Bambalynė – A cellar full of Lithuanian beer

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Bambalynė – A cellar full of Lithuanian beer

Marek Ivanovskis

The cellars of Vilnius Old Town are frequently home to shops and bars and this one is my favorites. ‘Bambalynė’ sells beer brewed in Lithuania and claims to have over 50 varieties of the drink. What you won’t find here are products of the biggest Lithuanian breweries that can easily be bought at any supermarket. What you will find is better: locally brewed beer from all over Lithuania made by people who are passionate about it.

This place is a mix of a shop and bar: you can buy the beer and take it away with you to consume wherever you wish (well, almost – mind the ban on drinking in public places) or choose to drink it here, in which case you’ll be charged a couple of litas extra of something called the “shame tax”. But there’s a bright side to staying – more beer is always readily available and there are plentiful amounts of malt on each table you can chew on between drinks. Be sure to check out the snacks and don’t miss the cheeses and smoked meat.

The word has certainly gone out and there are now tourists coming in saying “we’ve heard rumors about this place”. However, being really small it never gets crowded, which, apart from the fact that the beer is very good, is another reason I like it. Just watch that voice in your head asking you to go for one more beer!

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