Don’t be fooled. Just because I’m writing a post about beer here in Azerbaijan does not mean that there is anything particularly admirable about beer here in Azerbaijan. To be sure, I think the best thing I could probably say is that there are imports. In fact, they even import my hometown brew, Miller Genuine Draft, cans and bottles. Azerbaijan also imports Efes, a Turkish beer.
The reason I’m writing about beer is that in addition to importing beer, it looks like Azerbaijan may be stepping into the arena of exporting beer. This will certainly be a treat for all involved. This news story brings us tell of Baki-Castel’s plans to export beer to Turkmenistan and beyond:
“In the autumn of 2010 we will begin exporting beer to this neighboring country,” A. Tlehuray said.
According to him, from now onwards, Baltika-Baku is ready to start its production export to Caspian bordering countries.
So what are you really dealing with here? It turns out that Baltika Breweries is actually a Russian company, recently merged with Carlsberg, out of Denmark. In Azerbaijan, known as Baltika-Baku, the company produces a list of 10 brands, all the domestic beer I’ve seen in Azerbaijan. To get an idea of the quality we’re working with, check out Xırdalan. This is a fairly popular, cheap beer. Rating here. You can actually purchase this in 1.5 liter plastic bottles. It’s like you’re buying a sports drink for the big game, except this one leaves you drowsy, full, and stumbly afterwards. Xırdalan is actually one of the better beers here, a drinkable pale lager, as opposed to some of the other products like Bizim Pivə (‘Our Beer’) and Əfsanə (‘Legend’). The Batilka series, however, isn’t bad at all. Once you get up to No.’s 9, 11, and 13, they get dark and a little more bitter, a flavor I can handle.
As for those exports, I’m hoping Turkmenistan knows what it’s getting into.