Beer Festivals - Poland

Beer festivals have been for years the ultimate excitement for beer lovers all around the world ; widely regarded a pilgrimage every beer lover should take. There are many places around the world that turn our love for beers to a full fledged party, with of course the famous Oktoberfest being the holy grail of beer festivals for beer lovers all over the globe. There are also lesser known ones in almost every destination you might find yourself. Take the Dutch Craft Beer Festival in Enschede, the Czech Beer Festival in Prague, the Beer 'n' Booze in Vejle - Denmark, the Tallin Craft Beer Weekend, the Helsinki Beer Festival, the Lyon Biére Festival, the Craft Beer Festival in New York and the Woodstock Autumn Beer Festival in Cape Town. There's always an excuse to meet beer lovers like yourself, sample local craft beers and learn more about local beers whichever part you may be on the globe.

In Poland, there are a handful of annual festivals every Polish beer lovers look forward to each year. I personally prefer craft beer festivals where you get the chance to interact with brewers and learn more about the beer traditions and the varied techniques used in the brewing process. 

Some Polish beer brands

Regarded as the largest event of its kind in Poland and one of the largest in Europe, the Wroclaw Good Beer Festival seeks to promote unique beer from small and medium-sized breweries from Poland and abroad. Started back in 2010, the festival has welcomed festival goers and exhibitors alike from countries such as Lithuania, Latvia, Czech Republic, Germany and the Great Britain 


The first festival of its kind in the capital, this years version of the Warsaw Beer Festival is on the course to surpass its last two editions. It's a great mix of craft beer brewers, home brewers, beer aficionados and hop heads. A great social and interactive climate with other activities like Table football, Pinball available. 

With a great young exuberant crowd, this festival features almost all Polish craft brewers. It has a great marketing sense to it with a professional site preparation.
(Late May)

Started 5 years ago, The Krakow Beer Festival is considered one of the biggest of its kind in Poland. It promotes original Polish craft and also educate beer fans about the traditional brewing methods used. Participants can sample up to 40 different types of beer during the festival.

(Third weekend of June)

This festival has a great program line up like beer contests between breweries, brewing demonstrations and tours of the great Zywiec Brewery Museum. There's also a great oppurtunity to to take tours with local guides and learn about the interesting history of the home of Poland's famous beer: Zywiec

Other beer festivals in Poland

  • Craft Beer Camp (Annopole near Środa Wielkopolska)
  • OffBeer - Łódzki Festiwal Piwa (Łódź)
  • BrowarFest (Poznań)
  • Targi Piw Regionalnych "Piwowary" (Łódź)
  • Lubiński Festiwal Piwa (Lubin)
  • V Festiwal Piwa (Szreniawa)
  • Hevelka Craft Beer Festival (Gdańsk)
  • III Festiwal Piw Rzemieślniczych (Annopole
  • IV Warmiński Festiwal Dziedzictwa Browarniczego (Olsztyn)
  • 45 Chmielaki Krasnostawskie (Krasnystaw)
  • Bracka Jesień 2015 (Cieszyn)
  • Opolfest 2015 - Festiwal Piwa, Wina & Sera (Opole)


Kasztelan Unpasteurized Wheat Beer {Kasztelan Pszeniczne Niepasteryzowane}

From the coffers of the famous Kasztelan brand of beers comes the Kasztelan Unpasteurized Wheat Beer. Regarded as Poland's first wheat beer, the Kasztelan Pszeniczne is a blend of clear foamy light beer. It boost a clear golden body with a light white head and emits a beautiful yeast aroma. It gets a bit watery right down in the middle but is definitely a fine Kristallweizen. 

It comes in a 0.5l returnable bottles as well as in 500ml cans. 

Personally, I have and I'll always be a sucker for Unpasteurized Wheat Beers regardless of the brand. Even though this beer may be classed average as per the regular Polish ratings, I believe the taste it brings to the table qualifies it to be at par with most of the famous wheat beers. Soothing, delicious and invigorating taste of malt in its raw unscathed form. 

It'd  perfectly go with any meals (note, this is only my personal opinion) and ideal for a picnic in the hot sun in summer ;)

Ingredients  :  Water, barley malt and wheat
Brewing Method:  Upper Fermentation
Pasteurization:  Nope!
Style : Lager
Color: Light cream
Alcohol Content: 5%

Cheers ;)


Brok Brown Ale

The Brok Brown Ale is one of the four 'Brok Speciality' beers brewed by Browar Koszalin, a subsidiary of the Van Pur SA group 
in Koszalin - a quiet yet bustling city in Western Pomerania in
north-western Poland and located located 12 kilometres south of the Baltic Sea coast.

It's a dark beer inspired by the American Brown Ale - malty and sweet with caramel and nuts hints. Its distinctive copper colour and perceptible aroma and hop bitterness gives it a classic style. 

It has a very weak but alluring coffee and caramel smell and has a light beige foam when poured in a glass, which doesn't stay long and quickly disappears after a few seconds. It has a rusty taste of roasted coffee beans, sweet, slightly acidic, a slight bitterness towards the middle and a little watery. 

