Since July 1st,, 2015, Pravda Beer Theatre is not allowed to sell a single liter of beer to our neighboring restaurants, such as Kryivka or Gas Lamp, even though they are our sister restaurants within our own company. In reality, Pravda can’t even sell beyond it’s own walls.
Why, you may ask? Because we must buy a license for 500,000 hryvnia (20,000 USD, as of Jan 2015). I’m not going to buy this license, and let me explain to you why.
Carlsberg production in Lviv is about 510 times bigger than us. Main production of Obolon in Kyiv is about 2600 times bigger than us. But we all must pay the same 500,000 hryvnia for the wholesale license. For those guys, it’s a couple of minutes of national sales. For me, this is a waste of many batches of beer. For that kind of money, I would rather train our brew team several times in Belgium or US.
Thousands of man-hours were wasted to put this law in place. Members of parliament, assistants, advisers, some experts – simple put, a whole bunch of losers who cost me taxes and who are now collectively kill the whole industry of craft beer in Ukraine. They’re keeping the craft beer revolution from taking off.
With all their fake ‘expertise’, they failed to notice that craft beer shares reached 20% within the beer US beer market. In the EU, craft beer rose from 5% to 15%. In neighboring Poland – around 6%. People are starting to understand that beer isn’t a faceless commodity-type product. It’s concentrated sunshine in liquid form with a magic touch of brewer’s talent. For micro breweries, who brew a local product, you must have better conditions. What we get in Ukraine is stupid equalization with mass beer producers.
I have no logical explanation why we, employing 4-5 people at a micro brewery in the cellar of the old city center in Lviv, must pay the same money as Obolon. Except for the options listed above.
Of course, we did all the writing to important people in suits and ties, went to work groups and all that shit. Nothing happened. Nobody takes responsibility, answers letters, or even admits the sheer stupidity of it.
What does it mean for us? I am not going to sit down and cry for the state to protect us – fuck it. I will export outside of Ukraine instead. What does it mean for the industry? It hardly exists and will not develop. What does it mean for the consumer? Domination of synthesized yellowish liquid in kiosks that’s called “beer” for unknown reasons.
And the irony is that all this is pushed through by people who sit across the square from us. Wake up, Samopomich – real brewing is not a crime.