Restaurants and pubs in Belarus often offer imported beers from other countries. The Russian beer Baltika seems to be one of the most popular ones.
My first proper local Belarusian beer was an Alivaria Zolotoe. The Alivaria brewery was established in 1864 in Minsk. Nowadays the beer brand belongs to the Carlsberg group.
I also drank a Rechitskoe pivo, which is brewed in Rechitsa in the Gomel region; and a Brestkoe Pivo from the state owned company of the same name.
On our last evening in Belarus I tried a Lidskoe Pivo. It is produced in Lida in the Hrodna region. The brewery has been taken over by the Finnish Olvi drinks company.
All Belarusian beers were quite okay and absolutely drinkable. If I had to chose one as my favourite it would probably be Lidskoe Pivo.
Alivaria - Website: http://www.alivaria.by/
Lidskoe - Website: http://lidskoe.by/
As Belarus is still widely undiscovered by tourists, it is quite unsual to find anything in English language.
The two official languages of Belarus are Russian and Belarusian, which are both written in Cyrillic letters and share many similarities. So at least a basic knowledge of the letters or even better of the Russian language seems to be absolutely necessary for an individual trip through the country.
All street signs, timetables and other travel related things are in Russian and/or Belarussian only. Also in restaurants we hardly found any English menus. So be pepared for an adventure not to miss.
Belarus is a country of cash, so credit cards are not as widely accepted as in Western Europe. The local currency of Belarus is the Belarusian Ruble, which exists since about 1992. Due to massive inflation the Belarusian Ruble has been redenominated with 3 zeros chopped off in 2000.
The current Belarusian Ruble is abbreviated BYR. The subunits are kopeykas, but actually don't really exist. 11 different Banknotes of amounts between 10 and 100.000 Belarusian Rubles are in circulation.
We got our Belarussian Rubles from cash points (ATM), which are widely available in bigger cities. Exchange Offices can be found at major airports, train stations and hotels.
I found it quite interesting to see that petrol stations display the prices alternating in Belarusian Rubles, Russian Rubles, Euro and US Dollars.