Craft beer hasn’t quite taken off in Gdańsk as fast as it has in cities such as Warsaw, Poznań or Kraków, but that trend seems to be changing. In recent years, many new, cosy little beer-focused venues have sprung their way onto the streets of the city, each adding a little of their own uniqueness to the ever-growing craft beer trend. These are the finest places in the city to sample an Indian pale ale, a fine Polish stout, a Danish sour ale or a strong Belgian-style wheat beer.
Labeerynt is a cosy basement bar with an ever-changing selection of beers on tap. The bar usually has ten beers that rotate often as each keg runs out. All beers are locally crafted, taking in many different styles. On the menu you can normally find IPAs, APAs, stouts, bitters and sour ales. Pop in just after office hours, between 5pm and 7pm and join the lively beer-loving crowd. The bar attracts locals, tourists and business visitors alike and has a few outdoor seats for the warmer months. Bar snacks are also available, and there are sometimes promotions.
Pułapka is one of three cosy independent bars on the Lawendowa Street corner that is a little bit away from the hustle and bustle of Gdańsk nightlife. This is a typical craft beer pub that mixes old fashioned with modern, attracting both old and new customers from all over the city and beyond to sample the finest craft beer Gdańsk has to offer. The blackboard at the front lists the draft beers available, all of which change regularly. For those not into their craft beer on tap, there are also countless bottles available, as well as the usual Polish mixture of vodka shots, spirits and alcopops. There is outdoor seating for the warmer months when the spill-over onto Lawendowa Street occurs. All craft beers are available in two sizes, and if you ask nicely, you may be allowed a sample before buying the craft beer of your choice. The bar also has Wi-Fi.
A restaurant that mixes great Polish food with its own brewery is the popular Browar Piwna, which is nicely located on Ulica Piwna (beer street!). Browar Piwna serves its own homemade beers with a range of tasty Polish meals from the local Kashubian-style sausages to the pierogi choices to the golonka (pork knuckle). The bar is also situated less than a minute’s walk to the famous St. Mary’s Church. The venue also sells merchandise such as t-shirts and gets busy on weekends. As well as the hearty food menu, there are some truly superb Polish beers on tap to try, including a wheat beer, a dark beer and a light beer. The venue also has free Wi-Fi and an outdoor beer garden in the summer months.
Brovarnia is a restaurant and microbrewery situated at the Hotel Gdańsk, and one of the few such institutions in Poland. This is a superb place to sample Polish beer and food all at once in a prime location overlooking the harbour. Their beers range from schwarzbier to lagers and special brews, best accompanied by classics of hearty Polish cuisine such as pork knuckle baked in house beer, or beer goulash with buckwheat and pickled cucumber. The interior is exactly what you would expect from a brewery, with brass tubes zigzagging on the walls, a convivial atmosphere throughout the night and a historic warehouse-style location in a 17th-century granary that miraculously escaped destruction during the Second World War.
Restauracja Barbados is a handy craft beer pub and brewery-style restaurant that is located directly opposite the main train station in Gdańsk. It is part of the Lubrow Brewery, and the house beers all come from this brand. If you’re a beer lover, order the deska piw, which is a sample board containing five of the current tap beers from the Lubrow brand, which also has a popular bar in neighbouring Sopot. The food menu is also superb and very typically Polish, featuring the finest bigos (Hunter’s stew), pierogi (dumplings) and Polish soups such as chłodnik (cold beetroot soup) or rosoł (chicken noodle soup). You can also see where and how the beer is made, as the brewery is on site. In summer months, the bar gets busy and makes good use of the additional seating out front, where you can watch the world go by.
Translating as ‘Wardrobe Café’, the quirky Cafe Szafa is a sublime late-night haunt serving up a glorious selection of quirky bottled beers in a highly intriguing building. Once you get inside, you will see skeletons on the wall, an odd selection of mirrors and a hanging bicycle. Work your way through a menu of decent craft beers, and party long into the night. The downstairs has a dance floor, and the biggest challenge is finding the secret room. This is your fantasy adventure into an almost Narnia-like experience, via the wardrobe. Be on the lookout for the lion and the witch. Some snacks are also available, and of course a shot of Polish vodka is never far away.
Lawendowa 8 is a cosy and quirky bar on the street corner of Lawendowa near the Old Town of Gdańsk. In here, you can expect a friendly, beer-loving crowd and you will be served by staff who know their beers very well. Whether it’s an Indian pale ale, an Irish stout or a local Polish craft beer, there is something for everyone here. On weekends, the bar is open until 3am and attracts a lively crowd all evening. There is live music on occasion, and the selection of beers on tap is forever changing. In the winter, the bar serves up hot beer and wines, known as grzaniec.