Beer News:

Five things we learned in April

1. Real ale is here


Real ale is now brewed in Poland. Admittedly not nearly on the same scale as by the thousand breweries in the UK, but Kraków’s T.E.A. Time is a fine start anyway.


One matter begs some clarification, however: if some beer pundit called it real ale when it all started, does that mean the stuff I have been drinking is not real? Perhaps just a tad less… natural, or simply different – insofar as you need some additional CO2 to serve it, and it doesn’t continue to ferment in casks like real ale.


In effect T.E.A. Time brings something genuinely new to Poland; not just one fancy style, but a whole range of beers the Poles have never tried (barring those who have visited a pub in the UK, of course).


Real ale Poland


Last month it was the Irish contributing to our revolution. This month it’s an Anglo-Polish cooperation creating a whole new direction for it.



2. One medal is better than nothing


Ninety four. That’s how many categories there were in this year’s World Beer Cup, the biggest beer contest in the world. 4754 beers were rated, with nearly 300 medals awarded. We got one. A bronze one.


Maybe just one awarded beer isn’t so bad, especially as with the accolade for its Baltic Porter - Fortuna Brewery proved our claims about the style being a sort of Polish specialty aren’t without strong foundation. But then such beer ‘stalwarts’ as Israel and Taiwan snatched one gold medal each and we know how much the medal colour matters.


Fortuna -


The remaining seven Polish breweries had nothing to boast about, but does any of it really matter? Every nation loves it when its representatives are distinguished on the international arena, but it may well be even more fun to play a beer judge yourself at your local pub. The pleasure will be incomparably higher and you could actually pick a new winner every single evening.




3. Jakubiak to the rescue, again


Some people pick on the man’s right-wing views, but surely politics and beer don’t mix too well. We say we don’t care too much as long as the fruit of his work can be enjoyed by everyone. For Marek Jakubiak adding more and more good beers of typical craft styles to his original breweries’ portfolios just isn’t enough. Which is why he keeps finding old, forgotten plants that once made beer and turning them into vital parts of his growing company. We’ve seen it with Bojanowo, and now we’ll see it again with Tenczynek, a small town located in the south of Poland.



Tenczynek beer -


Can a place recognized for its jams and grated beetroot be turned into the kind of brewery it was over 60 years ago? Of course it can. And the beers are bound to be even better. The official deal for Jakubiak’s purchase of the Tenczynek plant should be signed within the next weeks, with plans already afoot to spend some 12 mln PLN and start production next year.



4. Grodziskie returns home, but not before it spawns a black variety


Jakubiak wasn’t the only one to save the day for a forgotten brewery. With the growing popularity of Poland’s indigenous style of grodziskie Fortuna Brewery thought it could actually buy the original brewery where grodziskie was made. Apparently not much more than bare walls is to be carried over to the new brewing facility, but the location in Grodzisk Wielkopolski is what should make the marketing people’s jobs much easier.




Fortuna plans to create a beer based both on original recipes as well as home brewers’ ideas, and we all know they can deliver. Meanwhile, with the number of new takes on the style from craft breweries growing steadily, Pracownia Piwa decided it was time for a radical change. The resultant Smoked Cracow By Night, released in April, combines the usual smokiness and lightness of the original with dark malt.


It’s always good to keep things fresh, even with a style as traditional as this.



5. Was everyone born at the same time?


Question for you: what do Pinta, AleBrowar, Pracownia Piwa and Szałpiw have in common? Yes, they’re all some of the best Polish craft breweries in Poland, but you know there’s something more to it. They all celebrate their birthdays around this time: the first two will throw the birthday party proper on 3rd May and the remaining two have just passed the one year mark.


How do you celebrate your birthday if you’re a brewery?


With beer, of course. Or perhaps some more beer than usual, just to properly mark the occasion. AleBrowar and Pinta have announced their collaborative Przewrót Mleczny (Milk Upheaval), a double chocolate milk stout, while Pracownia presented 100! Imperial IPA and Smoked Cracow By Night mentioned above. Meanwhile Szałpiw gave us a treat by bringing back to life their Ciemny Dynks dark witbier.

 Beer birthday - no cocktails


Celebrating your own birthday is all good and well, until you realize it also means you’re one year older now. That’s why celebrating your favourite brewery’s birthday could actually be an even better idea, especially as it would be hard to choose just one…



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