It's just an average Dark Ale, nothing too special about the taste though lacking some special hints to place it on par with some of the renowned Brown Ales

Ingredients  Water, barley malt(pilsen, caramalt, munich, smoked)  and hops(Cascade, Chinook, Marynka, Lubelski) 

Pasteurization:  Yes
Style : Lager
Color: Dark amber
Alcohol Content: 5.2%


Argus Gold Unpasteurized {Argus Gold Niepasteryzowane}

Argus Gold Unpasteurized is a strong pale lager brewed for the supermarket chain LIDL. There's little to no information on the Brewery where it's brewed but most likely, however, the beer was brewed by Brewey Łomża.

It has a clear gold colour with the bubble particles clearly transparent. It has a nice foam layer that immediately disappears, when poured in a glass. 

It has an invigoratingly pleasant aroma of hops and flows smoothly down the throat with no bitter after taste common with some strong lagers. 

In my opinion , it's a beer for all occasions. I had it with some lentil soup my girlfriend made me and it went together perfectly well. It doesn't really do justice though to the alcohol content in it. I had to go for a second bottle to feel that kind of ''zing'' that comes with strong lagers. 

It retails for 1.99zl (0.48$), a price that doesn't reflect it's quality and breathtaking taste 

Ingredients  :  Water, barley malt,   hops                      
Pasteurization:  No
                Style     : Lager
      Colour   :  Light Amber/Light Gold   
Alcohol Content    : 6.0%              


Jabłonowo Strong Honey Beer {Jabłonowo Miodowe Mocne}

The Jabłonowo Strong Honey Beer is a honey flavoured beer manufactured by Jabłonowo Brewery, one of the last few Polish and  independent  family breweries.

The brewery's success is attributed to it's rapid adaptation to the current market needs to the delight of customers and developing innovative technical solutions in technology and marketing.

The Jabłonowo Miodowe Mocne, as it's known in Polish  has without any objection a beautiful dark-amber characteristics of a strong beer.It has a dense, creamy and fine foam that settles quickly, leaving no trace on the glass. 

It has a beautiful yet weak smell of  honey combined with malt and hops, which is common with strong beers. The taste is primarily honey, although it tastes like honey totally devoid of sweetness which immediately gets covered by the strong unpleasant flavour of malt after a second sip. Aside the bitter taste at the end, I think it's an average beer for a cold-chilly day, that is if you into flavoured and strong beers. 

Ingredients  :  Water, barley malt,                                           hops and flavour   

 Pasteurization:  Yup!
                Style     : Bottled
                  Colour   :  Dark amber   
Alcohol Content    : 7.4%                 



Pasteurized & Unpasteurized Beer

Pasteurization can be defined as a process of killing microbes (mostly bacteria) present in foods and drinks by heating them up to a particular temperature. The term was named after the French scientist Louis Pasteur, who invented the process in the nineteenth century.

Pastuer discovered that heating beer and wine was enough to kill most of the bacteria that caused spoilage, preventing these drinks to turn sour. The process achieves this by eliminating pathogenic microbes and lowering microbial numbers to prolong the quality and the shelve life of the beverage. The process is widely used today in the diary industry and other food processing industries to prolong the shelve life of foods and also for food safety


Pasteurization enables a can or bottle of beer to be stored at room temperature for up to 120 days and beyond. Draft beer that has not been pasteurized has a shelve life of about 45 to 60 days. Draft beers that are not pasteurized often have a life of 6 to 9 months.

Contents of a non-pasteurized keg that has been used at special outdoor events, and stored outside during the event should not be served once the event has ended. 
Pasteurized kegs can be returned to the the cooler, and it's content can be served or consumed at later time.

Unpasteurized beer on the other contain most of the micro-organism and noble yeast left over from the brewing process. They tend to have a short shelve life as compared to pasteurized beers and should be mostly keep in it's cooler to preserve taste and quality. 

It's highly not recommended to re-consume an unpasteurized beer that has been left open (whether bottled or canned) for a while. 

Impact on Beer Flavour - Does pasteurization has an impact on the taste of beer? This is a question that has long been debated and, is truly based on personal preference.

Do you like to eat your veggies cooked or raw? Some people might argue that raw vegetables have the best taste and best attributes such as the crispiness, freshness whereas other might argue that cooking the vegetables releases more flavour in the vegetable 

The choice is mostly tuned to personal taste.

If you'd like to read more about the differences, you can check out this article on ''Pasteurized and Unpasteurized Juice'' from the Michigan State University's website 

Cheers ;)



Fortuna Czarne {Fortuna BLACK}

The Fortuna brand of beers originates from  Miłosław a town situated in the Greater Poland Voivodeship.

