I love beer. It is probably my favourite alcoholic beverage. No, it is my favourite alcoholic beverage. When I was a kid my dad would let me slurp off the beer froth. Later when I was a bit older he would let me have half a glass now and again. It was usually Thooeys Old. It was usually drunk on a balmy night out in the backyard. A special bond between a father and a son he never had. I was totally into it. Now I live in a paradise of beer. If you thought Poland was a vodka country, you’re so 1993. In fact Poland is the second largest beer consuming country in Europe, a few pints off Germany. Poland produces amazing beer and there are still local breweries that have not been bought out by Heineken (unlike the national beer Zywiec, which has gone completely down the toilet since), producing mind blowing brews, albeit without the boutiquey prices. Every region has it’s own mainstream brew, but the true gems are the beers from crappy provincial breweries that have no marketing budget to speak of. You stumble upon them, and hey presto, your mouth is in hops heaven.
The women who do drink beer in Poland tend to drink it with raspberry syrup. It gives the beer a pinky glow and a sweeter taste. It is drunk through a straw. Bleh. Sometimes instead of raspberry syrup you can order your half a litre glass with ginger syrup. Equally yuk. Shandies are rare but they do exist.
There are next to no preservatives in most Polish beers. So guts remain relatively small. You also do not get extreme hangovers from guzzling the beer here, due to the lack of chemicals within. There. There’s my propaganda.
My local bottle-o sells Wojak, a very daggy beer from Poznan. It costs 1.74 zł. It’s delicious on a balmy night, even when not drunk in a backyard. The bottle is returnable to the bottle-o. Once you’re done with it, you get your bottle deposit back. Just like with milk bottles back in the day. Brilliant. Means we have a whole stash of Wojak bottles under our kitchen sink because no one can be arsed to walk the 38 metres back to the shop with the glass ware.
The Polish word for beer is “piwo”.