Friday 28th September 2018
Tula is a city around 120 miles (193 kms) south of Moscow. What attracted myself and Linda to it was the number of small independent breweries located here. It takes around two hours to travel by train from Moscow and so we had arrived at Tula station at 10.26 after travelling on a modern Lastochka/Ласточка train en route from the capital to its destination at the city of Kursk.
This was the first day of our visit to Russia, having arrived the day before. Because of the rather inflexible time of the train we had arrived in Tula well before the first pub opened at 12.00. However this proved to be no problem as the time was soon absorbed, one reason was that we couldn’t find where the trams departed from.
The location was found by turning left from the station, past several blocks of flats accompanied by a number of stray dogs, normal for this country, walking till we found the tram turning circle.
One was just leaving and the driver obligingly stopped it for us. We comprised the entire passenger count for the vehicle. We had to change routes and so alighted at an intermediate stop. It was then a thirty minute wait for the next tram on a route that went past the pub.
Although I like to travel in towns and cities over steel rails, I cannot recommend the trams of Tula. They are slow, infrequent, also old and dirty; the trolleybuses are much better. The intervals between individual trams are awkward, such on this route as every 38 minutes.
The only respite from this travel torture is that the stops do display the exact times. Trolleybuses are similar but as they are more frequent, the agony is diminished.
So after these transport woes we arrived at Augustine just before opening time. Luckily it is just across the road from the tram stop. Inside we found a typical Russian pub-restaurant that opened its doors for the first time on 17th July 2014. In the main room we found the bar counter in the corner, took a seat and tried to decipher the beer menu.
There is a vast range of beers to be had here, all produced on their Kasper Schultz (Bamberg) brewery. We thought that they were a bit gassy but nevertheless were full-flavoured.
We started with Темное (dark) (4.1%), a standard beer with 12 IBU. We also had Ледяное (Ledyanoe) (4.7%) which was a helles beer in the Munich style, quite sweet, it had 12 IBU.
They offered many different styles of beer from Europe and North America with several oddities such as a one with herb & spice flavouring, as well a pumpkin beer. More conventionally we had also had Svetloe/Светлое (light) (5.2%) and Богемский (Bohemian Pilsner (4.8%). We pronounced both as good.
The restaurant has a good reputation for its cuisine which is in the German style. So the Augustine comes recommended for food and beer.
Augustin/Августин, Zhavoronkova/Жаворонкова, 1a, Tula/Tyлa. Tel: 74872318899.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12.00-24.00, Friday-Saturday: 12.00-02.00.
Although Tram 14 has a stop outside the pub at Жаворонкова, we have come to the conclusion that this is not the best way to get here. Coming from the railway station the easiest way to arrive is by trolleybus 30 to the Cтадион (Stadion) stop. Other routes also serve this stop. From the stop go one block on Жаворонкова and you’ll find the pub on the corner on the right.