Visitors often remark on the quality of Latvian beer and how little it’s known outside the country’s borders. If you’ve landed on this page, we guess you’re one of the lucky ones who’s already made that discovery or will do in the near future.
Pretty much any Riga bar or restaurant will serve you Latvian beer but only a few have the power of converting non-beer drinkers into beer enthusiasts. Here’s our list of what we think are the best craft beer spots in Riga, which do a damn fine job at promoting local and regional brews.
Taka – Miera street 10
It’s often Taka where you might get a taste of the latest Latvian brews on the market. The staff are well up-to-date with the scene and can guide you through the flavour maze.
Popular for its comedy nights, concerts and board game evenings, Taka is the perfect point to begin a pub crawl along Miera Iela (Peace Street). The street and its surrounding areas are known as a bit of a bohemian haven.
Miezis un Kompānija
Sip on one of the 20 beers on tap or one of plenty bottled varieties as you sit and gaze at the trams zip by at a metre or so’s distance. The airy space on the edge of the old town boasts ceilings way taller than the average Latvian NBA player, and its floor length windows look out over one of Riga’s busiest transport junctions. Miezis un Kompānija is kitted out in a snazzy timber and steel combo. Give the staff a few keywords and they’ll gladly guide you to the right decision.
Within stumbling distance of the airport bus stop, this is a great one for a farewell tipple before your flight. Also, if you’re heading to Latvia’s west coast, drop by their original Liepāja city branch.
Living room vibes at this top spot on one of Riga’s hip but grungy streets undergoing a major reputation change. Nurme is a gypsy brewery whose driving force decided to open their own space for celebrating Baltic craft beers and ciders as well as some personal favourites from further afield. Coffee lovers and wine-drinking friends are also welcome. Toasties and a few other snacks on offer for anyone feeling peckish.
Find Nurme by peeking through the windows to spot the neon hops symbol. Check the events schedule for taste test evenings and concerts or do your own tasting party – Nurme has mini beer glasses, so you can try the whole range.
Valmiermuiza — Aristida Briāna street 9
The Riga outpost or self-proclaimed embassy of the Valmiermuiža Brewery in North Latvia. These guys with their endless ideas and new releases are an inspiration to many, as well as the pioneers behind the Riga Beer District initiative.
Inventive in both beer and food departments, the “embassy” is also known for its restaurant serving contemporary Latvian cuisine. Their beer pairing menu is one of the city’s “best kept secret” kind of dining experiences with dishes such as beer-battered smoked herring and beer ice cream. Next door is the best kind of Latvian souvenir shop with a vast selection of beer, fruit wine and fine foods.
Distillers Republic — Vecpilsētas street 8a-8
Vaulted ceilings, open brick walls, custom-built timber furniture and rose gold aplenty. This cool underground space is a refreshing, local-friendly addition to Riga’s pricey old town. Currently serving local and regional craft beers, also planning to brew their own in the near future.
Distillers Republic doubles as a cocktail joint. Thursday nights are spritz nights. Plus, you can get a good burger here.
Top tips for outside Riga? Check out Trimpus in Cēsis or Zoltners near Tērvete.
Text by Lelde Beņķe
Riga City GuideRiga Original city guide is a selection of the best local flavour—our favourite spots and friendly places. A collection of good design, happy people and simple things that make everyday life better.
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