Did you know that you can try some of the best Polish beers without actually going to Poland?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the various types of beer in Poland. You’ll learn about beer styles, popular beer brands, as well as the top 10 Polish beers.
Read on to learn a few tips, or to become a Polish beer enthusiast yourself!
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Most beer fanatics know that Central and Western Europe is where modern beer originates. Today, beer from the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Austria are what set the high standard for what is enjoyed around the world today.
Lesser known but no less enjoyable is the rich history of beer from Poland. For over 1,000 years, Polish beer or “piwo,” has been enjoyed by beer drinkers from all over the globe.
Many of these Polish breweries are often underrated and don’t get the same recognition as beer from other countries. There are many craft beers being brewed and enjoyed every day, and many of these beers are brewed in Poland.
- 1 What Are The Beer Brands From Poland?
- 2 Polish beer alcohol content
- 3 Polish beer styles
- 4 What Are Best Polish Beers?
- 4.1 1. ŻUBR Polish Lager - 6% ABV
- 4.2 2. Okocim O.K. Beer - 6.2% ABV
- 4.3 3. Tyskie Gronie Lager - 5.6% ABV
- 4.4 4. Lech Premium - 5.05% ABV
- 4.5 5. Perla Chmielowa - 6.0% ABV
- 4.6 6. Amber Kozlak - 6.5% ABV
- 4.7 7. Ciechan Pszeniczne - 4.8 % ABV
- 4.8 8. Zywiec Lager - 5.6 % ABV
- 4.9 9. Zywiec Porter - 9.5 % ABV
- 4.10 10. Kormoran Imperium Prunum - 11% ABV
- 5 Is Polish beer well-known?
- 6 The Rich History Of Polish Beer
- 7 Where To Find These Polish Beers Without Going To Poland
What Are The Beer Brands From Poland?
Here is a list of the most popular Polish beers:
- ZUBR Polish Lager
- Okocim O.K. Beer
- Tyskie Gronie Lager
- Lech Premium
- Perla Chmielowa
- Amber Kozlak
- Ciechan Pszeniczne
- Zywiec Lager
- Zywiec Porter
- Kormoran Imperium Prunum
Polish beer alcohol content
One thing to know is that beer from Poland can be very strong. If your beer label says “Mocne,” then your beer will be extra-strong. Extra-strong is popular in Poland as many of their beers contain higher alcohol content.
Polish beer styles
Several popular beer styles have developed over the centuries in Poland. Here are the most popular types:
- Pilsner – A type of lager beer that originated in the Czech Republic. It is characterized by its golden color, light body, and crisp, hoppy flavor.
- Lager – The most common beer style in Poland. It is a light, crisp beer that is typically brewed using bottom-fermenting yeast.
- Porter – A dark, top-fermented beer that is similar to a stout. It has a rich, full-bodied flavor.
- Wheat beer – a top-fermented beer known for its cloudy appearance and its spicy, fruity flavor.
- Grodziskie – A light, smoky beer that is brewed using oak-smoked wheat malt.
- Amber Ale – A type of ale that is brewed using amber malt, which gives it a reddish color and a rich, malty flavor.
- Baltic Porter – a strong, dark beer that originated in the Baltic region.
What Are Best Polish Beers?
We have “tasted” our way through Poland to check out the best beer selections to see what the beer from Poland is like. While there are many good Polish beers to try and far more than we have on our list, these 10 Polish beer brands stood out as our favorites.
1. ŻUBR Polish Lager - 6% ABV
Zubr, meaning “bison” in Polish, is a classic from one of the oldest breweries in Poland. It dates all the way back to the year 1768.
ZUBR has a deep golden color and floral aroma with a traditional pilsner taste, a bit of caramel, and a slight hop taste.
This traditional European lager is perfect for gathering friends and family, and is a perfect match to go along with salted pretzels.
2. Okocim O.K. Beer - 6.2% ABV
Okocim O.K. Beer is currently being brewed by Okocim Brewery, which was founded in 1845.
This “Polish pills” style of beer is one of just a handful of Polish brews separating itself from other European beer brands.
Very smooth, with hints of malt, and slightly sweet. This is a very good pilsner, and as an added bonus, it’s one of the cheaper beer options, at least it is in Poland.
As their slogan says, Okocim (O.K. as it’s known) is definitely MORE than O.K, and is worthy of being on the best Polish piwo list.
3. Tyskie Gronie Lager - 5.6% ABV
This Bohemian pilsner or macro lager has been growing in popularity not just in Poland, but throughout the world.
Tyskie Gronie is also the only Polish beer to have won the “Beer Oscars” twice at the British Brewing Industry Awards.
It has a distinct malt aroma and even nicer taste, with a moderate bitterness. The color is a light golden and has more flavor than the traditional big brewery beer of Poland. It is easy to find in Poland and many large liquor stores in the United States.
