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Friday-Monday, July 27-30 2012 | Rostov, bass drums and Aqua Don

We start our journey to Rostov, the green city on the Don which is approximately 710 km away from Lipetsk. Such a distance can easily occupy two solid days of driving. So the hours are spent negotiating flyovers and junctions, and spending nights under the trees on tranquil side roads off the beaten track. As it is already quite late after the meeting with Lipetsk Pivo, we spend one more night in Lipetsk. The next day we have a stopover in the small and charming city of Millerova, and then finally arrive with our Editourmobil in Rostov on Saturday morning.

The first thought in our minds is whether the river Don, which crosses the Southern part of the city, is simply a busy shipping route or whether it influences and characterises life and the city. It is very much the latter. So we stay overnight in what is a hip party town, directly next to the Don on a white beach, listening in our Editourmobil to the music coming from the nearby beach bar and watch fascinated as the younger Don-generation dance the night away.

In order to put our focus and concentration back on PET and our Go to Brau Beviale mission, we leave the city to find a more peaceful place to rest for the night. The satnav reveals that the area is covered with numerous military facilities and barracks. To avoid waking up directly next to a Russian tank we drive further out of the city. 10 km away we find a suitable place where we can prepare ourselves for the appointments next day.

On July 30, our first visit is to Aqua Don, the regional market leader in mineral water. Here we learn more about the market in Russia for bottled water, visit the production lines and have an extensive discussion with the director Sergey Zaichenko. In the afternoon we have a meeting with the Russian beer giant Baltika, which is now part of the Carlsberg Group. We visit one of the most modern European breweries and we discover more about how Baltika is preparing for the much talked-about threat to ban the sale of beer in PET bottles.