When traveling around Latvia, we recommend enjoying it with all your senses – not only to see and get to know the beauty of smaller and larger towns, but also to taste them. And where better to enjoy it than in breweries and cider houses?
Riga and its surroundings
In the 19th century, Riga was a brewing city. By joining their forces, ten Latvian breweries decided to restore the fame of the ancient Northern European citadel for brewing and create the Riga Beer District.
Ten pubs, ten different stories and experiences – beer lovers have the opportunity to visit them individually or on specially designed beer tours accompanied by an enthusiastic guide. At four stops, Latvian craft beer varieties are enjoyed together with delicious snacks. And the employees at the small pubs are happy to explain how craft beer is made. Great entertainment for a group of friends or a group of up to 10 people.
The story of Nurme Brewery is special. In 2020, a crowdfunding campaign was organized, in which fans and supporters of this beer proved that Nurme needs a brewery location of its own! Raising the necessary funds, the industrial brick pearl built in 1900 on Vagonu Street is now turning into the Nurme Brewery District.
The small village of Užava is located 27 km from Ventspils, and this is where you will find the Užava Brewery, founded in 1994. Water is crucial to make delicious beer, and thanks to the high water quality, Užava was chosen as the most suitable place for beer production. Besides tasting and buying beer on-site, the brewery offers tours about the history, beer brewing and much more.
The banks of the River Abava were once the northernmost vineyards in Europe. Currently it is home to the winery ‘Abava’, and not only wine but also cider is made here – from apples grown in Latvia. Here you will be able to buy and enjoy the slightly bitter, hop-added cider, Premium Brut’s more acidic cider and Meadow Cider, supplemented with meadow herbs and flower extracts. Excursions and tastings are also available to genuinely enjoy the taste of Latvia.
The small brewery ‘VIEDI’ admits itself – “we do it differently”. Although the brewery does not refer to deep ancestral traditions and recipes, be prepared for experiments and new flavours!
Currently, there are 18 different types of beer available, and everyone will definitely find their favourite. If you book in advance, you can go on a tour around the brewery.
Zoltners is found near the town of Tērvete – combining a restaurant, hotel and brewery in one. Guests are welcome to enjoy the tranquillity, atmosphere and rustic landscape of this place.
According to the owners, the local beer shall be enjoyed slowly, along with good food and conversations, tasting every sip. Visitors to the restaurant will be advised on the best combination of Zoltners beer and food to fully enjoy all the nuances of beer taste.
If you are heading in the direction of Valmiera, we definitely recommend visiting Valmiermuiža brewery, and not only to visit, but to see for yourself how their drinks are made. Quality water is the key to making good beer. And the water coming from the depths of Valmiermuiža creates its high-quality taste – you will definitely learn about this and many other things during beer tasting! Also, here you will find out which dishes best pair with different types of beer, as well as many other tips to enjoy your beer.
Madona beer is made in Bodnieki, Madona Municipality – it is a parish with its brewing traditions dating back to 1916. Continuing the old traditions, light and dark beer is made here, which can be bought all over Latvia. The Madona honey beer, on the other hand, can only be enjoyed on site – by visiting the Madona Beer Terrace, which serves authentic Georgian dishes. To go on a tour around the brewery, make sure to make a booking!
The town of Gulbene, which was once called Tālava, is home to Tālava cider since 2014. Cider and other drinks created in the brewery are made from 100% Latvian apples, supplementing the flavours with natural fruit and berry juices or hops. Bold experiments and surprisingly new flavours – it’s all about Tālava cider! Hot drinks and apple brandy are also made here.
If you want to taste these drinks in Tālava, you can book a tour. The tour includes tastings of at least 7 different types of cider, apple brandy, as well as snacks tailored to the drinks.
Does Mr. Plūme produce cider from plums? No, the name of the brewery comes from the surname of the owners – Māris and Dace. Not only is cider made here, but also fruit and berry wines, as well as spirits, which have also won prizes in various international competitions.
If you wish to get to know Mr. Plūme more closely, go on a tour where you will learn how the owners got to make cider, what cider is and how to make cider at home. And of course, the cider house offers tastings and cider for sale.
The motto of the farm is: “Real Latgale beer is made here!” If you want to not only observe, but participate in the brewing, then we recommend visiting the home brewery ‘Kolnasāta’, near Lake Lubāna. Brewing takes place in wooden containers (tubs), on a wood stove, from homemade malt, which is dried in a black bath from barley grown on their own farm. This is truly an authentic and hospitable experience that can only be experienced in Latgale!
There are more and more beer and cider breweries emerging in Latvia, and people are really proud of them! There is even a special map of breweries, where you can see the locations of the breweries and visit several on one trip.
Buy a drink as a souvenir to prolong the taste of your holidays in Latvia!