Category Archives: Shop
Other than the beer festival, Riga is not overflowing with craft beer – with one shining exception (or two, depending on how you count). This is the S.Brevinga “empire” which consists of a pub and restaurant in the Old Town of Riga (right near Dome Square/Doma Laukums, here’s a map) with a bottle shop next to it, and then another bottle shop/bar in Berga Bazars, a trendy mall in downtown Riga (here’s another map). The pub is S. Brevinga alus un viskija bars (S. Brevinga Beer and Whisky Bar, for those of you Latvian-challenged), the bottle shop/bar is S. Brevinga Alus Salons, and they are both essential visits for the craft beer fan in Riga.
I would normally be reluctant to plug particular beer shop sites on the blog (I use several of them and they all have their strengths and weaknesses), but this I feel has the character of a public service message. I’ve remarked before that I’m sorry Swedish craft beer is not widely available (or available at all) in the UK, so I was very pleased to discover that Beers of Europe had a number of beers from renowned Swedish craft brewery Nils Oscar among their new releases for May. EDIT: just found out that BeerRitz also have the same Nils Oscar beers in stock. Nils Oscar was founded in 2006 which makes it quite an established player on the Swedish craft beer scene. They’re based in Nyköping, around 60 miles southwest of Stockholm, and they also have a distillery where they produce small-batch, craft aqvavit.
My sister-in-law gave me a couple of months’ worth of subscription to The Beer Club of Britain for Christmas, which was very kind of her. This is what was included in the first batch (four bottles each):
I hardly know any of these breweries (I know of Adnams, of course, and I’ve heard good things about Oakham but have yet to try any of their beers) so I have no idea what to expect. With the first batch you just get what you get, apparently, but with the following batches you’ll get the option to make changes to the selection. Judging from their web page, The Beer Club seems to have a fairly limited selection but it may be that they just don’t update their page very often – certainly the contents of the “Welcome Pack” they list on their web page bears no resemblance to the Welcome Pack I got.
My first impression is that the selection seems a bit… safe. Still, I’m looking forward to sampling the Bishop’s Farewell by Oakham. Maple-flavoured beer also sounds interesting (Maple Moon by Joseph Holt Brewery), as does “Dark bitter” (Stocking Filler by York Brewery).
Anyone have any experience of The Beer Club of Britain who would care to comment? Or comment on any of the beers?