Small Breweries Trickling Into the Market, Still Lagging Behind Latvia ({{commentsTotal}})

The number of small breweries in Estonia has increased to seven, as two more are about to ship their first beers to market.

The ball began rolling in 2011 after laws on small breweries were relaxed, most notably lifting the ban on wholesale, Delfi reported on Monday.

The seven currently do not even make up 1 percent of Estonia's 100 million liter per year market, but the course towards the model in Latvia, where small breweries sell 13 percent of the nation's beer, has been taken, with even an association of small beer producers on the horizon.

Ilmar Räni, the head of Õllenaut microbrewery, compared Estonia to the US is the 1970s, when the nation had 60 breweries, but now has 3,000.

Large retail chains such as Selver have said that they are more than willing to offer beers from smaller producers, and to an extent, they already do, but volumes are still too small for nationwide sales.