Kvas - All Stars Bakery
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Ratings: 36 | Reviews: 31 | Display Reviews Only:
4.55/5 rDev +30%
This was probably the find of the day during my excursion to the Brighton Beach (Little Odessa) section of Brooklyn on Saturday. The woman at the checkout counter could barely contain her surprise at my selections and soon everyone within earshot was looking at the Amerikanski buying Kvass.
I had no difficulty with my bottle, but it was certainly carbonated as all get-out! I put it right into the reefer upon returning home and poured it near, but not over, the sink. I like to live dangerously. Lots of foamy, dark-tan head that foamed and fizzed and finally settled into something that could actually be drunk. Deep hazy brown in color with several bloated golden raisins doing the backstroke in the bottle. I have little to no doubt that this may be as close to authentic short of visiting Mother Russia that I will get to try. Nose was very bready, slightly sour, definitely rye-like. Mouthfeel was very fizzy and acerbic with a pleasant, not overwhelming sourness on the tongue. Finish was utterly dry, leaving me to wonder what purpose the raisins might have served. They lent an interesting visual dynamic to the whole thing, much akin to the bluberries in BOS Beer Works' Blueberry Ale, but no discernible sweetness. It was definitely thrist-quenching, like drinking Ginger Ale pop, really and quite the find. I would have this again.
05-30-2011 16:32:35 | More by woodychandler
4.25/5 rDev +21.4%
Finally the real deal! I found this in the refrigerated section of Bell's Market in northeast Philadelphia. It had yeast in it, and there were plump round raisins floating along the surface.
Cracking open the clear plastic bottle it emitted a long hiss and the foam rose up threatening to come out the top. It's certainly got some carbonation to it!
Upon pouring, a massive head of yellowed tan foam rose up, and then surprisingly held! This is the first kvas I've tasted that has actually kept its head. The body below was a cloudy russet brown and specks of yeast could be seen floating in it.
The aroma was interesting and complex. It was a bit earthy, and a bit wood-like... perhaps musty? It reminded me of wet-rope along a pier dock-side. Maybe I'm thinking a bit briny... ? And it was more bready than caramelish or sugary, as so many can be.
The flavor was bready with notes of golden caramel and a hint of 'tart' and fruit; and it wasn't sugary at all. It was sweet, and of course it's supposed to be, but it didn't stick in your mouth as some do. A light note of cocoa was left behind though.
Interesting to be sure! Worth seeking out for fans of the style.
06-03-2011 18:42:56 | More by NeroFiddled
4.05/5 rDev +15.7%
Thought I was seeing things when the little Russian lady pulled this seemingly blank 2 liter out of the back cooler at the deli. Turning the bottle around, I saw the "All Stars Bakery" gold label. Score! Had no idea this was even distributed in the states. "Keep refrigerated, serve ice cold."
After reading some reviews of gushing, I opened this over the sink, and the bottle didn't gush at all. The large headspace in the bottle filled with foam that didn't rise up past the neck. First a sharp whiff of vinegar caught my nose, and I could tell this stuff was unpasteurized, and would be different from the commercial examples i've tried so far. Holy shit! Suddenly there are 5 "bloated" golden raisins floating inside the bottle. Wacky.
Reddish brown color, somewhat dark and murky. Some visible micro sediment on the bottom of the glass (bread crumbs listed in the ingredients?). An inch of khaki tan foam rose and settled, leaving a dense skim that never broke.
Aroma is stranger than any other Kvass i've tried, prominent vinegar note, typical raisin sweetness. It gave it a fairly primitive impression, in line with the ancient origins of this drink. I could see how the vinegar element could be unexpected or off putting, but to a fan of wild & sour ales, it's oddly appealing. Reminds me of kombucha tea in a way.
Sour taste, fairly spritzy and drying in the finish. Well carbonated and tart, not overly sweet, yet there is some underpinning of molasses and golden raisins. Vinegar doesn't really surface in the flavor at all. Refreshing and good with hearty food. Seek this out if you want an unfiltered, unpasteurized traditional Kvass to compare to the sea of sweetened commercial versions out there.
