What's in my Suitcase? Almaty Edition

By martin hay
October 25, 2019

Living in Uzbekistan means that I have a very limited supply of decent beer to drink. It can become quite repetitive and really mess up my unique check-ins on Untappd! This is why when we travel, we try to bring back as many drinks as possible. This started when we lived in Dhaka, as alcohol was quite difficult to source, but has continued here, as we enjoy picking up different beers, wines and spirits. Our recent trip to Almaty, Kazakhstan came with 60kgs of baggage allowance and we only used 20kgs of that on the way there. After filling up most of our luggage with things for the house, wine, spirits and whole-wheat pasta, I had around 8kgs left to use on beer. Most of the beers were bought from Pivzavod. All but one were from Russia. Here’s what was in my suitcase:

Bakunin Brewing Co

Amphiron. A 5.5% sea buckthorn sour ale. Sea buckthorn seems to be pretty popular in this part of the world and was everywhere when I lived in Ukraine. I had never had it in ale form, so thought I would give it a go. 

Forward. An 8.2% collaboration NE IPA with Untitled Art. I really enjoyed the Untitled Art Mikkeller Beer Club exclusive a number of months ago; I assumed quite correctly that is would be delicious. If you have the chance, go buy a can.

Rewort Brewery

Lost in the Tropics. A 6.5% Mango Milkshake IPA. I had my first milkshake IPA in the summer of 2017 at the Modern Times San Diego brewery. It’s a style that isn’t popular in this part of the world, so I haven’t had many since. I also really like mangos! 

AF Brew 

Breeder Reactor. A 6.7% “Nuclear Powered” Idaho 7, Citra and Simcoe, double dry hopped IPA. 

Big Black Mash. A 10% Butterscotch Imperial Stout. My wife and I are huge fans of imperial stouts. The sweeter sounding the better. 


Pecan and Ice Cream Stout. At 7%, I am hoping that this will be paired with a good dessert in the near future. I may keep it until Thanksgiving, as apparently pecans are eaten at this time!

Vasileostrovskaya Brewery 

Dubbel 8% & Blond 7%. I had picked up a bottle of their Rouge du Latin on a previous trip to Nur-Sultan and was really impressed with it. I found these in the local supermarket and decided to try more of their range. 


Brune. A 7% Belgian Brown. I have a soft spot for Belgian beers. Before signing up to the MBC, I was a member of a Belgian beer subscription box. 4 different beers wasn’t enough variety for me though! 

I don’t have any beer related social media to share, but if you are interested in semi regular posts of things I see in Uzbekistan and on my travels, you can follow me on Instagram @sightsoftashkent