Vytautas Samavičius

Brews, Bites, and Beyond: Lithuania to Showcase Gastronomic Excellence During Autumn Events

Autumn 2023 promises to be an exciting time for gastro enthusiasts in Lithuania. From a beer festival featuring over 30 different European breweries to an entire week celebrating the country’s culinary heritage, there will be no shortage of tastes, textures, and smells to take in.

Nestled within the picturesque landscapes of Lithuania,gastronomy has burgeoned into an artful symphony of flavors. Emboldened by an authentic culinary legacy spanning back centuries, Lithuanian chefs and drink brewers have harnessed their expertise to concoct a kaleidoscope of recipes that pay homage to tradition while embracing innovation.

Starting in early Autumn, gastro events centered around Lithuania’s culinary legacy will captivate the palates of both locals and discerning travelers. Those arriving in this Baltic gem will embark on a flavorful odyssey, where savory aromas dance in the breeze, the clink of glasses echoes through lively beer gardens, and the essence of Lithuania's history and innovation converge in each carefully crafted dish.

Foam-filled former factory. In 2020, a former scythe factory became home to Sakiškės brewery, their bar and alternative event place, which are now collectively called – Dūmų fabrikas. This year, on September 22-23, the venue will host its second annual craft beer exposition Putoja 2023 — named in honor of the delightful sight of bone-white foam atop a cooling pint of beer, an exciting sight for any fan of the drink.

During the two days of this beer fest, taste and quality of brews take center stage: from fruity IPAs to curious sours, around 120 different varieties will be up for tasting straight from the taps of Europe’s thirty best craft breweries. Visitors can be confident that there will be plenty of fun accompanying sampling sessions, thanks to a live DJ and delicious finger food to ensure that no stomach goes empty in between tastings.

Dine like a Lithuanian duke. To the excitement of gourmands all over the world, during Lithuanian Gastronomy Week 2023 — set for November 6-12 — many restaurants offer cheaper-than-usual tasting menus, opening their doors wide to those who want to learn about higher food culture, gastronomic trends, and the capabilities of restaurant chefs.

One location that is suited for those wanting a deep dive into Lithuanian culinary heritage is the Lokys tavern — located in Vilnius Old Town, this second-generation family restaurant tells stories of Lithuanian cuisine on noblemen's tables laden with forest produce. Game, berries, mushrooms and nuts have always been an integral part of Lithuanian cuisine. During the week of gastronomy, the restaurant's chef will prepare two different menus featuring modernized dishes from the Lithuanian nobility.

Largest coffee industry event in the Baltics. The Vilnius Coffee Festival, now in its 13th year, is three caffeine-fueled days during which the biggest trends and innovations in roasting and brewing are featured. With upwards of 50 coffee roasters, bars, equipment and food brands, the festival is by far the biggest event for coffee enthusiasts in the Baltics. There is a lot more to see at the event besides java. A range of teas, freshly squeezed juices, lemonades, and smoothies, kombucha, as well as sweet and savory baked goods were also available, so everyone can find a treat that suits their tastes.

This year, on October 13-15, attendees can get a chance to see some of the top industry players compete in the national Barista, Coffee Making, and Coffee Tasting Championships, learn about innovative home brewing equipment, listen to three days of interesting coffee presentations, and sample a huge range of top-quality, freshly-roasted coffees, delicacies, and drinks.

120 different brews under one roof. For two entire days from November 24, the LOFTAS art factory will be transformed into a beer-drinkers paradise for Vilnius Beer Festival 2023: over 2000 craft enthusiasts, 30 brewers from 15 countries, 20 craft and gourmet food providers, and most importantly, entertainment, and  chatter aplenty.

As previous years have shown, visitors from all across the globe come not only to taste over 120 varieties of beer, but to also savor delicious food, restock their shelves with never-before-seen delicacies, and even learn how to combine drinks and different foods in tastings from some of the industry’s most experienced brewers.