Are you a fan of beer? Personally I’m not but I find brewery visits quite entertaining. So when in Tartu, Estonia, I knew that I had to stop by the A. Le Coq brewery.
The brewery is a short walk from the Old Town. It’s a tough call wether to walk or go by car. You will learn later why.
If you are looking into a brewery tour, make sure you check out the times on their Beer Museum website. If there are over eight of you, then you must register beforehand.
Our guide was very informative and the tour took around 1 hour 45 minutes. We were taken into the factory that brews the beer and also a beer museum. Finns might be interested to know that A. Le Coq has been owned by Finnish Olvi Oyj since 1997.
How to make beer.
These containers were full of beer.
We visited a balcony for these fabulous views.
The “assembly line” where different drinks are bottled. As we visited on a Saturday, it was very quiet. During summer – peak season – the factory operates even on the weekends.
Guess what this is? The machines in the factory make this small thing into a 1,5 litre water or soda bottle!
Now a few pictures of the old brewery which was still in operation till the 1990s. It was tough work, as there was a lot of manual labour involved and even temperatures of 90 degrees Celsius!
You can see the last day of operations in the old factory – 1998.
Some of the old machinery.
At the end of your tour, you will be guided to the bar! Here you can try a drink of your choice. Now if you have come by car, you should be very careful as in Estonia it is forbidden to drive if you have drank even a drop of alcohol. There are also sodas to choose from.
Some of you may remember that I have an interest in all things Soviet. That is why I got quite excited when I realized that there was an old Soviet relic in the room. Here you can see kopeck coins which were used to buy beer from the machine I will introduce to you next.
This here is a beer vending machine!!! Yes true story. They were used in the 1970s mostly. You could buy a draft beer into this beer mug I’m displaying by using kopeck coins. The mug would first be cleaned by holding it upside down on the washing head. Then the clean mug is put in the vending window and the payment is made with a 10 kopeck coin. That will give you a quarter of a litre beer! This machine actually still works and is used on special occasions at the museum. Now this kind of historical beer even I could drink.
A quick look at our drinks – hubby opted for one of their famous stouts – the Imperial Extra Double Stout. Too strong for my liking but he enjoyed it tremendously.
I, in turn, wanted to try a cider. So I went for one of those super sweet ones in rasberry flavour! Terviseks! That’s cheers for you in Estonian.
Last, you will get a chance to visit the museum shop. Now the one reason you might want to opt to come by car is so you can load your car with A. Le Coq’s products! And why might you want to buy them here you ask? Well, lets just say that the prices were so affordable that I couldn’t believe my eyes!
You might also be interested in reading about my visit to a rum distillery in Florida. You can access my post here.
Have you ever been to a brewery? Let me know in the comments below!