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Brewery Bhavana | Boult Imperial Kvass

Brewery Bhavana | Boult Imperial Kvass
Christopher Hilliard

Drinking beer is as much an adventure as an education. At least, for me it is. For example, just the other week I discovered yet another new style, the kvass, a traditionally Slavic beverage, brewed with rye bread that is low in alcohol (≤1%) and slightly sour. A quick read on Wikipedia informed me of kvass’ long, historic journey from the Middle Ages to modern-day.

The Background

Per the article, the word “kvass” was first mentioned in writing as long ago as 996 (AD/CE), which means it’s probably safe to assume the actual beverage has been around even longer. Around the turn the of the 19th century, one Russian historian described kvass as the most common domestic drink. If you read on, you’ll find it’s still quite popular today in Eastern Europe, Russia and central Asia, becoming a commercial success via mass production. So much so, that it competes directly with Coke and Pepsi.

Now, thanks in part to Brewery Bhavana, the kvass has found its way to North Carolina. Bhavana crafted an imperial version of the kvass with Nordic rye from Raleigh’s own Boulted Bread Mill and bakery, which they christened Boult.

Photo courtesy of Chris Hilliard

The Beer

ABV: 6.0% | IBU: 0

After aging in neutral wine barrels for six months with Bhavana’s house sour culture, Boult pours out a hazy, golden, straw color, reminiscent of a Belgian gueuze. The similarities go even deeper with Boult’s earthy, acidic aroma. When it comes to flavor, Bhavana balances a funky tartness with mild sweetness, while the texture is medium-bodied and velvety smooth. While the alcohol content may be ten times that of its inspiration, it’s hardly overwhelming. In fact, you might not even notice it behind the bold flavors.

From sight to swallow, Brewery Bhavana’s imperial kvass, Boult, is an enticing update to an old world drink. And if I’m being honest, it’s an immediate favorite in my book.

Look for Boult in beer and bottle shops around the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill). Or if you’re looking for a special treat, head into downtown Raleigh and visit the brewpub itself on 218 South Blount Street. I have it on good authority you won’t be disappointed.

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