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All-Woman Brewery Brings Craft Beer to Kyrgyzstan

Save the Ales may be small and spartan, but what it is doing to Bishkek’s drinking culture is little short of revolutionary. (Photo: Ruslan Tokochev)

Tucked away in an unlikely spot, wedged between a domino club popular with Turks and a Soviet-built apartment block, is a treat for beer-lovers in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan’s capital.
 
Save the Ales, a microbrewery set up by a Kyrgyz-Kazakh pair, Aida Musulmankulova and Arzu Kurbanova, may be small and spartan. But what it is doing to Bishkek’s drinking culture is little short of revolutionary. While bland imported lagers and watery local brews have long been the norm, Save the Ales is turning out its own homemade craft brews, borrowing from a trend that has established deep roots in the United States and elsewhere.
 
“Wherever we have traveled, we have always tried good beer,” said Musulmankulova.
 
Around three years ago, she and her partner, Kurbanova, decided to take the plunge.
 
“We decided to brew it [ourselves]. We learned everything from the Internet. It wasn’t as difficult as we thought.”
 

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All-Woman Brewery Brings Craft Beer to Kyrgyzstan

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