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Beers and Wines from the Baltic States

Drinks in the Baltic States reflect a reliance on grains and milk, spun into favorite draughts seasoned by centuries of crossing paths with other cultures.

In Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia grains such as wheat and rye have played a huge part in the various cuisines, notwithstanding local preferences for flavoring and preparation. That’s why you’ll find that “liquid bread” is common in all three countries. When it’s called kvass, it’s made from rye bread crusts and water, and resembles a very weak beer; that is, weak in alcohol but not in flavor. There are also old-time specialties of yeast whisked with milk. Beer lovers will enjoy a wide range of malt and rye beers throughout the region. There are around 80 big and small breweries in Lithuania. Some light brews have been recognized the best in the world. For non-alcoholic refreshment in Estonia, try Kali, a cross between beer and cola in taste; for a caffeine-free wake-up, try the Latvian custom of drinking chicory in the morning.

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