GUM Beers



Moscow's upscale shopping mall, known by its initials GUM, is just the place to quench your thirst after a walking tour of the nearby Kremlin and Red Square historical sites. The three-story block-long building, officially called the State Department Store, is glass-topped, with a feeling of openness without the feeling of frostbite offered outdoor shoppers at the Arbat. The five kilometers of shelves offer an easy way to spend money in a hurry. From a second floor vantagepoint at the North end of the shops lies a small cafe featuring fish, sausages, pastries and ice cream. Fermented malt beverages are available from one tap, a half-dozen half-liter bottled brands and 17 different Russian beers in .33L (12 ounce) bottles.

The Yaroslavskaya draft is served in a ~16 ounce cup for 25 Rubles ($1 USD). Amber in color, it is medium-bodied and offers a full mouthfeel, even flavor balance, pale malt flavor with a subtle hoppiness coming through toward the finish. Great body and very refreshing.

The Ochakovo Special is an 11-degree lager that comes in a green .33L bottle and measures 4.5% alcohol by volume (abv). Cost is 17 Rubles. With a perfumy aroma and pale straw color, the very light hop bitterness barely dominates the slight graininess of this Moscow beer.

Between Ilinka & Nikolskaya Streets
Moscow, Russia

Reviewed by Tom Ciccateri - August, 1999

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