Tourists who sample alcohol in Poland often expect that because the Polish vodka culture is so strong, the amount of decent breweries will be lower than in most European countries. Luckily, these expectations are dumbfounded as modern day Poland excels in craft beer bars, microbreweries and truly cool places to enjoy the best “piwo” (Polish for beer) in a country never shy of a good alcoholic drink.
In these five breweries you won’t just see how the beer is made, you will be able to enjoy a beer or two direct from the source, and therefore as fresh as it gets.
Browar Kociewski is located in the charming Kociewie capital of Starogard Gdański and is a real treat for anyone who enjoys good local craft beer and decent Polish cuisine in a relaxed and modern setting. The brewery Browar Kociewski itself is situated within the Hotel Ren, with a huge restaurant to boot. Indeed, you can sip your beer next to where the actual beer is brewed and sample the four locally made beers direct from the source. Once a year the venue also hosts a popular beer festival, and the beers on tap take the form of four regular options: Pils, Lager, Bok, and Pszeniczne. On the food menu, the unusual Zupa Piwna (beer soup) and the Tatar (raw steak with egg and vegetables) come heartily recommended.
Browar Księży Młyn is a huge brewery on the site of an old mill in the charming city of Łódź. As well as touring the brewery, the restaurant located on-site serves up tasty bar food such as burgers and pizzas. But the highlight is of course, washing your food down with the finest beer in all of Łódź. The brewery dates back to 1875 and typically offers a choice of four draught beers all brewed next door and a larger range of self-produced bottled beer.
Despite being the largest city in Poland, there are not many actual breweries based in the capital city Warsaw and this is where Browarmia comes in. The bar and restaurant is second to none, serving up delightful beers with a top-notch food menu to go with it. The coolest thing about Browarmia is that it has the biggest selection of home-brewed beers for any bar in the city, with over 10 choices consistently on the beer menu. Once a year the Oktoberfest is a good time to visit and you can arrange to learn how the beer is made by organising a demonstration via their website.
The Żywiec Brewery is one of the more famous breweries in Poland and was founded in 1856 by Archduke Albrecht Friedrich Habsburg. There is now a museum on-site and of course, if you arrange a tour you can sample the freshest pint of Żywiec right here in the bar. The joint museum and brewery tour costs 35 złotych. Despite the fact that the traditional Żywiec lager is the most common product, many visitors are surprised to see the full range of Żywiec beers which includes a superb Porter. Another bonus of touring the Żywiec brewery is also that you will get to explore one of Poland’s less touristic towns while you are here. Aside from the brewery and beer tasting, the town offers many touristic gems.
Browar Warmia might feel like a surprise to the list as Olsztyn is still not one of the most popular tourist cities in Poland. However, once inside this brewery you will discover why it has to be on the list. Before you even get to Browar Warmia, you will already be charmed by Olsztyn’s Old Town, river and leafy park which is exactly where the brewery sits – right on the river. Inside the huge brewery is a bar and restaurant which serve the special local beer to perfection. As a tip, try the sample option which contains six beers ranging from a lager to an IPA to a stout. The shop also sells all the Warmia beers in bottles so you can take them home with you after your tour.