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Sunday-Tuesday, July 22-24 2012 | Kamenka and its brewery

We arrive in Kamenka town in the early evening and find, to our surprise, a “SPAR” supermarket well-equipped with all imaginable food. After a longer discussion about safety at night we park the car in front of a motorway restaurant and assume that this is the best option.

The appointment with the Kamenka company is not fixed yet. So we call our contact person Ilya Golovachev who is not in town at the moment. But he informs us that his people will look after us. And this was not an understatement! We are brought to the company-owned pond in the middle of nowhere where we experience “virgin nature” and Russian friendship. Employees from the company join us, bring food, we cook together (Shashlik), and we spend the time with fishing, long conversations about PET and the Russian beer market and occasional drinking. It is already 8 PM, but we are told that the boss is on his way back from Moscow and still wants to meet us today. Arriving at 10PM we get another warm welcome and have dinner together. Long after midnight we get sleep in our Editourmobil.

The next day we visit the brewery and witness how the beer is brewed since more than 40 years in the Kamenka factory: coal-fired heating supply for the brewing process, unique manual PET converting and hand-filled bottles. Time stands still in Kamenka. And from a long subsequent discussion we learn more about the Russian beer and PET market, and why Kamenka is one of the few breweries in the region that does not use any chemicals or preservatives during the brewing process.