Voyage organiser Tim O’Rourke was given Letters of Greeting to the Mayors of Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki, and the Governor of St. Petersburg. In return, Tim presented a traditional leather jack, an engraved drinking mug, to the London Borough of Greenwich.
Russian Imperial Stout, a unique British strong dark beer, was originally shipped in vast quantities to Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was a firm favourite at the Court of Empress Catherine the Great.
Victor Spasskiy, Representative of the Russian Trade Delegation to the UK who was also present, said, “Russia has suffered long enough without its Russian Imperial Stout. It’s high time to return English beer to Russia!”
The Launch Send-off featured an extended Tasting of all the 14 Russian Imperial Stouts specially brewed for the voyage by both large and small British breweries. These were also tasted the previous day by a panel of expert UK brew masters. The results of the competition will be announced on 17 June 2011 after a similar competition is held at Magerfest Beer Festival, St.Petersburg.
The Russian Imperial Stout will be taken on the former round-the-World, 60ft Bermuda cutter, “Thermopylae Clipper”, arriving at St.Petersburg on `5 June 2011. A reception will be held there by HM Consulate. En route the ship’s crew will visit beer festivals being held in Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki.