It's always a treat to be able to play in your home town. And that's just what I did this week together with the Men Overboard maritime folk music trio. A huge "thank you!" goes out to Igor Gurbatov, manager of a new pub Gastrobar "Odnogo Uma Malo"* for the invite to come and share some old and new maritime folk music with folks in our adopted home port. Igor is a shanty singer himself, and in the video below he joins the Men singing the classic timber loading shanty Donkey Riding.

What's brewing in Russia?

It's still a well-kept secret that Russia and Saint-Petersburg are fast becoming a center for craft brewing. That shouldn't be surprising, as the country produces everything needful. Gastrobar "Odnogo Uma Malo", where we played this show, has a huge selection of excellent domestic craft beers and ciders, and some world-class "pub grub" to go with them. After our show I had an absolutely astonishing coffee stout that can hold its own with any brew I've ever had anywhere.

Photo: local craft beers and pub grub

This gastrobar is one of the many outlets for Russian craft brews that have been springing up here in Saint-Petersburg like forest mushrooms after rain. In the early days of my sojourn here, the local pub scene was pretty limited and dismal with a few exceptions, mostly Irish pub "wanna-bes". But that's no longer the case.

With over 30 domestic craft brews on tap, our gastrobar host for this wintry evening is a good place for visitors to sample the Russian craft beers. It's a short walk down Furshtadskaya street from the Chernyshevskaya metro station, in a district that's home to a number of foreign consulates. In fact, it's just hard by the German consulate... a fact that I expect Germany's diplomats greatly appreciate! Certainly I and my shipmates of the Men Overboard trio appreciated the chance to play for a hometown audience - and to sample a bit of what's brewing in Russia.


* "Odnogo Uma Malo", pronounced "odnovo ooma mala", translates roughly as "One mind is not enough", but it has additional significance for Russians that I don't quite follow even after attempts at explanation. Some things are just "lost in translation".

 Photo courtesy of Gastrobar "Odnogo Uma Malo"

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