Beer News:

Five things we learned in May

Beer festivals in full swing, exciting new offerings and more British inspiration – check out our roundup of May’s most interesting beer news.



1. There’s no escaping IPA


We’re trying to avoid writing on the same subjects too much, but the three magic letter always find their way back into the spotlight anyway.


In May the style’s well-known advocates returned with a new offering. AleBrowar released (possibly from a cage in a zoo) their Crazy Mike, who must have been on something stronger than beer when posing for the label graphic. Befiting a double IPA, he provides a wealth of flavor and aroma, including ample hopping, of course.




Announced around the same time was the yet another brew from Artezan’s IPA Tour series. Interestingly, the splendidly named Specyfik (Concoction) boast almost identical parameters to AleBrowar’s junkie, giving the more hardcore beer fans plenty to choose from.


And what about those who want an IPA with a difference? Their needs have been catered to by Czorny Miś (Black Bear) from Widawa, which is the first Polish hopped Black IPA in the country, or as the brewery calls it, a Silesian Black Ale.


We promise not to write about IPAs any more. At least for a few days…



2. Simon says. Poland listens.


Polish brewers have been flirting with their foreign counterparts for some time now, but now the partnership has gone one step further. Blogger Tomasz Kopyra and Simon Martin of Real Ale Craft Beer had been involved in a blog opinion exchange for months, with the latter apparently enamoured by Polish beer. The cooperation was thus expanded, with Pinta Brewery joining the fun along the way.


Pinta kopyra martin -


And so in mid May Simon came to Poland and wherever he appeared, someone managed to capture the effervescent Brit singing the praises of what he’d seen and tried in our country. The focal point of the visit was brewing an imperial red ale with Pinta and Kopyr, the beer fittingly named Call Me Simon.


If Simon’s enthusiasm is even in part shared by the rest of the foreign beer scene, a world of opportunity will open up for Polish breweries. Let’s just hope they always make sure there’s enough beer left for the domestic market.




3. There are a hundred now


A hundred what? Breweries, naturally. Apparently we haven’t had that many for 20 years now, so things are no doubt looking good at present.


Interestingly, just after we’d regained independence after World War I (nearly a hundred years ago, for those who only think that 20s are yet to arrive) the Polish brewing industry was thriving with nearly 250 breweries, but then things took a turn for the worse… Common opinion says the worst years in recent time was 2010, with 2011 the moment when things were looking up again.



100 browary -


Why 2011? Being the year when Pinta Brewery, the first craft brewery in Poland, was founded, it’s not hard to realize the importance of the revolution that ensued and has been gaining pace ever since.

You can be sure it’s not the end, either, as some estimate there’s enough room on the market for another hundred.



4. Festival cooperation


Wrocław, Kraków, Szreniawa, Poznań, Łódź… The prolonged May long weekend, however, was kicked off on the first day of the month in Lublin. The event had a particularly chic ambience, with every visitor greeted at the entrance with flowers. It wasn’t the kind of large-bouquet-from-a-pretty-lady welcome that party dignitaries would get in the years gone by, but the simultaneously organised Flower and Plant Festival made for a truly special atmosphere on the premises.


festival -


Holding two quite different events in the same place and time undoubtedly helped spread the beer culture among all those who are usually more interested in seeds, maggots and the moon calendar. We shouldn’t forget that there are many beer fans with an interest in plants, too. At least one plant, to be more precise – humulus lupulus – although we can’t say much about its decorative properties.


5. Sweetness straight from the cow’s udders


This year AleBrowar and Pinta upheld the tradition started 12 months ago by presenting their next jointly brewed beer. Crazy Mike’s creators have recently embellished their logo with the self-explanatory phrase ‘Hop Heads of Poland’ (thus solidifying in writing what they’ve adhered to for years) and perhaps that’s why their part in the project was taking care of the malt. Consequently, the crew from Pinta went for the moderate option, treating the beer to two English hop varieties.




The end result was Przewrót Mleczny (Milk Upheaval), where lactose (milk sugar), moderate roastiness and chocolate are the main players. In a word, not something for your typical hophead, but for a mere mortal for whom ‘sweet’ and ‘beer’ in one sentence is no sacrilege.



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