2013: Available at Rich's Deli in Chicago and Harwood Heights. Three Sisters Deli, RIP.
12-19-2010 01:24:02 | More by emerge077
4/5 rDev +14.3%
Picked up a 2-liter plastic bottle of this at the little Russian place down the street from me. I've been looking for this for awhile now. Who knew that the place near me (1) had a liquor license and (2) had this in stock. Glad I stopped in to check on their potential kvass selection.
Served in a pint glass with Amyliz4 and drabmuh during this morning's brew session. Pours a dark cola brown with a very fizzy light tan head. Aside from that, there were a good number of raisins floating in the bottle and boy oh boy was this a gusher. I'll be buying another bottle just so I can take a video of this thing.
The nose carries quite a distinctive rye-bread character along with raisins and prunes. Pretty bready. The flavor is much better and is actually quite enjoyable. Although there are raisins in the beer, I got much more of a prune character. Between that and the high carbonation (plus the 2L bottle), this actually seemed to be quite a bit like Dr. Pepper. Quite a bit of rye bread in the background. Soda-like body and of course no alcohol at all. 0.50% ABV? I certainly believe that.
We went through about half the bottle earlier today and I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I'm going to polish the rest of this off in due course throughout the day.
07-02-2011 19:33:35 | More by Thorpe429
4/5 rDev +14.3%
Been looking to get some Kvass for a while. Recently found out about a Russian Market down near Philly that carried it. Picked up a 2 Liter bottle of this today and chilled it as soon as I got home.
Gave this an aggressive pour into a 16oz chalice, the look of it resembles a dark brown cloudy cola-like liquid. The head had a bit more retention than a soda does. But by mid glass it was gone. The smell of the beer is a little on the funky side. It's yeasty and a bit little sweet too. The taste is sweet, it's much more pleasent than the smell. The taste has flavors of molasses and bread. There is virtually no bitterness. The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated with a syrupy finish. Overall this is my first Kvass, therefor I have nothing to compare it too. I feel that this is a very interesting brew, definitely glad I got to find some finally.
06-18-2012 01:27:04 | More by Knapp85
3.95/5 rDev +12.9%
Thanks Urbancaver for sharing this one
A - murky brown body, decent tan head
S - rye, raisins, a bit tart
T - sweet, very much like a cola, a bit dry, some tartness
M - dry, quite thin
O (D) - pretty drinkable, fairly refreshing, decent all around.
06-04-2011 20:04:04 | More by ColdPoncho
3.9/5 rDev +11.4%
First off, thanks cooperellis for this treat. Came in a 2liter bottle that looked like it was going to explode! It had swollen to almost twice the size and i feared for my life opening it! I left off a lot of pressure before opening it fully
Pours a murky maroon with a decent off-white head. Looks quite pretty minus the weird floating raisins. Smells like rye and raisins. A bit funky on the nose but interesting. Tastes sweet and malty. Lots of rye and the raisin is very strong. The sweetness is a bit much but it's very enjoyable. If i had access to this i would definitely drink it again.
05-26-2011 23:01:38 | More by Urbancaver
3.9/5 rDev +11.4%
All Stars Bakery Kvas pours like and looks like soda-pop, which is not entirely coincidental given that it is ostensibly just that. Its carbonation completely fizzed out, leaving a flat cola-coloured liquid that is considerably muddied - what did you expect from something with raisins and bread crumbs floating in it?
Unless you work in an Eastern-European bakery, the aroma is likely to be unlike anything you've smelled before. Sweet and yeasty, it smells strongly of molasses and rye bread. It is odd, but curiously agreeable. Fermentation has definitely left its mark as the smell is distinguished by a certain, shall we say, 'over-ripeness'.
The taste, fortunately, doesn't taste at all like it's from the 'day-old' rack. It is laced with thick, sweet, syrupy molasses and has a slight raisin flavour on the finish. The rustic, earthy taste of dark sourdough and rye bread is lovely in liquid form (full disclosure: I am a bread lover). Its texture is frothy, with a crackling, dry finish.
