Polish beers

Many people from other countries think that in Poland, with -30 degrees during the winter, the Poles only drink vodka to warm themselves and they do not drink anything else. Well, I have two things to say to those people. The first one is that do not get carried away by stereotypes, it is true that during the winter it can be really cold, but for me it is not so bad and the second thing is that Poland is one of the countries that most consume one of the best drinks in the world, beer.

Firstly, we can say that here in Poland there are just half pint and one-litre beers and the prices are quite good varying between 1.5zl and 10zl (0.36 € -2.37€) in supermarkets and small shops and between 10zl and 20zl in restaurants and pubs (2.37€ – 4.74€). You can find Polish beers in the bottle or in the can and, in many Polish bars, they have tap beers.

I should also comment on the way that Poles drink beers. Most of them drink them in the traditonal way as cold beer, but when “the winter is coming”, some of them drink hot beers and when I mean “hot beers”, I mean with some added spices. Many women also drink them adding flavoured syrup to give it a sweet taste.

Then I will try to show you some of the many commercial, craft and regional beers that exist here in Poland so please do not kill me if I have not included your favourite one, I simply do not know it or have forgotten. (Keep in mind that this list can vary as the brewing world is a very changing sector)

Fortuna

A dark beer composed of nut extract, cherry with its corresponding juice and natural honey. There is a well-known variant which is the pasteurised craft beer “Miłosław”. (Official website)

Harnaś

A beer belonging to the famous company Carlsberg. It is a quite an inexpensive one, classic blonde beer and very pleasant. 6% alcohol. (Official website)

Kasztelan

In the beginning, it was a regional beer, but only after a few years ago it has become one of the most popular ones in Poland. It also belongs to Carlsberg, it is golden and has three versions: Jasne Pełne, Mocne and Niepasteryzowane. 5.7% alcohol. (Official website)

Krolewskie

This beer is the official sponsor of Legia Warszawa, Polish football team (2016/17). It has a golden colour, with a foam head and a malted aroma which denotes the great quality of roasted grain which is elaborated in its taste. 5.7% alcohol. (Official website)

Lech

Beer from the city of Poznan, blonde, with a foam and plenty of gas. A little bit bitter and not very pleasant for my taste. 5.2% alcohol. (Official website)

Okocim

Two decades ago it was one of the most popular beer’s in Poland and, although today it is still being sold, it is no longer made on a large scale. It also belongs to Carlsberg and has several versions although the most popular one is Premium Mocne with a 7.1% of alcohol. (Official website)

Perła

According to my wife’s family, the best beer in Poland. It is from Lublin, a blonde one (and golden) and refreshing, the result of the combination of traditional production methods with the latest brewing technology. There are many versions: Export (classical), Chmielowa (extra hop), Miodowa (with honey), Niepasteryzowana (non-pasteurized) and Koźlak (toast). 5.6% -7% alcohol. (Official website)

Tatra

A beer from the Zywiec group (currently owned by the Dutch Heineken Group), it is bitter and characterised because it is sold in promotions in supermarkets, not sold in single units but in packs of 4 and 6 half litre cans. Poles drink this beer in large quantities. 5% -7% alcohol. (Official website)

Tyskie

One of the most popular beers in Poland and it is even sold abroad. Belonging to the company Piwowarska, it is a blond or golden beer and there are two versions: Gronie and Książęce. This last version is my favourite, exactly the “zlote” (blonde) version. Also, Tyskie has achieved several distinctions of “The Brewing Industry International Awards”. 5.7% alcohol. (Official website)

Warka

Another beer of the most popular in Poland and is the only one which has a network of franchises of bars. Light blond beer and their aroma is because of the hops “pielęgnowanemu”. There is the light version with lemon (Radler). 5.7% alcohol. (Official website)

Wojak

A beer which has been bought by Tyskie for its elaboration. Today one of the most inexpensive ones with 5% alcohol. (Official website)

Żubr

A beer from north-eastern of Poland and belonging to the company Piwowarska. With a light golden colour, slightly bitter, with foam and with the aroma of herbal hop and wood. It is easy to recognise because its image is the famous and unique European bison (“Żubr” in Polish). 6% alcohol. (Official website)

Zywiec

One of the few Polish beers that you can buy in big supermarkets abroad. A very popular beer from the south of Poland (as I said before, owned by Heineken) with a golden colour and with more head foam than the previous ones. It has a slight citrus aroma, an interesting hop taste and is a bit bitter. The Zywiec APA (American Pale Ale) is the one I like the most because of its freshness; I recommend you try this. 5.6% alcohol. (Official website)

My opinion

To conclude this post, let me say that as a good lover of beers as I am, Polish beers for me are quite good even if we compared for example with Spanish ones (except Estrella Galicia). There are not so many sparkling beers so after drinking them, you do not feel so heavy considering that the smallest one is “just” half a litre of beer.

It is worth mentioning that today craft beers are very fashionable because their prices are more affordable than the commercial ones and there are versions for all tastes. Of course, there are also imported beers from other countries, but those kinds of beers have no place in this post. 😉

And now what? Are we going to drink beers? Na zdrowie, kolega!

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