TYIB Goes Global: The Poles

In order to more fully explore the regional beer culture, we took a short train to Szczecin, Poland for its reconstructed Stare Miasto (old town), pierogies, and beer. As this was a much shorter trip than our stay in Berlin, we had less time to consume and review as many beers as possible. Nevertheless, the following is a briefing on the offerings of Poland!

ZYWIEC

Beer: Żywiec
Brewery: Żywiec Breweries
Style: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 5.6%

Watery, thin body. Detectable flavors include corn and bread. While easily found in the US, we would recommend picking up the Żywiec Porter instead–more flavor and more alcohol for the same price.

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BOSMAN

Beer: Bosman Full
Brewery:
Browar Bosman
Style: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 5.7%

The 1840 Bosman Brewery, owned by Carlsburg, is located right in the heart of Szczecin. They make two beers, the Bosman Full and the Bosman Strong. Found on every tap in Szczecin, Bosman Full is enjoyable, though lacks character. It’s vaguely sweet and grainy, but….that’s about it. Maybe the strong is better?

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OKOCIM

Beer: Okocim Beer
Brewery: Browar Okocim
Style: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 5.9%

The Okocim Beer was consumed right before we tried the Okocim Mocne (Strong), which was significantly better. It had a nice malt profile, but again, that’s about it. A little bit grassy, a little bit doughy…a fine beer for a hot day. But not a fine beer for a nuanced beer review.

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OKOCIM MOCNE

Beer: Okocim Mocne
Brewery: Browar Okocim
Style: Euro Strong Lager
ABV: 7.5%

It seems to be common for Polish breweries to produce a pale lager and then a strong lager. The Okocim Mocne (Polish for “strong”), is Okocim’s strong lager. Overall, the Mocne has a slightly sweeter and a vegetal/fruit taste. If we were able to find this as college students, at 7.5%, we would’ve forgone all of those Sparks energy drinks for Okocim’s Mocne…

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Książ

Beer: Książ
Brewery: Browar Bosman
Style: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 6.5%

Also produced by Browar Bosman, Książ boasts that it uses pure water and is aged below a castle in Książ, Poland. Very thin, watery body with generic sweet grain taste.

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DEBOWE MOCNE

Beer: Dębowe Mocne
Brewery: Tyskie Browary Książęce
Style: Euro Strong Lager
ABV: 7.5%

Another Polish Mocne, Dębowe, produced by Tyskie, is not an improvement on the first one we tried. While significantly more flavorful than its pale counterparts, this strong lager is almost cloyingly sweet.

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MOCNE

Beer: Mocne
Brewery: Browar Jablonowo
Style: Euro Strong Lager
ABV: 7.2%

Browar Jablonowo has been around since…1992. Their strong lager tastes like it was left in the sun since then. We could not finish this beer, which at best could be described as having a terrible butterscotch flavor.

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TATRA

Beer: Tatra
Brewery: Żywiec Breweries
Style: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 6.0%

Although the Tatra is quite sweet, after getting through the preceding Mocnes, it was a sip of fresh air. It tastes like corn and apples, with a little bit of grain.

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HARNAS

Beer: Harnas
Brewery: Browar Okocim
Style: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 6.2%

Harnas, another pale lager from the Okocim Browar, is exceedingly watery and has a jarring grainy aftertaste. Nevertheless, if you like seltzer, you’ll enjoy the Harnas.

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ZUBR

Beer: Zubr
Brewery: Browar Dojlidy Bialystok, outta Poznan
Style: Euro Strong Lager
ABV: 5.8%

Clearly, you can see the appeal of this beer (read: bison). At this point, all of these Polish lagers are blurring together and blurring the line between what is and what isn’t drinkable. The Zubr Bison just barely falls on the side of drinkable.

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WARKA

Beer: Warka
Brewery: Żywiec Breweries
Style: Euro Strong Lager
ABV: 5.7%

Bland, yet the high carbonation renders it moderately drinkable.

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Suffice to say, don’t travel to Poland for the beer selection. Perhaps a quarter of the way through our reviewing extravaganza we should’ve seen the futility and switched to a vodka tasting. Though, I’m not sure that we would have ever made it back to the US…

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