The best beer in Riga isn’t all that hard to find – you’ve just got to know where to look. The Latvian capital is far from an established craft beer scene, but the rise of a few Riga-based microbreweries means that they are well on their way. Avoiding the ubiquitous German and Czech-styled lagers can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the best beer in Riga.
For those who may not quite understand what we mean by craft beer, here’s a little crash course to get you caught up to speed. Most of the world’s beer markets are controlled by massive beverage conglomerates who don’t give a rat’s ass about flavor. They’re in it to win it and to them that means producing beer for the masses. The craft beer movement aims to reclaim brewing as it was originally intended – an art form. The term microbrewery was originally used in connection with the actual size of a brewing operation, but eventually came to describe the attitude that these smaller breweries had toward the beer they produced and how they went about it. Instead of quantity, quality is the goal. Through refined technique and carefully sourced ingredients, the craft beer movement has instilled an artisan element into brewing culture unparalleled in recent history.
Best Beer in Riga
As the craft beer movement continues to spread all over the globe, Latvia has not been shy to join the fray. Of the country’s some twenty-five microbreweries, three of them have made their home in Riga, the capital. One such craft brewery is Labietis, an outfit that seeks to revive long-lost traditions. In connection to ancient Latvian brewing methods, they tinker with the numerous herbs, spices and berries that grow in the surrounding regions, crafting beers that are unique and flavorful – unlike anything produced by the commercial breweries of Latvia. Other microbreweries based in Riga include Bierhaus and Valmiermuižas alus, both intent on a crafted approach to the beers that come out of their vats.
Where to Drink in Riga
If you’re set on whetting your whistle, we’re well-prepared to tip you off on where to drink in Riga. The three microbreweries based in Riga are great places to sample some of the best craft beer in the city and in addition to those, there are a few choice bottle shops offering curated selections of craft beer from everywhere you can imagine. Some even have a few taps of draft beers which can be enjoyed in the shop. There is also a good number of quality bars in the city that offer robust selections of craft brews from Latvia, elsewhere in the Baltics and all over Europe. Any of these places would most definitely satisfy your need for a hand-crafted beer. For the full list, check out our guide to the best beer in Riga.