Craft beer in Poland: Introduction
Poland is a wonderland for craft beer enthusiasts, and definitely one of our favorite craft beer countries in Europe! As a travel destination, Poland is still a relatively unknown country for many, even if especially the capital Warsaw, Krakow in southern Poland and Gdansk on the northern coast see quite a lot of tourists every year. Adventurous travelers heading to Poland are attracted by hiking destinations, such as the Tatra Mountains in the south, the lake areas and the Białowieża Forest. In recent years, Poland has become widely known to beer enthusiasts as well – there are several excellent microbreweries that produce quality beers with very affordable price. Especially in the bigger cities, beer tourists can visit a bunch of brewery taprooms and craft beer pubs that focus specifically on Polish products. In this post an introduction to craft beer in Poland – separate brewery introduction posts of PINTA and Artezan will follow!
The revolution of craft beer in Poland
One of the pioneers of the modern Polish craft beer culture is Browar PINTA from the village of Wieprz in southern Poland. What started as small scale home-brewing, expanded to establishing a nomadic brewery back in 2011 and building a modern beer factory in 2019. From the beginning, PINTA has been boldly experimenting with brewing and marketing artisan beer and different beer styles. The growth and international popularity of PINTA, together with the influence of a few other microbreweries founded around the same time, has been a significant factor in shaping the Polish craft beer culture. PINTA beers have been an inspiration to many home-brewers who have later turned their hobby in to a profession.
Along with new, modern craft beer styles, Polish breweries have looked back to history, and brought to life traditional beer styles from different regions, such as the Grodziskie smoked wheat beer from western Poland. The more well-known traditional Polish beer style is the strong and dry Baltic Porter, that has also been brewed for a long time in some other countries by the Baltic Sea.
The growth of the amount of microbreweries in Poland has been quite fast, and today there are hundreds of breweries, of which many operate as nomadic breweries. In addition to PINTA, internationally known names include breweries like Stu Mostów, Funky Fluid, Trzech Kumpli, AleBrowar, Artezan and Nepomucen. The NEIPA boom a few years ago introduced the hazy and fruity American style Pale Ale beers also to Polish beer enthusiasts, who seem to have fallen head over heels to the style, and there is a huge variety of delicious “hop juices” in the market. Strong Stouts and Pastry Sours, as well as non-alcoholic and low-alcohol beers, have also been very popular recently.
Polish brewers are not lacking the will to experiment, and the range of beer styles available is wide. There also seems to be a good spirit of cooperation between the breweries, and a lot of collaboration beers are made, sometimes also with foreign operators. It should also be mentioned that, in addition to the beer itself, a delightful number of small breweries in Poland invest in the visual appearance and label art, and the rows of bottles and cans are a joy to the eye. As budget-savvy beer travelers, one more reason to love Poland as a craft beer destination is the price level – the price-quality ratio of Polish artisan beers is great!
Poland for beer travelers
In the following posts we will introduce a couple of corner stones of Polish craft beer; PINTA and Artezan, that we had a pleasure to visit during our latest trip through Poland in April 2022. But before that, we’ll jump to take a look at craft beer in Serbia!
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