepan Razin
> in honour of a Russian Cossack who
> led a failed attempt on the life of
> the Tsar

Stepan Razin is better known as Stenka Razin, was a bandit chief who built up a massive following and eventually started a full-scale rebellion against the Tsar, trying to set up an independent cossack republic. He never made any attempt on the Tsar's life that I ever heard of.

18 September 2009 at 12:17  
Blogger Johnny Norfolk said...

Heineken destroys more tradition. but its the market. The people will regret its passing when its gone.

18 September 2009 at 15:06  
Blogger Roger Protz said...

The information concerning Stepan Razin was given to me when I visited the brewery.

23 September 2009 at 14:36  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good old Trotsky, hero to beer lovers everywhere. Or not.

25 September 2009 at 11:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know it's quite late but I have to make a couple of corrections
1) Founder (Abraham Krohn) was from Germany, not Sweden
2) Tsar Peter I died about 40 earlier than Krohn was even born. It was Catherine the Great who was in power when the brewery was started. To my understanding Krohn served in her court as a chef/baker and he was awarded with the lot and capital to start the brewery by Catherine the Great.

26 June 2012 at 20:14  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know it's quite late but I have to make a couple of corrections
1) Founder (Abraham Krohn) was from Germany, not Sweden
2) Tsar Peter I died about 40 years earlier than Krohn was even born. It was Catherine the Great who was in power when the brewery was started. To my understanding Krohn served in her court as a chef/baker and he was awarded with a lot of capital to start the brewery by Catherine the Great.

23 November 2013 at 03:03  

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