St Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург):
Schelkunchnik / Щелкунчик
Monday 22nd July 2013
The name of this "pub" is actually familiar if you know something of the works of Tchaikovsky as it is the "Nutcracker". His suite is named after the small member of the crow family that inhabits Northern Europe; it's a bit like a Jackdaw. This is a strange place to find a brewery as it is in a self-service restaurant.
On entering through the main door you are confronted by the brewery itself. Then there is a choice of directions. Left takes you to a bar and a small self service counter with a cash desk. Turning right leads you to a larger cafeteria with a large range of meals including many hot dishes. At the far end of the room are two cash desks. You have to pass these to get to the larger bar, which is on the left. This opens out into a very large room where you can take your beer or food, to consume.
The main room is decorated with wooden furniture and I have to say it is more restaurant than bar but is definitely better than the left hand choice at the entrance. There are flat-screen televisions on the walls and I have to say the atmosphere is a bit flat too. It might be a bit better in the evening but at midday I was the only person drinking beer without a meal. Yet I have to say at this point that the food is very good and I had an early lunch the following day as breakfast was not included in my hotel booking. It was Pollock in tempura-type batter with mixed green beans and carrots and I enjoyed it considerably.
Well, what about the beer? There are just two normally available and I detail them below exactly as they appeared in Russian and English on the board above the bar:
Гоффмаии Светлое Ячменное Нефильтрованное / Goffmann Light Barley unfiltered.
Гоффмаии Светлое Пшеничое Нефильтрованное / Goffmann Light Wheat unfiltered.
Obviously the first was a normal light lager made with malted barley and this was what I had. It was fine without being exceptional in any way. I would not say that this location is worth going out of one's way to visit but as a place to have a home-made beer with a meal at very reasonable cost, it can't be beat.
It is underneath one end of the Oktiabrskaya Hotel / Гостиница Октябрьская where I was staying. When I made the booking it was because of the location, close by the St Petersburg Moskovskiy station, where I was to travel from later. I then discovered I had a venue for drinking beer from a small brewery which proved to be extremely important when I couldn't get to the Metro station because of a massive thunderstorm.
Two other notable aspects of this location are that there is an excellent bottle shop between the restaurant and the hotel entrance. The second is that you'll find a Park Inn around the corner and this has a bar franchised from Paulaner of Munich and their beers come from a small Paulaner brewery in St Petersburg. The barman there thought that there was no difference in taste between the German and the Russian versions. He said only the colour was different.
Schelkunchnik, Ligovsky Prospekt 10/118, Tsentralny District, St Peterburg 191036
ЩелкунЧик, Лиговский Проспект 10/118, Централъный район, Санкт-Петербург 191036
Tel: 812 717 6868
Open: Monday-Sunday 08.00-23.00
The restaurant is directly opposite Moskovskiy station where obviously, you catch trains to Moscow and many other southern destinations. On the opposite side of the square is the Ploshchad Vosstaniya Metro station (Line 1 Red). You can also use this entrance to access Mayakovskaya station (Line 3 Green).
Metro/Метро: Ploshchad Vosstaniya/Площадь Восстания or Mayakovskaya/Маяковская