The Beer City of Estonia
The city of Tartu has a beer brewing tradition that is hundreds of years old.
Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia, and it’s also the oldest, boasting a history that dates back to 1030. Tartu has a population of 100,000 inhabitants, out of which nearly one fifth are students; the city hosts the nation’s oldest and most renowned university, the University of Tartu. Located on the Emajõgi River (“Mother river”), which connects the country’s two largest lakes, Tartu is studded with wooden houses, museums, parks, imposing 18th-century buildings, and gorgeous riverfront vistas.
A must see in the city of Tartu is the A. Le Coq Brewery. You must book your visit in advance, but, in the end, the visit is worth all your efforts.
Its name comes from Albert Le Coq, the man who founded the company in London in 1807, making use of a brewery in Tartu that was founded in 1826. The beer museum was opened in 2003 and highlights the long tradition of industrial beer brewing. Including tankards, barrels, beer bottles and caps, and old domestic industrial brewing equipment, almost 2,000 items are exhibited there, mainly in the malt tower (built in 1898). But the most interesting feature is an A. Le Coq bottle which is known to have spent 150 years at the bottom of the sea. Of course, the two-hour tour also includes beer samples, giving visitors the chance to taste most A. Le Coq beverages.
After buying lots of souvenirs from the beer museum, one can experience the vibrant nightlife of Tartu at Möku, one of the most popular bars amongst foreigners and students.
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