Beer Tourism outside Belgium
- Written by: Jason Baxter
- Category: Beer Tourism outside Belgium
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Day 2 (Sunday)
After a very relaxing sleep and a very welcome and tasty breakfast it was time to venture out on our first full day in Riga.
A quick journey away by taxi (BOLT) brought us to our first stop of the day - to Allus Celle, a bottle shop with 5 or 6 taps (too early for a drink we were here to shop) it's run by a very friendly bloke who was happy to see us a talk us through the many Latvian breweries he had on offer.
I was here to pick up ÂRPUS and in particular the very recently released Barrel Aged Barley Wine and Imperial Stout which I'm happy to say I purchased, he even had an ÂRPUS fridge in which you can see those precious pink waxed barrel aged bottles so bottles were bought along with quite a few other cans.
He was such a friendly guy...he even gave me 2 free cans, money off and a free glass...such hospitality.
Store owner with Linda carefully choosing.
With bags filled with bottles and cans it was back to our hotel to drop them off before setting out again, this time on foot in the direction of the Riga Markets to pay Miezis & Co a visit, a bar owned by Labietis brewery.
With very little advertising and no signage it was no wonder we walked past it twice (being not yet open and in darkness didn't help) but a quick check on Facebook assured us we were in the right area and in no time at all it was lights, camera, action.
This is what you can only describe as a very angular bar...from the tables, stools, light fixtures and decor. Everything was designed with a ruler with not a curve in sight.
There are 20 beers on tap with it being split 10 from Latvia and 10 from the rest of Europe, and a large selection of bottles and cans to take away. My first order had to be Latvian so opted for a Sirus Expansion - 8.4% NEIPA, it was everything it should be...juicy, hoppy, caramel, pine...wonderful.
Next we opted for a tasting plank consisting of any 5 beers which we coupled with some delicious local cheese made with grain mustard and then smoked (almost a Gouda texture) I enquired about maybe buying some to take away but the bloke serving said it's locally made by one man in very small batches which he delivers to the bar on his bike so couldn't spare any...true artisan products.
So after buying a few more bottles and cans and dropping them off we took the short taxi ride to Beera Bar & Shop, a small 2 room bar with 12 taps and a small selection of beers to take away.
I opted for a pastry stout and Linda a proper thick fruited sour...wowser.
After finishing those rich beers it was a stroll a few doors up to Alus Muiza - what I can only describe as a compact and very wooden bar but the beers and bottles available were all top quality.
By now we were both feeling a little hungry so a taxi back across town and we arrived at Folk Club Ala, a sprawling cellar bar and restaurant that immediately put us in mind of a La Trappiste / Cambrinus hybrid with an ultra modern bar but with true old world fixtures and fittings.
Sharing platter with local roast meats, pickles and Latvian Black Bread served hot and dripping in garlic butter.
Pork Schnitzel and Stroganoff...completely delicious. 😋
After that fantastic meal it was time to wrap up day 2 and head back to our hotel, what a wonderful day it had been.
Day 3 soon...cheers Jay