This is a bottom-fermenting beer which ferments at low temperatures in traditional open vats. Like many other dark beers, it matures for a long time. The recipe includes caramel malt, roasted in the Miłosław brewery, and kola nut extract.
This beer’s extraordinary flavour is a combination of slightly bitter roasted malt balanced with a dose of surprising sweetness. The alcohol content is barely noticeable. Fortuna Czarne has highly refreshing qualities, but it can also be drunk as a dessert beer.
The product has garnered numerous awards, including the "Dobre bo Polskie" emblem, the Audience Award at the Polagra-Farm trade fairs in Poznań and a medal in the Szczyrk Beer Contest.
Fortuna CZARNE has been included on the List of Traditional Products administered by the Polish Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The List consists of products whose quality or unique characteristics stem from traditional production methods (employed for at least 25 years). On top of that, eligible products should be a part of their local communities’ identities and their home region’s cultural heritage.
Fortuna Brewery was appointed Polish Food Producer 2006 for Fortuna Czarne.
Dark malt beer

Alcohol content: 5.8% abv
Extract : 15½

Honest Review: I love this beer . This is a must try for anyone visiting Poland. I'm sure it's easily acquired in any grocery store. I love the mouth feel and the sweet taste it leaves after every gulp. The alcohol content is almost unnoticeable. I'd give it a 4.5/5 

Cheers ;)


Filtered VS Unfiltered Beer

I never really paid that much attention to what was written on the bottle of a beer when drinking. I used to just hit the market and pick up the cheapest of beers I could get my hands on (I was a student back then and the country I living in had one of the heaviest taxes on alcohol drinks). It wasn’t until one day when I bought two Efes beers with the inscription ‘’Fitresiz’’ - which means Unfiltered in Turkish, did I realize there was a huge difference between the normal Pilsen and the Unfiltered beers.

An Unfiltered beer is  basically a beer in it’s original untouched states, just as they were brewed whereas a filtered beer is a beer which is passed through variousforms of  filtration to remove sediments(like hops, malt, barley etc)  left over from the brewing process.

Home brewers have long claimed that unfiltered beer is a healthier choice. Filtering makes beer clear but removes all the yeast and  wonderful flavors that they provide. Yeast provides B vitamins which some claim, helps reduce the affects of hangovers.

Flavor and color compounds are  lost in Filtered beer, as many flavor components and color compounds  are in the color pigments, malt solids and yeast which are lost in filtration.

Personally, I believe it’s better to make your own conclusions by tasting the beer, but if you want a good mouthfeel as  you enjoy your lager, go for the unfiltered alternative .

Cheers ;) 


Kasztelan Specjały Białe {Kasztelan Special White Beer}

The ''Kasztelan'' (which means a lower rank official who could sit in the Senate of Poland) beer brand is no doubt one of the most popular beer brands in the Masovian Voivodeship of Poland.
The beers fame and reputation dates back to the fifteenth century when it was only known in Sierpc, a small town in the north-west part of the Masovian Voivodeship, about 125 km northwest of Warsaw, where it was brewed. It’s popularity steadily grew over time as merchants from Warsaw took the beer with them to Torun,Elblag and even Gdansk .  
The is ‘’Kasztelan Specjały ‘’ series a triple threat special edition made up of the Kasztelan Specjały Niefiltrowane(Kasztelan Special Unfiltered) , Kasztelan Specjały Białe(Kasztelan Special White), Kasztelan Specjały Chmielowe(Kasztelan Special Hops).
I’ll only cover the Kasztelan Specjały Białe beer since it’s the only one I’ve had the opportunity to try so far.

Let’s First  look at the Ingredients 

Ingredients  :  Water, barley malt and wheat
Brewing Method:  Bottom Fermentation
Pasteurization:  Yup!
Style : Lager
Color: Light cream
Alcohol Content: 5.4%

Honest Review: Personally speaking, this beer is one of the best beers I've had here in Poland. It flows down you throat smoothly without the back end sour tastes of most beers. The beer is naturally clouded and I believe to get the full taste, it's better to give it a little shake or a stir before drinking it. It's perfect with most dishes especially sea foods and salads. I'll give it a 4.0/5 . Cheers ;)


Amber Naturalny

The ‘’Amber Naturalny’’ is an indigenous beer of  the inhabitants of Gdansk, a beautiful Pomeranian city in the Northern part of Poland close to the Baltic Sea. The beer gets it’s name from amber, a mineral for which Gdansk  is famously known  as the capital for its collection and works. (Click here to read more about ‘’Amber-TheBaltic Gold’’)

The beer is a non-pasteurized type of lager beer with a high malt extract, thanks to which it has a rich, deep and distinctive taste. According to the website of the brewery, it’s brewed using an orthodox method according to which each beer is brewed in separate vats, exclusively from barley malt, hop and post glacial water.
The beer carries the Beer Academy marking which looks to promote awareness of the wealth of the beer world, the tradition associated with the production methods as well as its ingredients and good taste.

Ingredients  :  Water, Barley malt and hops
Brewing Method:  Bottom Fermentation
Pasteurization:  Yup!
Style : Lager
Color: Light amber
Extract: 12.2%
Alcohol Content: 5.7%

Honest Review: This beer (or piwo as the Poles would call it)  is a must taste anytime you find yourself in Gdansk or any of its vicinities. I’m not usually a big fan of pasteurized beer, but there’s a uniqueness to this beer that I believe is best understood when tasted.
I’ll give it 3.5 cheers outta a 5 ;)