Strannik, the pilgrim.

To celebrate the return of our beloved Strannik™, we’ve delved into a few of history’s most known Stranniks.

In the book ‘Strannik: The Call to the Pilgrimage of the Heart’ by Catherine Doherty, a pilgrim is described as someone who looks within the self, where God already is, an action that becomes all consuming, rather than that of the modern day ‘pilgrimages’ which “try to cover as many holy places as possible in the briefest time possible.”

Perhaps the most famous Strannik in recent Russian history is Grigori Rasputin. Identified as a religious wanderer, though considered as a ‘yurodiviy’ (holy fool) by many and a ‘starets’ (elder) by his followers, Rasputin rarely spoke in public and seldom considered himself as an elder, as these men would usually live in seclusion. With his piercing eyes, incomprehensible sentences and bizarre mysticism, Rasputin became synonymous for his ties with the Russian royal family. Though many accounts may have been exaggerated, it is agreed that he played a significant role in the increasing unpopularity and further demise of the Imperial family. Rasputin of course, befell to assassination by Prince Felix Yusupov on Dec. 29, 1916.

Before Rasputin a book titled ‘The Way of a Pilgrim’ was published, a collection of 4 tales about a journey undertaken by a Strannik in the mid-nineteenth century through Russia, Ukraine and Serbia. These stories of a transformational journey of a simple pilgrim, whose unceasing devotion to God and his discovery and deepening experiences are some of the earlier references to a wandering pilgrim.

And lest we not forget, Russia’s entry in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest was ‘Vechny Strannik’ or ‘The Eternal Wanderer’, with the chorus “The eternal wanderer, I’m your destiny I know you remember me”. It reached 9th in the final scoring.

Our Strannik is a nod to those long journeys one may take in search of something divine. We also chose the name due to Imperial Stout descending from the strongest – ‘stoutest’ – porter being brewed in Britain in the 18th century, a beer that found particular favour with the Tsar of Russia in St Petersburg, which is where it is believed it gained the ‘imperial’ designation from. Whether you want to keep it with you for years to come or drink it as fresh as it comes out the taps, our Strannik™ will have you setting your own pilgrimage to our brewery.