No matter if you are a blue-collar worker, a freelancer, a businessman or a tourist, a pub is a place to finish off a day well spent. While there’s plenty to choose from in Kaunas, ranging from cheap student pubs to high-end restaurants that happen to serve beer as well, we believe a person needs something he or she can trust. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven places we can recommend with our eyes closed. The list can, of course, be continued – in fact, we’d love to and we hope to! Don't forget to share your impressions on social media and tag them #kaunastic.
Pictures borrowed from the Facebook profiles of the listed pubs.
A. Mickevičiaus g. 35
Opened at the end of 2015 in a small blue wooden villa, the craft pub immediately became ‘own’ and ‘local’ for a safe amount of people. It’s a real beer pub with a handful of other drinks on the menu (those lucky to be there are really worth it, by the way) and a small yet confident choice of snacks. But first, beer. That’s the essential place to get your fix of Dundulis, one of the most prolific microbreweries in the country. Tastings are frequent so if you hop in and find a dozen people silently swirling their glasses, don’t hesitate to join them. It’s not a sect.
Great music swinging from free jazz to futuresque indie is yet another thing we love about the pub. No wonder as its name, meaning something curvy and echoed, comes from a podcast called VINGIU DUBINGIU that was broadcast a few years ago.
Squeezed in tiny premises in the Soboras end of Laisvės alėja, the taproom celebrates the hop nectar brewed right here in Kaunas. That’s right – Genys Brewing Co. is located in Žemieji Šančiai neighbourhood by the river Nemunas. The hip brewers are known for carefully crafted recipes and witty branding. A glass of Californication, anyone?
There are approximately 15 food and drink places in the Town Hall Square, and Klimas is the one for beer aficionados. The pub, itself less than 1-year-old, presents you a history much longer than that. Petras Klimas was a famous interwar diplomat, author, historian, and one of the twenty signatories of the Act of Independence of Lithuania (you can stroll along his villa in Žaliakalnis), hence the name. ‘As real as the sound of vinyl’, claims the pub, and vinyls do spin there every weekend. A great selection on tap, as well, including a prosecco tap.
P.S. Sunday is usually the official Kaunas staff night!
M. Daukšos g. 29
Sun-Mon 3pm-9pm, Tue-Wed 3pm-12am, Thu-Sat 3pm-1am
One might wonder how does a pub as small as a gap between two houses can boast such a large and at the same time niche selection on tap. One wonders and then spends 15 minutes deciding what to get. One then sits in peace with himself. The same ritual can be repeated every week, as that's how fast the tap selection is changing. Expect the unexpected – a detoxicating IPA or a small batch (or a case – the bottle selection is magnificent, too) sent directly from Poland, Norway, Japan, Denmark or Iceland. We call this place gently call ‘our little beer library’. The team, however, calls it a perspective of a bar.
M. Daukšos g. 23
Mon-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-2am, Sun 12pm-10pm
Just a few steps from NISHA, HOP DOC is what the name suggests. True hop nectar professionals will kindly offer you what they have best on tap or bottled, and they won’t leave your stomach unattended. Who could have thought a brioche bun, a tuna steak and a slice of pineapple fit so well together? The secret is probably in the pint that is always served first.
Vilniaus g. 34
Sun-Thu 12pm-12am, Fri-Sat 12pm-2am
AVILYS, or The Beehive, produces honey beer (hence the name) in its basement and has been doing that for ages (not literally). Raw, unpasteurized, light or semi-light. If you are really into the liquid we’re talking about you can even visit the microbrewery itself. AVILYS is also a restaurant and a pretty fine one, if you please. That’s the place you’d take your family to for a special occasion, for sure.
THE PUB (also known as THE HOG, OLD MEN or KAUNO ALUS)
Birštono g. 8
It’s one of the very few pubs in the galaxy that have no official name. There are at least three colloquial ones, though. The Hog comes from the head of the animal hanging inside, Old Men probably has something to do with the average age of customers, and the last name is written outside – but it is NOT the official name, mind you. Of course, Kauno Alus beer is on tap, together with Biržų Alus – those are the two old school Lithuanian breweries. It is not craft beer per se, but we really wanted to put this bar in our list.
The best thing about the pub is that it’s open earlier than most of us start the working day (7:30 am!) and is closed at 10 pm sharp. Very sharp. It’s a true working class pub, serving those in need, and serving them cheap. Bring a fiver and you’ll end up buying drinks for others, even snacks (do try the hunters' cheese or the boiled peas). It’s dirt cheap, we’re telling you (a pint costs around 1,3 Eur), but there’s nothing else dirty about the pub. The staff is very nice and friendly, and the regular crowd only take care about their own business, unless you really want to talk to them.