I have never liked pop - and despise Coca-Cola - but this I enjoy a lot. And while the similarities with Coke begin and end with the syrupy sweetness, this makes a much healthier alternative to soda (less sugar, natural sugars, more protein, no preservatives). It is mightily refreshing and disappears quickly.
I have Russian friends who are fond of telling me stories of drinking fresh Kvas (from dubiously cleaned cups) on the streets of Moscow directly from the barrel. They tell me All Stars' version is *almost* as good as that stuff back home (though it lacks the flabby armed babushka pouring it). That's endorsement enough for me.
11-22-2012 17:44:43 | More by biegaman
3.8/5 rDev +8.6%
Bought a 2 liter bottle of this from the Brighton Bazaar in Brooklyn, NY. It was in a chiller, and the bottles were only about 3/4 full, which I found kind of odd. Initially, the plan was to take this one back to Virginia and share it, but by evening, the bottle was rock hard, and the bottom had puffed out... it was time to open before it became explosive
Ingredients listed on the bottle include: Filtered water, rye bread crumbs, barley malt, sugar, raisins. I find it kind of odd that yeast is not listed as being an active ingredient.
A: Somewhere between a tea brown and a chestnut brown. There is a slight haziness to it, and after having one glass already, I noticed some sediment left in the bottom of the glass. Head was quite intense on first pour, but much of that is likely due to the bottle not being as cold as intended. It holds onto a little bit of a collar, but it's quite soda-like
S + T: It very literally smells like fermented rye bread. There's a slightly sour/tart kind of element to it that adds an interesting touch, both to the nose and the palate. The raisins don't seem to offer much in the sense of scent or flavour, though they may be playing into the tartness. The flavour has a vinegar quality, somewhat similar to something like a Flanders Red. I personally find it to be pleasing, keeping it from being too sweet and soda-like.
M + D: First pour was very prickly.... having the bottle get warm in the car, followed by slow chilling lead to an incredibly carbonated bottle. It took about 2 minutes to get the cap off without having it burst all over, and that showed in the glass. On subsequent pours, that mellowed out substantially. This is a very intriguing style, though I don't know if I would really consider it to truly be a beer. I'm not even sure there's any alcohol in it at all... it is suggested that there is not, and if yeast has actually been skipped, allowing for all natural fermentation of the rye bread, I don't know if it would get very high at all. That said, I find it to be an enjoyable drink and I would like to revisit it the next time I make it up to an area that serves it.
08-12-2009 00:54:05 | More by Proteus93
3.78/5 rDev +8%
Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.
While searching my local international market for some other things, this elusive kvass caught my eye. Finally, the Kvass Kick crosses the Pond and pounces on the Great White North. This offering to the kvass gods pours a sludgy garnet-sienna topped by a healthy sandstone froth a couple fingers high. The nose comprises rye bread, pumpernickel, light fennel, toffee, and a pinch of cocoa powder. This stuff actually smells like bread...I don't know what to say, considering all of the meeker glasses of kvass that have passed beneath my 'strils. The taste brings in the same uber-sweetness that curses the other examples of this style, along with plenty o' fennel. The breadiness drops out fairly significantly. Luckily, a small does of maple syrup and very light cocoa near the back keeps this one afloat above the others. The body is actually kinda thick (especially when compared to the others), though not overly so, with a mild carbonation (ding ding ding, we have a winner here!) and a slightly grainy feel. Overall, I'd say this is possibly the best kvass I've yet encountered. If you have but one kvass this year, make it this one.
03-11-2011 23:30:52 | More by TMoney2591
British Columbia (Canada)
3.75/5 rDev +7.1%
Made from Borodynsky rye bread that's past its shelf live, the All Stars Bakery makes over 2000 bottles a week and exports it to Russian Grocers as far as Cleveland and Cincinnati.
