The Beer Lady

Batumi has a great little gem: A place we’ve come to call The Beer Lady’s on Majakovski Street . There are lots of little wooden Kbac stands all over the city. It’s usually a fake wooden beer keg with a tap (and a modern metal keg inside) and you can buy your plastic cup of beer from it. But its not very nice.

This one is different. It’s a little wooden wagon with a cooled beer keg inside under a shady tree in the middle of the market street. A few tables and benches are gathered around it. The beer is served cold in glass jugs (handwashed in a bucket) and you can get smoked fish and bread (a common Georgian snack to have with beer) as well as bags of monkey nuts, or even some smoked stringy cheese (YUM!).

All served by a big, friendly lady that’s always up for banter, drunken or otherwise. And she’ll brew you a turkish coffee on her little gas burner too, if you don’t fancy beer.

It’s always busy and a great place to meet the locals. Older men come for their lunch break ritual that starts with a beer and smoked fish and ends several hours later when three bottles of vodka have been emptied and they all stumble off to pass out. (The Beer Lady doesn’t sell vodka, but is happy to hand you her shot glasses if you bring your own.) Younger guys turn up for a quick beer, that usually becomes two or three, and even some girls (who mostly stick to coffee) show up sometimes.

No matter who you find there, you never have to hang around for long, before you’re asked to join them. So far hardly anyone we met there spoke English, but somehow we’ve still managed to communicate the answers to the where from, where to questions and we’ve always had to fight off the food and drinks offers for fear of our tummies bursting.

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