Friday 28th September 2018
Tula is an old city around 120 miles (193 kms) south of Moscow. It has a population of around a half million and has some tourist attractions. There is a restored Kremlin and nearby is a Museum of Armaments which has a vast collection or historic weapons. I’m sure my favourite is the Museum of Samovars. The iconic Russian tea urn is said to have been invented in Tula and there are still some firms manufacturing them here still.
In fact, in some cases they are elevated to an art form. There is a display case at the railway station and some are magnificent with their intricate metalwork. Despite the attractions we didn’t visit any of these museums.
The reason was that this city is home to five small independent breweries and these were our true objective. Salden’s is the largest of these and it is interesting to note that its title is notated in the Latin script rather than Cyrillic. An eye on future exports maybe? They already have several outlets around Tula and also in Moscow.
In such an old city it is entirely fitting that their Taphouse is in the cellars of a building built in 1799. Once inside we could see that the décor was minimalist. The vaulted ceilings are painted white and the bar counter, and fitted and loose furniture were made of light varnished pine. On the lower half of the walls there is panelling using the same wood. Two television screens above the counter display the beers currently offered.
I am not normally inclined to publish big lists of beers but want to make an exception here to emphasise the vast range available to the public in pubs such as this in modern day Russia. American Pilsner (5.2%); Golden Lager (5.0%); Double Chocolate Stout (7.0%); Citra IPA (6.5%); Sea Bastard AIPA (7.0%); Pryanik Stout (8.0 edition) (8.2%); Witbier (4.7%); Oak Smoked Tomato Gose (!) (5.9%); Milkshake DIPA with Mango Purée (8.0%); Extra Stout (Chili Edition) (7.2%) and Russian Imperial Stout (Batch 7 in Bourbon barrels) (12.5%).
Yet there’s more: Sour Ale (Passion Fruit & Ice Cream) (4.9%); Yuza DIPA (7.5%); Milk Stout (Coconut Edition) (7.0%); Simcoe & Mosaic DIPA (8.5%); Milkshake DIPA with Banana Purée; Violent Twins DIPA (8.5%); Weissbier (5.2%); Tripe IPA (10.0%); Cider Apple dry hopped with Citra (7.0%); New England Pale Ale (6.0%) and Hazelnut Stout (7.2%).
Personally, we are not taken by the extreme flavours but are very keen on the old-established styles that are well-made.
As a result we had Golden Lager (5.0%) which we thought was a very good example of the style that was well balanced. The other was Citra IPA (6.5%) which again was very good, being very true to the hop’s taste, a really nice beer.
Food here is mainly confined to burgers. However in a short time they have attained a good reputation for their quality. In the main avenue leading to the railway station there is another branch.
We had hoped to call in for a last beer before catching the train back to Moscow but it turned out to be bottle shop only. However, you may want to visit so the details are as follows: Salden’s Brewery (Krasnoarmeyskiy), Krasnoarmeyskiy Prospekt/Красноармейский Пропект 22, Tula/Tyлa 300041. Hours: Monday-Sunday: 14.00-22.00.
Salden’s Brewery Taphouse (Sovetskaya), Sovetskaya/Советская 26A, Tula/Tyлa 300041
Tel: 4872 792482. Web: saldens.ru
Hours: Monday-Sunday 14:00-22:00
The Taphouse is in the centre of the city on one of the main streets.
It is easy to reach as many tram and trolleybus routes go past.