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Beer Culture

Soul Train Bar

This small bar takes its name from a partial model train set that inexplicably sits on one side of the main room. Frayed but charming furniture is dotted around a principle room with music videos projected onto one wall. Import and local beers are served at reasonable prices, along with snack-type food. Located in central Tbilisi, patrons will have little difficulty in rolling down the hill to Rustaveli Avenue to make use of the street’s metro station or public transport, unless they feel the need to hail a taxi.

Address: 11 Zandukeli Str.
TEL 595 57 70 99

Dive Bar

As the name suggests, the floors in this bar are not made of jade marble, nor are the staff graduates of the Jeeves school of service. They are, however, friendly to all and sundry, and serve import beers at about 5 GEL a bottle/can and draught beer at a staggeringly cheap 3 GEL; the price of the latter makes ‘staggering’ the operative word.  Particularly popular with Tbilisi’s expatriate community, patrons come from all walks of life; one can find oneself conversing with a journalist, a diplomat, a mercenary, a Bohemian, or a man who claims he works in Hollywood because he once served a cup of coffee to Bruce Willis on a movie set. The bar is also visited by young Georgians looking to escape khinkali, supras and the toasts of the tamada.

Address: 12 Revaz Laghidze Str.
TEL 597 06 74 73

Nauka

A tiny cafe-bar tucked into the corner of a park, it is pleasant to sit outside in the summer sunshine and sip Budweiser, enjoying the feeling that takes over after one’s third drink, the feeling that anything is possible and if everyone would just agree with you then you’d be a celebrity in no time at all. Bean-bag chairs are provided on the grass for visitors who want to discuss their latest screenplay, break out a guitar, or talk about ‘90s culture. As in many other places, imported beers are more expensive, but deals are offered to those enthusiastic enough to buy three or four cans at a time. Advanced drinkers should beware that the Mtkvari River is a bare fifty meters away, and although the city looks lovely from the river bank, falling in is not recommended as not everyone can hope to emulate the success of the heroic penguin who escaped the zoo flood disaster of June 2015 and turned up in Azerbaijan.

Address: Dedaenis Bagi Tbilisi 0105
TEL 599 39 34 40

Paulaner Brotherhood

A bar-restaurant serving Georgian food and European beer in the heart of Saburtalo, sports fans can enjoy watching sport channels on the Brotherhood’s two televisions, while guests who dislike sport will invariably find their eyes drawn to the screens anyway. Though the beers on offer are principally German, Belgian lagers such as Leffe are also served, giving hangovers that European feeling of continental optimism; to this end, the Brotherhood is recommended for anyone willing to pay a little extra to enjoy a roaring morning-after headache.

Address: 18 Sulkhan Tsintsadze Street
TEL 214 21 49

DIVExFabrika

Seeing as Tbilisi already has a Dive Bar, it did not take long for the management to decide that what this city needed more than anything else was another one, the principle difference being that DIVEx (or ‘New Dive’) has a stage and is situated in an old abandoned factory which will soon be gentrified into something containing a large hostel, boutique shops, cafes, and more. Serving similar drinks at similar prices to its sister bar on the other side of the river, Dive’s loyal clientele populate this latest incarnation of their favourite watering hole, swaying gently from side to side as they phone their friends and encourage them to visit. In addition, an old fallout shelter sits beneath the bar and runs the length of the factory. Although it could be used for parties, if Kim Jong-Un ever runs out of Emmental cheese and feels the need to launch a nuclear strike against the planet, humanity might find itself being repopulated by foreign hipsters and Georgian liberals, all invariably happy, and all invariably drunk.

Address: 8 Egnate Ninoshvili Street
Contact: 597 06 74 73

Tim Ogden

19 September 2016 18:24