I could probably write a long post with something about the country and it's beer industry, but these five samples took away all my will and inspiration to do so.
(notice: the names are transliterations of the brands on the labels, according to what little Russian my wife still remembers from school)
The first one I drank was Slavutich svjetle. Basically a fourth rate desítka. Something like an eurolager drunk from a glass that was left for some time in the rain.
It was followed by Chernigivskje Premium. Of the lot, the only drinkable one. It wants to be an Eurolager of a higher standard.
The third one was Afanasij Premium Gold. I would say that not even the name was Premium. Awful and with pride. The label isn't too shabby, though. Maybe I could have brewed tea with it, it might have tasted better.
The fourth, Afanasij Svetloje 14%. Finally a strong beer. Though the strong thing is actually the sugary (cheap sweetener?) taste of this beer that tires on the second sip.
I had left Chernigivskje nefiltrovane Bile for last. A white beer, maybe wheat or at least with wheat. It was going to be different from the rest. I had hopes. Those hopes sank a little when I noticed the logotype of InBev (pardon my French) carved on the bottle. Though to be fair, the one I had liked the most (or disliked the least, everything is relative) so far, had been from the same brewery. How to discribe this beer. It does look like a pretty decen weizen. The rest, on the other hand, is more similar to watered down Fanta Organce than beer. Horrible.
I'm sure there are many much better beers than these five in Ukraine, but I don't think they are the easiest to find. Michal, the friend who brough them to me, goes to Ukraine on business very often. He doesn't have much time to explore and so picked what he was able to find at a supermarket. I've complained a lot about how poor the choice is at supermarkets and shops in Prague. This has helped me see things with a different perspective and feel lucky of living here.
PS: If any of you knows Russian and wants to correct the transliterations, you are welcome to do so.Choose your preferred Prague hotels and get free transport.