Kvas | All Stars Bakery

33 Reviews
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Brewed by:
All Stars Bakery
Ontario, Canada

Style: Kvass

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 0.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Kvas is a non-alcoholic cereal beverage which is produced from Sourdough Rye Bread, Malt and Sugar. Kvas has a golden-brown color, the pleasant flavor of Rye Bread, low sweetness and sufficient carbonate to give Kvas a sparkle on the palate.

Added by Derek on 05-04-2008

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 40
Photo of grub
2.49/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

group tasting at Derek's place. Derek contributed this one, so thanks!

2 litre plastic bottle. sampled aug 7/09.

pours hazy light brown with raisins floating on top. a big tan head forms, dropping fast and leaving a bit of lace.

aroma is kind of foul. feet. rotting fruit. alcohol. rye and grain. fish. feet. socks. touch of sourness. bit of chocolate. earth. do i really want to taste this?

taste is not nearly as bad as the aroma. bit of toffee and caramel. light sweetness. rye bread. grain. light alcohol. raisin. bit of date. bit of feet and earthy character, but less of the foul/rotted character i got in the aroma.

mouthfeel is ok. medium-light body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is ok. i'm glad i only had a small sample and i won't go back for more, but it is relatively unoffensive if you don't smell it.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Viggo
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Proteus93
3.77/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - uncaps with a rush of carbonation. A bit of a mess as I wasn't ready for that. I pour a mix of foam and fluid into a pint glass. An extreme formation of light tan foam fades back to nil, despite obvious activity below the surface. Lots of sediment and the remainder in the two-liter bottle has a rather disgusting looking plug of slimy brown rye bread on top that looks pretty much like, well, I won't say it. The beer in the glass is notably better-looking, a cloudy muddy reddish brown.

Aroma - very bready and raw, a little like tuna salad on a Saltine cracker, lol. Very unusual and I can't say I'm a fan. Maybe I should have this with some tuna salad? ;-)

Taste/Mouthfeel - sweet, diluted, and bready. Very unusual, but somewhat palatable. The sweetness is obviously raisin-flavored. The malts from the rye bread are essentially undetectable. There is a nice creaminess here, as well as a mouth-filling fluffiness as each drink unleashes lots of bubbles inside the mouth. After a bit, some of the rye flavor works its way in, but it's reminding me of the whole tuna thing. Not near as bad after a while but it does take some acclimation.

Drinkability - as no one at DLD was brave enough to venture into this, it looks like I'll be polishing off the entire two-liter bottle over the course of several nights. Can't say I'm looking forward to it but maybe I'll get some Russian culture and education into the style over a series of tastings. Budem!

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Photo of bobsy
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Derek
3.7/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

New link (Dec 2014):

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Kvas from All Stars Bakery
3.45 out of 5 based on 40 ratings.
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