Armenia has a rich history of beer production that dates back to ancient times. The Greek historian and warrior Xenophon mentioned in 201 BC that he tasted beer in Armenia and wrote about its production methods. Armenian beers often utilize local grains and sometimes fruits and herbs, giving them a unique flavor profile. A key factor, however, is the incredible purity of Armenian water. This is often cited as the reason for the beer’s unique taste. Beer in Armenia is typically consumed during social gatherings, family events and celebrations. However, it is less popular compared to wine or brandy.
Armenian beer brands
- Gyumri Brewery: Gyumri beer (flagship), Ararat and Aleksandrapol.
- Kotayk Brewery: Kotayk beer (flagship), Erebuni and Urartu.
- Sevan Brewery: Kellers beer.
- Hayasy Brewery: Hayasy beer.
- Dilijan Brewery: Dilijan beer.
I had the opportunity to taste only two beers in Armenia, both from the same brewery. Both Gyumri and Ararat beers were very drinkable to me. Restaurants often only have bottled beer. A third of Gyumri beer cost 600 AMD (approx. 1.50 EUR) in the popular Yerevan restaurant Anteb, while a third of Ararat beer cost 1,000 AMD (approx. 2.40 EUR) in the Lavash restaurant. In stores, prices are roughly half. PET bottled beers are also popular and in larger supermarkets, you can even find filling stations where you can pour beer into a PET bottle yourself.
Cheers and drink responsibly!