The All Starts Bakery doesn't actually sell to the public. I picked this up at the "Yummy Market" on Dufferin St. in Toronto (along with some Borodynsky rye bread).
A: Dark chestnut with a light tan head, no retention, a little leg. Unfortunately, this one wasn't frothy at all.
S: Dark bread, bread crumbs, raisins and molasses aroma.
T: Very malty, bread, caramel & raisin flavours. Sweet with a slightly tart finish.
M: Lightly carbonated. I'll see how it develops over the next few weeks!
A good article: http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/kvass.html
05-04-2008 17:12:50 | More by Derek
3.73/5 rDev +6.6%
2L plastic pop bottle poured into pint glass 22/10/11
A 2L bottle that's a gusher for sure, the little raisins explode to the top when you crack this bad boy, the tan head actually grows for a few minuets from the most bubbles I've ever seen, the foam slowly falls leaving no lace, caramel brown body with lots of crap floating around, I liked the look of this one for sure.
S Smells like sticks and top soil, yeasty bread and some spices I can't quite place
T molasses comes out strong with some mild cola flavors with some sweet dried fruit and yet even more bread
M feels full and very well carbonated but still not turning to foam, finishes quite sweet
O is it a good Kvass? I wouldn't know one if I was drinking it but this I don't mind
pretty much rating this one on personal preference seeing and the big bastard grew on me as I drank it. I brought this to work so everyone could taste my Kvass and had very mixed results, some asked for more, some didn't make it past the smell
Thanks liamt07 for sending a style tick my way
10-26-2011 02:29:26 | More by wordemupg
3.65/5 rDev +4.3%
Picked up at Yummy Market on Dufferin - a good spot to pick up some Russian specialities. The alcohol for this is at the low end of the range (practically non-alcoholic, although that could be changed by leaving it out on the counter for a few days.
Cloudy oak coloured pour with a bubbly head that had completely faded after a minute. Rye and raisin aroma with a touch of sulphur and coffee grounds. The initial hit is light sulphur, but this gives way to a bready sweetness, some black tea and weak coffee, as well as sugar soaked raisins. Really, it seems a closer relative to a soda than beer, but a tad more fermentation, and I can see this becoming more familiar. Even if it is closer to a soda, it has a lot more depth than one, and is quite pleasing on those grounds. Its a bit too sweet for my liking, and I'm not a big fan of soft drinks, but its probably fitting for the style. I could also see it being very refreshing in the summer. The carbonation is light and short-lived on the tongue, and the body is light-medium. Strangely drying - not immediately, but a few minutes later.
Strange, strange drink. From reading the reviews of other kvass, this sound like one of the better examples of the style, hence the slightly above average scoring. Still, its pretty weird and only worth trying if you're very curious about the style. I certainly won't return.
02-02-2009 01:39:41 | More by bobsy
3.63/5 rDev +3.7%
2 liter plastic bottle ($3.49), picked it up last week from the local Russian/European food store here in far East Columbus. Served in a pint glass, the brew pours a hazy dark reddish/brown color with about a half inch tan head that fizzled away quickly. Not much lacing. There's also what I think are raisins floating around in the bottle, it looks cool just because of that. Aroma is pretty unusual (but then I haven't had many kvass brews either), it smells like sourdough and dark bread, molasses and a bit of sewer gas (that's the closest thing I can compare the unpleasant smell to), raisins and prunes. If you can get past the aroma, this does taste a lot better than it smells. It's mostly sweet, it tastes like dark bread (rye), molasses, and raisins/prunes. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, and it has moderate/high carbonation. Other than the weird aroma (which I got used to the longer I drank it), I liked this brew a lot. I'd buy this again, I thought it was nice and tasty.
12-29-2011 00:17:39 | More by bluejacket74
3.58/5 rDev +2.3%
Tasted On: 08-01-2011
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 2L plastic bottle
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Single from Aleksey's Market, Nashville
A: Pours a murky, dark brown with some red qualities. Head is 3-4 fingers of tan color. The first pour had a good amount of retention but in later pours, the head was gone in an instant. No lacing to speak of. I should mention there are raisins and/or pieces of bread floating in the bottle!
S: Aroma is very bready and has a sour quality that is kind of unpleasant. Label says it has sourdough and rye breads, so I'm guessing that's the nature of this aroma.
T: The taste is much better than it smells, thankfully. Sweet, similar to a cola (but not as sweet as a cola), with molasses and caramel flavors. Also definitely get the raisin taste.
M: Body is fairly thin with a high level of carbonation. Aftertaste is very cola-like in the sweet caramel flavors, with also some lingering breadiness.
O: This is easy to drink due to the cola-like qualities, along with the interesting bread notes. I don't care for the aroma that much due to the sourness, but I'd have this one again.
08-02-2011 02:47:10 | More by sommersb
3.53/5 rDev +0.9%
Thanks to Thorpe and Thorpette for sharing this with me yesterday morning. At the time of this review this is the #2 Kvas on the best of beeradvocate lists. Poured into a pint glass.
Beer is heavily over carbonated, it is a gusher for a long time, overall it is dirty brown with yeast floaties in it and some raisins on the top of the beer. The head is brown / off white and has some odd flecks of brown in it, the head is big and has some retention, carbonation high.
Aroma is a little off putting, mild rye, sweet molasses, some sugar / caramel. It just smells off a little.
Fortunately beer tastes better than it smells. It is thin, soda-like in the mouthfeel and flavor. Almost like a Dr. Pepper or another soda. Sweet, bready, mild yeast, pseudo-dry finish. An odd one but one of the better ones I've had. I went back for more.
On a personal / ticking note, this review finishes off one of my reviewing goals on beeradvocate, at this time I have reviewed a top 3 beer from every style (all 104) on beeradvocate.
07-03-2011 14:36:17 | More by drabmuh
3.43/5 rDev -2%
The helpful folks stacking European veggies at the Yummy Market were unanimous in their endorsement of this particular Kvas, over the other dozen or so brands that they offer. "All Natural" seemed to be the selling point. For 3 bucks per 2 Liter pop bottle, I wasn't going to argue.
Laying on its side in the fridge for a day or so, lots of natural ingredients fell out of solution, or maybe were never dissolved in the first place. Upon cracking open the bottle, lots of floaties were evident. The good kind, the kind listed right on the label - raisins and soaked rye bread crumbs.
This beverage pours a cloudy dishwater orange-brown, with soda-like bubbles clinging to the glass, a few fingers of creamy beige head, which leaves some pretty substantial lace as it quickly recedes. It smells like a cross between raw rye bread dough, and freshly inoculated wine must - yeasty, carbonic and a little fruity. The taste lives up to its name - it's sweet like a soft drink, a winey, spiced bread soft drink. It's very much like drinking a filtered (somewhat) fermenting grain beverage. I can smell the yeast, but not really taste it, as the sweet raisiny maltiness takes precedence. The carbonation comes across, mated with the flavour, very much like flat pop. The body is actually decently full, and smooth - a whole lot of heavy grain will do that. This finishes sweet, like the echo of raisin pie after you had that last bite at the nth holiday party...
I don't think this will be supplanting my normal soft drink choices, even if I had the choice, but it is surprisingly drinkable, in moderate amounts, which would severely limit its appeal to the soda drinkers on this continent.
08-23-2009 21:00:23 | More by biboergosum
3.43/5 rDev -2%
I stopped by the Russian Market near work today and purchased this odd beverage in a two liter bottle. They had this in the fridge and it was damn cold when I pulled it out. I guess I should have read the reviews first then I would have known to open this over the sink. I was careful when opening to release the pressure slowly, but once I got the cap all the way off I wasn't quick enough with the pour. Dark brown liquid poured into my glass as well as a good 4 inches of bubbly tan head. Lots of sticky lace down the sides of my glass. There's a weird spicy tart smell in there along with some sweetness in the background, raisins and prunes come to mind if you drenched them in molasses. I'm almost afraid to taste it. The taste isn't as bad as the aroma led me to believe. This one is definitely sweet but has a rough tart edge to it. Malty, caramel, molasses, prunes, raisins. Kind of thick body like drinking unfermented carbonated wort. Lots of bubbles and syrupy mouth coating. This is weird, but it really kind of grew on me. It's more soda than beer. Interesting, but this is probably the only time I will drink this unless I happen to be in Russia, or at East End.
05-23-2011 22:57:02 | More by johnnnniee
3.4/5 rDev -2.9%
Pours a dark brown, like a Belgium without head. A natural carbonation, arising from the bacteria similar to a Russian yogurt drink, and the mouthfeel similar. The bacteria, which is good guy bacteria, interacts in the mouth for an hour and fills you up and dries out the throat as if I had a glass of vodka. There are real raisins floating in the bottle. The taste is a little Belgium, rasiny, a tad of rye. Jeff, owner of the All Star Bakery said to not let it ferment as the alcohol will shoot up from 0.5% after a few weeks in the fridge.An interesting beverage, suggested by Derek.
06-05-2008 17:09:11 | More by Sammy
3.4/5 rDev -2.9%
2 liter pop bottle, been meaning to try this one for a while! Thanks Derek!
Pours a very hazy and ruddy dark reddish brown, like cola or root beer, thick and fizzy tan head forms, settles down to a thin ring and leaves some chunks of lace on the glass. Smell is weird, very bready, rye, very sharp, raisins, fruit, sulphurous, some herbal aromatics going on, very strange. Taste is actually not bad, very sweet and raisiny, brown sugar, root beer, cola, rye, lightly spicy in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with high carbonation. Still can't decide if I liked this, very interesting stuff! Thanks Derek.
08-13-2009 17:15:07 | More by Viggo
3.28/5 rDev -6.3%
Grabbed this at a Russian food store in Montreal, Absolut Plus. The woman told me to open it carefully because it's like champagne she said. Well, i slowly unscrewed the 2L plastic pop bottle and...
Appearance: A literal explosion as the foam kept gushing out of the bottle for a good 5 minutes! After 2 rags and putting the bottle in a large bowl, it was still streaming out like foamy lava. I decided to pour anyways because we could be here all night staring at it. The body was a dark brownish color and saw some raisins and other things floating in the bottle. None of this was off-putting save for the massive explosion. I didn't care for that at all.
Smell: Sourdough, vinegar, raisins and my wife can pick out the rye. Bread-like but not in the fresh baked way. Different for sure but not offensive, to me anyways.
Taste: Sweet at first with some sourness rounding things off. I can taste the rye now which is more in the aftertaste as well as dried raisins. Again, strange but it's not bad.
Mouthfeel: Carbonated for sure (it is a soda) but not as strong as i would have thought given the beginning it had. Kind of leaves a bit of a film on the palate. Not a strong body though it has a pretty clean finish.
Drinkability: I did finish one glass with a few sips to my wife but this is not something i would have often. Once in a blue moon is fine with me.
Overall: An interesting experiment that may be ok in small doses but 2L is way too big. I'd split this with 5-6 people at least. Glad to have tried it and it wasn't a drainpour at least.
07-08-2010 12:03:34 | More by papat444
District of Columbia
3.28/5 rDev -6.3%
2L bottle with a plastic screw top shared by the Thorpe's. спасибо!
The beer looks like a cola: dark brown with a small head that fades rapidly, leaving virtually no lacing. The aroma is weak, offering some sweet malt, sugar, bread, caramel syrup. The flavor is akin to a sweet cola, like Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb. As this is only my second time with this style, I suppose this is my new favorite kvass. I actually drank my whole glass and didn't hurl, so it's obviously an improvement from my initial experience. The sweetness of the beer becomes a bit much after a while. One glass was interesting and educational, but I wasn't going back for seconds.
07-12-2011 02:30:48 | More by Huhzubendah
Kvas from All Stars Bakery
80 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.