Sunday, June 3, 2018

The brewery traditions of Poltava region

Beer is the oldest drink that was always very popular in Europe. Ukraine is not an exception to the rule. This brief post is dedicated to the brewing traditions of Dyikanka village located 16km. north from Poltava. Dykanka was first mentioned in 1658 as a small Cossack village, though the area was populated for centuries. Swedish army headed by the King Charles XII passed this village on the way to Poltava in 1709. Since 17th century the village has been a possession of Kochubey dynasty. Kochubey was a Crimean Tatar family of the Cossack Hetmanate and later the Russian Empire. Over the years many representatives of this noble family placed high government positions. One of them, count Viktor  Kochubey was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1801–1802 and also Minister of the Interior until 1812, then in 1819–1825. Since 1827 he was the President of the State Council and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. In 1834, he was granted the rank of Chancellor of the Russian Empire. His palace in Dykanka was built in the beginning of 19th century by famous architect of Italian origin Giacomo Quarenghi who was the foremost and most prolific practitioner of neoclassical architecture in Imperial Russia.

The Palace of Kochubey in Dykanka.
The Dykanka Beer Plant was founded early 19th century and for decades it was the region’s most popular beer producer. Many hold that two of the secrets that make Dykanka beer so special is the water from an artesian well on the plant’s territory and a unique hop garden. Dykanka beer was sold to the far reaches of the Russian Empire and abroad.

The brewery in Dykanka, hop picking, Dykanka beer label, and old beer bottles.
After the Revolution of 1917 everything in the village of Dykanka felt into neglect. The palace was burnt to ashes in 1919 when Russia was involved in the Civil war (1917 – 1922). As about famous beer plant, only old photos, beer labels, and bottles left. Only Kochubey family church and crypt beneath it survived and now attracts many tourists.