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Best Polish Beers To Try: Our Top 10 Beers From Poland

Picture of polish beers

Did you know that you can try some of the best polish beers without actually going to Poland?

Most beer fanatics know that Central and Western Europe is where modern beer originates. Today, beer from the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany (and Bavaria), 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.

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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 return to capitalism in the 1990s market competition returned as did international beer companies.

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. Now more than 200 craft breweries make over 500 different brands of beer.

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.

Our Top Polish Beer Brands

Fans of alcohol know that Polish vodka and Krupnik, which is a sweet liquor, are two of the main staples in Poland, but beer is right up there in popularity. 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 contents.

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.

ŻUBR Polish Lager - 6% ABV

A classic from one of the oldest breweries in Poland. ZUBR has a deep golden color and floral aroma with a traditional pilsner taste with a bit of caramel and a slight hop taste. This light beer is perfect for the gathering of friends and family.

zubr lager beers from poland

Okocim O.K. Beer - 5.6% ABV

Very smooth, hints of malt, and slightly sweet. This is a very good pilsner and as an added bonus it’s one of the cheaper options, at least in Poland.

Okocim (O.K. as it’s known) is definitely MORE than O.K, and is worthy of being on the best polish piwo list.

okocim ok beer from poland

Tyskie Gronie Lager - 5.6% ABV

This Bohemian pilsner or macro lager has a nice smell and even nicer taste. Color is a light golden and has more flavor than the traditional big brewery beer of Poland. Easy to find in Poland and a reliable staple.

Tyskie gronie laber beers from poland

Lech Premium - 5.05% ABV

This light Polish lager beer brewed by Kompania Piwowarska is refreshing, highly carbonated, and best served cold. Definitely a warmer weather option. The aroma is of hay and grass, and the taste is slightly bitter and slightly floral.

lech premium polish beer

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 and has won numerous awards in recent decades, proving it is still relevant after all these years.

perla pils beer

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.

amber kozlak beer from poland

Ciechan Pszeniczne - 4.8 % ABV

The un-filtered German Hefeweizen style beer is sweet but not overly so, with flavors of banana and clove. It pours a pale yellow color with a generous foam head and a high carbonation content.

ciechan pszeniczne polish beer

Zywiec Lager - 5.6 % ABV

From one of the oldest Polish beer brands comes this smooth European pale lager. This beer has a light, clear, golden color with a thick white head.  It has a lightly sweet and fruity taste, and finishes 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 been in existence for well over 150 years.

zywiec lager

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.

zywiec porter

Kormoran Imperium Prunum - 11% ABV

This high alcohol Black Porter that is very popular among craft beer aficionados in Poland. The aroma is like an all-star team of dark smells such as coffee, chocolate, cocoa, It has an intense smoky, almost barbecue flavor.

This beer contains a unique fruit, the Suska Sechlonska which is a smoked dried plum coming from southern Poland. This beer 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.

Where To Find These Polish Beers Without Actually Going To Poland

If you would like to try one or more of these favorite beers from Poland, and don’t plan on going to Poland, or can’t find these beers in your local liquor store or micro-brewery, you can find some of these Polish beers from Drizly, which is a beer delivery company and have them delivered to your home.

If drinking 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.

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 from all the world being brewed and enjoyed every day, and many of these beers are brewed in Poland.

In fact, there are way too many international beers on the market for you to keep drinking the same beer day after day.

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.

Cheers!

Alex
Alex

6 Responses

  1. żywiec lager and porter along with Perła are most certainly top Polish beers. No
    Kozlak amber is a newcomer but very tasty, especially on tap in a Polish bistro.

    Perła is a respectable brew made in Lublin , southeast of Warsaw and northwest of the Ukraine border. I don’t bother drinking anything else when I’m in Lublin, and in July the brewery hosts free outdoor films starting at 9 PM on the company grounds not far from the Old City.

    But Lech?!? That’s a watery nothing produced by Carlsberg (I think) or some other outside conglomerate which have taken over way way too many once good Polish browary.

    Okocim “OK” is a real disappointment for anyone familar with Okocim Zagłoba which had a nice hearty flavor, brewed in a small town East of Krakow — Bochnia, I think. I was told that “OK” is produced “for American taste” — i.e. bland.

    Tyskie is another huge disappointment. Back in the 90s (before it too got bought out by a huge international brewer) it had a slight orange flavor to it and lots of flavor.

    What about Helveliusz from Gdansk?

    1. Hey Kevin, thanks for taking the time to comment. We would like to try all the Polish beers if we could, but we can only get our hands on so many. If we can’t find them locally, we order them from Drizly.com or we get them from a Monthly Beer Club. I have been fortunate to travel to Europe numerous times, but have not made it to Poland. One of the reasons why I think craft beer is so great, is that the taste is so subjective, and everybody has a different palate and opinion. We do update our articles periodically, and would be more than happy to include your suggestions in the update if we have the opportunity.

      Thanks again!

  2. As first generation American Polish beer had some influence on my pallet .
    I have on occasion been able to purchase some of the Polish beers but they are slowly disappearing .
    So thanks for the heads up about Drizly.com and Monthly Beer Club Please
    Please provide additional information about taste ans availability of non alcholic beers .
    I noticed that Anheiser who owns O Douls has put out a no alcholic no sugar beer which is not easy to find .
    Thanks ,Joe Klosek. [email protected]

    1. Thanks Joe for your comments. Not sure if you saw it or not, but we do have a review of some non-alcoholic beers that are available and taste pretty good. NA beer have come a long way over the years, and I am sure there are some we could add to our list. And yes I saw that Anheuser-Busch has the new Budweiser Zero, but I have not tried it. If you can find it, let me know what you think.

      Thanks again!

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