Find yourself on the hunt for the best craft beer in Riga? You came to the right place. The small city on the Baltic Sea might get overshadowed by the loudness of cliché destination cities like Paris or Rome, but Riga is a gorgeous wallflower just waiting for you to make the first move. Its understated charm and lowkey atmosphere make it an incredible place to spend some time – oh and to sample some excellent craft beer.
Situated on the Gulf of Riga at the mouth of the Daugava river, Riga is the capital of Latvia and the largest city in the Baltic states. Latvia’s location at the crossroads of Eastern and Northern Europe and Russia makes for a unique mishmash of cultural leanings and traditions. Obviously each of these regions come with their own drinks of choice, but even with the varied beverage influences of its neighbors Latvia has historically and even currently shows an affinity for beer. The craft beer movement has without a doubt spread as far north and east as the Baltics and Riga has proved a viable contender for carrying the torch.
Now before we dive headfirst down the rabbit hole, let’s make sure everyone’s one the same page. What doe we mean by craft beer? For those who know only one variable when it comes to categorizing beer – light and dark – this conversation is for you. Please pay us your undivided attention.
Craft brewing is a movement within the beer brewing community that focuses on a renewed pride in the produce of the brewery, not simply on a commercial level, but in regard to the quality of what’s being made. The term microbrewery was first used generically to describe the miniature size of certain breweries, but over time began to encompass a certain set of convictions as well. Microbreweries aren’t focused on generating vast amounts of homogenized beer to feed to masses, their goal is instead on an artisan process that regards the ingredients and technique all in pursuit of superior flavor in the beers coming from their vats.
Craft Beer in Riga
Within the past few years, Riga has seen the rise of several microbreweries intent on changing the perceptions of beer held by the majority of Latvians. Thanks to the influence of lager-heavy beer cultures like those of Germany and the Czech Republic, present-day Riga is left with a whole lot of commercially brewed beers varying very little except on a spectrum of light and dark color. Thankfully between the three craft breweries, choice bottle shops and several exceptional bars, there are plenty of places in Riga to get your hands on superb craft beer from not only Latvia, but from microbreweries all over the world.