4. Lech Premium - 5.05% ABV
Compared to some of the older breweries in Poland, Lech Browary Wielkopolski is an industrial brewery that was built between 1975 and 1980.
This light European pale lager beer is light and refreshing, highly carbonated, and best-served cold. Definitely a warmer weather option.
The aroma of this Polish beer is of hay and grass. The taste is slightly bitter and slightly floral.
5. Perla Chmielowa - 6.0% ABV
This pilsner is a Polish institution, that was first brewed in 1846. It has a characteristic bitterness, an excellent aroma of hops, plus superlative clarity and a golden color.
Perla won a Bronze Medal at the International Beer Challenge. This Polish beer has won numerous awards in recent decades, proving it is still relevant after all these years.
6. Amber Kozlak - 6.5% ABV
This Polish lager in a German Bock style pours slightly cloudy and tastes slightly sweet, with a hint of honey, and pours a nice ruby color.
There is more than a hint of caramel which is present from first sip to finish. This beer is stronger than the taste would indicate.
7. Ciechan Pszeniczne - 4.8 % ABV
The un-filtered German Hefeweizen style beer from the popular Browar Ciechan brewery is sweet but not overly so, with flavors of banana and clove, as you would expect.
This Polish beer is brewed with top-fermenting yeast, which is the traditional method for this recipe.
This high-carbonated beer pours a pale yellow to a light-gold color and has a high content of CO2. That explains why this Polish beer has a generous foam head
8. Zywiec Lager - 5.6 % ABV
From one of the oldest Polish beer brands comes this smooth European pale lager.
It has a light, clear, golden color with a thick white head. Another characteristic of this Polish beer is the lightly sweet and fruity taste, finishing with a touch of malt.
This pale lager is one of the best Polish alcoholic beverages to drink and comes from a brewery that has existed for well over 150 years.
9. Zywiec Porter - 9.5 % ABV
A dark malt, and a classic that represents the taste of Krakow and much of Poland, and is often compared to Guinness Stout. It has a dark color of strong coffee with an aroma of malt, chocolate, and raisin.
One of the best Polish beer brands, this stout was created back in 1881, and it is still a favorite among the locals and tourists.
10. Kormoran Imperium Prunum - 11% ABV
This high-alcohol Black Porter is very popular among craft beer aficionados in Poland.
The aroma of this Polish beer is an all-star team of dark smells such as coffee, chocolate, and cocoa, It has an intensely smoky, almost barbecue flavor.
This Polish beer contains a unique fruit, the Suska Sechlonska, a smoked dried plum from southern Poland.
It was also ranked #42 in The Daily Meal’s 50 best beers in the world in 2018, and “Rate My Beer” puts it as the best Polish porter and the #1 Baltic Porter in the world.
Is Polish beer well-known?
Fans of alcohol know that Polish vodka and Krupnik, which is a sweet liquor, are two of the main staples in Poland.
However, beer is right up there in popularity.
The Rich History Of Polish Beer
Beer has been made in Poland since the early Middle Ages, and Inns were selling beer as early as the 11th Century. Industrial brewing didn’t begin until the 19th Century.
Porter was the first type of beer made, following its import from Britain. Soon, Poland began favoring and creating pale lagers associated with Czech, German and Austrian beers.
After the Second World War, almost all breweries were nationalized under the communist regime. Following the collapse of communism and the return to capitalism in the 1990s, the market competition returned, as did international beer companies.
The Polish Beer Market
By the 2010s, three companies controlled 80% of the beer market in Poland. Around this time, craft beer started gaining popularity, and at the end of 2013, there were 97 breweries in Poland, including microbreweries and larger corporate breweries.
Polish Craft Breweries
Now more than 200 craft breweries make over 500 different brands of beer, greatly expanding the Polish brand market.
Not only does Poland brew more beer per year than any other European country outside of Germany and the United Kingdom, the weather is perfect for the best Polish homegrown hops.
Where To Find These Polish Beers Without Going To Poland
Would you like to try one or more of these beers from Poland, but don’t plan on going to Poland any time soon?
If you can’t find these beers in your local liquor store or micro-brewery, you can order some of these Polish beers online from Drizly, and have them delivered to your home. If these beers aren’t available where you live, you can always get yourself an inexpensive beer making kit and brew your own beer at home.
If drinking new and different styles of craft beer is your thing, especially of the international variety, you might want to have a look at the International Beer Club from MonthlyBeerClub, or any of their 5 beer club subscriptions.
When you join The International Beer Club, you will get to try new and unique beers that are brewed across Europe and are lightly distributed.
So what is the best beer from Poland? You be the judge. Go ahead and change it up a bit, and try something new next time you make a beer run.