In my prior post about a day in Vilnius I noted the rather sobering impact of visiting the Museum of Genocide Victims. The good news is that I managed to do that relatively early in the afternoon so I had plenty of time to recover from the sober part. Part of that was the beer tasting we did while recording an episode of the PointsHoarder podcast. And part of it is because of the excellent selection of local beers available which were explored after the recording. This trip was part of an annual pilgrimage of sorts, an adventure in beer consumption which has usually ended relatively well for all involved. This year was no different.
Dinner was at Loky’s, one of the few “traditional” restaurants which is able to handle large groups of English-speaking tourists. I’m under no delusion that we got a truly authentic meal, but it was pretty darn good and they did put up with us well enough so I cannot really complain.
After dinner is where things got good. Just across the street from the restaurant was a pseudo-bar – Bambalynė – offering up 80ish local beers. I say pseudo-bar because technically it wasn’t. They could not serve beer to guests in the shop. But they served some light snack bites and they sold the beer.
Plus they just happened to have a whole bunch of clean glasses available if you wanted to drink your purchase at one of the many tables available in the basement room. In other words, it is a bar; you just have to choose your beer from the cooler yourself. And the number of options available was spectacular.
I tasted a few, though most were larger format bottles which did limit the number I could reasonably try. Especially with the somewhat higher alcohol content in some we sampled.
The woman working the register was more than willing to help answer our questions (most of which sounded something like, “What’s this??”) and guide us towards beers based on the flavors and styles we favored.
There was more drinking later in the night. I vaguely recall a rum tasting of 6 or so small pours in a bar somewhere (and I have a couple photos which support that memory). And the part where I almost missed my flight a few hours later suggests that I definitely enjoyed myself that night. All in the name of exploring good, local beers.
More stories available from the Baltic Beers trip, too.
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