Vilnius’ thriving – and refreshingly cheap – craft beer scene

Vilnius is Europe’s cheapest city and its artisan beers are a bargain. Beer blogger Liz Dodd explores the cellar bars beneath medieval streets, and taps into Lithuania’s ancient brewing tradition

The chic crypt in Vilnius where I first encountered red clover beer could have been any craft beer bar in the world on a Friday night – but for the price of the drinks. At Bambalynė (Stiklių g 7), a bottle shop and bar where ale-lovers flit between fridges deep beneath the old town, a pint of artisan beer sets you back about £1.80.

The Lithuanian capital was this year named the cheapest city in Europe in the Post Office’s City Costs Barometer, overtaking Budapest. Beer in Vilnius is cheaper than anywhere else in Europe: the perfect reason to visit its craft beer bars and discover how modern brewers are reimagining the country’s centuries-old farmhouse microbrewing tradition. When I visited last month, I travelled backwards in brewing time, starting out in modern Bambalynė and working my way back through the best pubs for country beers.

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