A Kvass – a traditional, fermented Eastern-European beverage made with rye bread – is a style not often seen in the North American craft beer industry. Unlike regular beer, which uses brewing grain to produce sugar during fermentation, the Kvass uses bread! For this brew, we used rye bread from the Toronto bakery, Blackbird Baking Co!
While legend has it that Ivan Reznikoff, a Russian immigrant, was known to drink something a bit stronger than this 3.5% beer, we thought we’d try to make this Ides of October something that Reznikoff would’ve approved of. After all, he’s often depicted as the ‘bad guy’ in this tale – even though he was the one who was cuckolded and murdered.
Read the full story of Ivan Reznikoff and Paul Diabolos below!
This light-bodied, rye beer has notes of sultana raisins, iced americano, and cranberry tea – complimented by a subtle, light smokiness.
Bready with dark fruit sweetness, this low ABV Kvass is truly a breakfast beer if there ever was one!
This style is unlike any other and something you’ll definitely want to try.
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The story of Reznikoff and Diabolos is actually based on true events; however, over the years, the details of the old tale have become muddled and the legend more exaggerated.
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It started in the late 1850s, as Toronto was just experiencing its urban rise. Two stone masons, Ivan Reznikoff and Paul Diabolos, were hired to work together on the U of T’s University College. As legend has it, Reznikoff was a violent man, often seen with a flask tucked into his shirt, while Diabolos was a handsome, mild-mannered young man.
The two often butted heads. In fact, when Diabolos carved two gargoyle heads on the university wall, he was said to have modeled one after Reznikoff – with a monstrous, animalistic look- and the other, like himself – laughing at his enemy.
The real conflict though came when Diablos fell in love with Reznikoff’s fiance and planned to steal his money and run away with his lover. A midnight confrontation ensued outside the University, with Reznikoff attacking Diabolos with an ax. As Reznikoff cornered his opponent against a wooden door of the hall, he swung his axe, but missed – his blade stuck in the oak door, whose damage can still be seen to this day.
The fight continued into the corridor, where Diabolos was able to overtake his attacker with a dagger.
He then hid Reznikoff’s body in a de-constructed stairwell, which was not discovered until the fire of 1890 revealed his bones.
What happened to Diabolos and his mistress? We do not know. But we do know that Reznikoff is said to have haunted the university for years and that even over 150 years later, students still hear noises in the corridor late at night.