Vodka may rule as the drink of choice in Moscow, but American-style beer is attempting a coup. When the iron curtain lifted, an influx of foreign investment gave decaying breweries a much-needed face-lift. Since then, young trendsetters with sophisticated palates and disposable income have developed a taste for more distinctive hops, and Moscow is now witnessing an infiltration of microbreweries. Pyaty Okean (20 Ulitsa Marxistskaya, Building 1; 7-095/912-9617) takes the title of most stylish. Every table at this nautical-themed pub has two taps—one for light beer, one for dark—allowing patrons to fill earth-toned ceramic mugs at their leisure. Across the city center at Tinkoff (11 Protochny Pereulok; 7-095/777-3300), large copper vats behind big windows show off the brewing process. The affluent clientele dines on Russian, Italian, and Bavarian cuisine—even sushi—along with the house suds. During the short summer months, the small-batch, chocolate-flavored Temhoe stout at Angara (19 Novy Arbat; 7-095/203-6936) goes down even sweeter on the outdoor patio, where beer hounds watch the Beautiful People parading along Moscow's Arbat pedestrian walkway. Glasnost is tasting better than ever.
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