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Good Beer Hunting

Nov 30, 2022

The concept of “beer-flavored beer” doesn’t actually exist—at least not universally. One person’s disgusting is another person’s delicious, and a lot of it has to do with your upbringing, culture, and culinary traditions. With this in mind, writer Lana Svitankova calls beer an opportunity to experience “liquid nostalgia,” a concept that she explores in-depth in her latest piece titled “Sour, Salty, Umami — The Ukrainian Brewers Transforming Pickling Traditions Into Beer,” which was published on October 12, 2022 as part of Good Beer Hunting’s Critical Drinking series. 

In the piece, Lana delves into the relatively young beer industry in Ukraine, which has experimented with pickle beers and other culinary-inspired styles in ways places like the United States have only begun to explore. From tomato beers to those inspired by gazpacho or borscht, these beverages have the ability to connect drinkers with the past as well as the very land around them, a land that remains under threat to this day.

We’ll talk about that ongoing conflict, as well as Lana’s ability to find joy not just in beer itself, but in the strength, courage, and resilience of the beer community as it grapples with survival as well as the human need to experience comfort and cheer. She describes her favorite anecdote she’s told thus far, which involves oysters and a personal redefinition of what beer is, as well as the very specific food-inspired beer she’s holding out for an intrepid brewer to make. Finally, Lana breaks down individual preferences not just in what we eat or drink, but the music we listen to, the art we love, and the way we experience the world around us. Chaos can be as gorgeous as a symphony, and with an open mind, the possibilities for new sensations are endless.