A short excursion on Russian territory



2018 was my second year traveling to Novosibirsk, Siberia for our summer party at work. This time, I arranged for some extra days to visit some of the best craft beer bars in Moscow and get a feeling of the booming craft beer scene in Russia.


The Rooks shop&pub

Novosibirsk is the third-most populous city in Russia after Moscow and St. Petersburg. During my stay in mid-July, the weather was very pleasant ranging from 20ºC – 28ºC. On Friday I set off with a few colleagues to explore some of the classic and new craft beer bars in the city.

Very close to our office is The Rooks shop&pub, a trendy craft beer bar hidden in a courtyard. The place is pretty small but they have a back room with some places to sit and tables outside in the courtyard to enjoy the fresh Siberian air.

They serve both craft beer and cider on their 7 taps. Russian only beers when we visited. They also have a wide selection in bottle so you are sure to find something of your liking. The bartenders were friendly and can give you some recommendations – if you speak Russian that is.

The only downside is they serve the beer in plastic glasses as you can bring it out in the courtyard and from what a local explained me it gets very crowded at night, mainly attracting a younger crowd. We were there afterwork around 18h and it was still quiet, but there are other 2-3 bars in the courtyard so I can imagine it can get wild.


Our second stop was at Jonathan, a modern brewpub serving beers from their own brewery called Seagull located next door and opened to visitors, if you fancy a tour.

Opened in 2015, they have added taps over the years and had 8 beers and ciders on draft when we visited. The beer was ok but nothing outstanding. The interior is your typical hipster place with an industrial decor and soft lightning. They have a couple tables out front and a smoking terrace in the back which also has a bar. They also serve homemade food and during our visit almost all visitors were already having a bite to eat.

Bootleggers Pub

We then stopped by Bootleggers Pub, which is my #1 bar in Novosibirsk. The owners are really serious about their beer. They have 20 beers on tap, plus a beautiful display of more than 100 bottles in their 3 maxi fridges. They mostly serve local beers on draft, but you can find beers from around the world in bottle.

The atmosphere is cozy, with nice and friendly staff, and they even speak English! The place is located in a basement and can seem a bit hidden but it is actually quite central, near Pervomayskiy park.


At a short distance walk, we reached our last stop of the day: Jawsspot. This bar belongs to Jaws, a popular brewery from Russia’s Sverdlovsk region. They have opened a couple locations around the country, Novosibirsk included. They serve 20 beers on tap, everything from their own brewery, including a wide range of styles – so you won’t be disappointed. The staff was friendly, atmosphere was young and lively. Definitely my #2 on the list!


We arrived in Moscow on Sunday. It was the world cup final and the city was packed with football fans. Croatians mainly and loudly… but we did get a glimpse of some Frenchies, which were way quieter.

Connolly station pub 

Generally, I was already pretty tired from the party on Saturday plus jet lagged, so we didn’t visit that many bars in Moscow. Although we did some sightseeing, passing by the red square, San Basilio cathedral, Kremlin, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, and even a boat tour on the Moskva River. We then headed to Connolly station pub to watch the final. Allez les bleus! 

The next day we visited Moscow city (financial centre) for a panoramic view of the city in one of the glass sky scrappers. We then headed to old Arbat, a pedestrian street about one km long in the historical centre. It is one of the oldest original streets in the Russian capital and today you will find many crafts stores as well as performing artists.

Eric the Red

This is also where you can find Eric the Red, right on Arbat street and with a lovely decked terrace to watch the people passing by. The bar has three different levels, each one with it’s own bar serving different beers on draft. This means a huge amount of craft beers (about 60!) and it is one of the only places I’ve seen with so many taps. As you can imagine they serve a large variety of styles, from local, national and international breweries alike. Prices are in the middle-high range. Some beers were poured in smaller glasses, so watch out for that. Definitely worth a visit if you are in town!


I would have loved to visit some more bars in town, but my time was limited as well as my energy. However, if you are lucky and want to continue exploring some craft beer bars in Moscow specifically, here is our list of recommended spots: