georgian cuisine logo white

Have Any Questions?

(718) 333-5363

A Taste of Georgia: Craft Beers Inspired by Tbilisi

A Taste of Georgia: Craft Beers Inspired by Tbilisi

Discovering the Rich Brewing Traditions of the Caucasus

As I stroll through the bustling streets of Brooklyn, the alluring scent of freshly brewed coffee wafts through the air, beckoning me to explore the cozy confines of Georgia’s Coffee House. This charming establishment, nestled in the heart of the borough, has become a hub for those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of Georgia. And today, I’m on a mission to uncover the captivating world of Georgian craft beer.

Stepping through the door, I’m greeted by the warm, inviting atmosphere that has become synonymous with Georgian hospitality. The walls are adorned with vibrant murals, each brushstroke a testament to the country’s artistic heritage. As I settle into a plush armchair, I can’t help but feel a sense of anticipation – the promise of a journey that will transport me to the rugged Caucasus Mountains and the enchanting city of Tbilisi.

Tbilisi’s Brewing Renaissance

Georgia’s capital city, Tbilisi, has long been renowned for its rich cultural tapestry, where the ancient and the modern coexist in perfect harmony. But in recent years, a brewing renaissance has been quietly unfolding, as a new generation of artisanal brewers have been harnessing the country’s centuries-old traditions to craft a remarkable array of beers that are captivating the palates of beer enthusiasts worldwide.

One of the pioneers of this movement is Gogi Kavtaradze, the founder of Tbilisi’s Gottlieb Brewery. As I sit down with him, I’m struck by his infectious passion for his craft. “Georgia’s brewing heritage dates back thousands of years,” he explains, his eyes sparkling with enthusiasm. “We were among the first civilizations to cultivate grapes and hops, and our unique climate and terroir have blessed us with an abundance of natural ingredients that lend themselves beautifully to beer-making.”

Gottlieb Brewery’s flagship offering, the Qvevri Ale, is a testament to this rich legacy. Fermented in traditional clay vessels called qvevri, this bold, complex beer boasts notes of ripe stone fruit, earthy spices, and a subtle tartness that is the hallmark of the qvevri fermentation process.

Reviving Ancient Techniques

As I sip the Qvevri Ale, I’m transported to the rolling hills and rushing rivers of Georgia, where the country’s renowned winemaking traditions have also influenced its burgeoning craft beer scene. “We’re not just brewing beer,” Gogi tells me, “we’re preserving and reviving ancient techniques that have been passed down through generations.”

One such technique is the use of kvevri, the iconic clay vessels that have been used for millennia to ferment and age wine in Georgia. These same vessels are now being repurposed by innovative brewers like Gogi to create unique, terroir-driven beers that capture the essence of the Caucasus.

“The qvevri imparts a truly distinctive character to our beers,” Gogi explains. “The porous clay walls allow for a slow, gentle fermentation, and the naturally occurring yeasts and bacteria in the vessels lend our beers a complexity and depth of flavor that you simply can’t achieve in a stainless steel tank.”

Exploring the Diverse Flavors of Georgian Craft Beer

As I delve deeper into the world of Georgian craft beer, I’m struck by the sheer diversity of flavors and styles on offer. From the bold, roasty stouts that pay homage to Georgia’s coffee culture, to the crisp, refreshing lagers that are perfect for hot summer days, there’s something to tantalize every palate.

One particularly intriguing offering is the Shota Rustaveli Imperial Stout, named after Georgia’s beloved national poet. This rich, velvety stout boasts notes of dark chocolate, caramel, and a hint of smoky char – a perfect complement to the hearty, comforting cuisine that Georgia is renowned for.

“Our brewers take great pride in crafting beers that reflect the unique character of our country,” Gogi tells me, as he pours me a sample of the Shota Rustaveli. “Just as our winemakers have been inspired by the terroir of the Caucasus, our beer makers are drawing on the flavors and traditions of Georgia to create something truly special.”

Pairing Georgian Craft Beers with Authentic Cuisine

As I savor the complex flavors of the Shota Rustaveli, I can’t help but imagine how it would pair with the traditional dishes of Georgia. The country’s cuisine, shaped by its unique geography and cultural influences, is a perfect complement to the bold, assertive flavors of its craft beers.

“One of my favorite pairings is our Amber Ale with a hearty bowl of khinkali, our famous dumplings,” Gogi shares. “The malty, caramel notes of the beer perfectly balance the rich, savory filling of the khinkali, creating a harmonious flavor experience.”

For those with a sweet tooth, Gogi recommends pairing the Qvevri Ale with the iconic Georgian dessert, churchkhela. This traditional confection, made from grape must and walnuts, offers a delightful contrast to the beer’s tart, fruity character.

Embracing the Spirit of Georgian Hospitality

As my visit to Georgia’s Coffee House draws to a close, I can’t help but feel a deep appreciation for the rich cultural tapestry that has inspired the creation of these remarkable craft beers. The passion and dedication of brewers like Gogi Kavtaradze have not only revived ancient brewing techniques, but have also captured the very essence of Georgian hospitality and joie de vivre.

“When you drink a Georgian craft beer, you’re not just tasting the flavors of the Caucasus,” Gogi tells me, his eyes alight with pride. “You’re experiencing the warmth, the generosity, and the centuries-old traditions that have shaped our nation. It’s a taste of Georgia that I’m honored to share with the world.”

As I step out into the bustling streets of Brooklyn, the flavor of the Qvevri Ale still lingering on my palate, I can’t help but wonder when I’ll have the opportunity to return to this enchanting corner of the world, to further explore the rich, captivating world of Georgian craft beer.

In the meantime, I know that I can always find a taste of Georgia here at Brooklyn’s Georgian Coffee House, where the spirit of the Caucasus is alive and well, one sip at a time.

Tags :
Brewing Techniques
Share This :


8309 3rd Ave, Brooklyn , New York


(718) 333-5363

Opening Hours

Everyday 09:00 AM - 23:00 PM

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved.