Do you want to know what’s the best Polish beer brand? The answer is not that simple, however, we will try to answer this question in this post.
You will also learn a bit about the history of the beer, get to know the types of Polish beers, and realize that each of them is unique in its own way.
I’ve made a video with my husband Pat where we are trying 24 different Polish beers. We’ve independently chosen the same winner. Watch it below:
Best Polish Beer
This article is very detailed, however, if you don’t have time to go through everything, just take a look at the table below. I’ve included here all the Polish beers that are worth mentioning. You can see what they are made of, what flavors they have, and what’s their price.
|Name||Photo||Type||Price per bottle||Flavors available||Brand|
|Żubr||Lager||2.90PLN ($0.65)||żubr ciemnozłoty (dark larger), prażubr (unpasteurized lager)||Kompania Piwowarska|
|Lech||Lager||3.50PLN ($0.85)||Lemon, Mojito, Strawberry Margarita, Free, Limon Free, Watermelon Free, Grapefruit free, Pomegranate Free, Passion Fruit Free, Dark Fruits Free||Kompania Piwowarska|
|Żywiec||Lager||3.70PLN ($0.90)||Lemon, Orange, IPA, Apa, Grapefruit, Alcohol-free||Grupa Żywiec|
|Tyskie||Lager||3.30PLN ($0.75)||Alcohol-free||Kompania Piwowarska|
|Namysłów||Pils, Dark Irish||3.70PLN ($0.90)||none||Grupa Żywiec|
|Perła||Lager||3.10PLN ($0.70)||Dark, Honey, Baltic Porter, Alcohol-free||Browary Lubelskie|
|Tatra||Lager||2.90PLN ($0.65)||none||Grupa Żywiec|
|Warka||Lager||3.70PLN ($0.90)||Strong, Lemon, Grapefruit & Orange, Strawberry & Rhubarb, Kiwi & Quince, Mango & Orange, Blueberry & Orange, Raspberry & Lemon, Pomegranate & Orange||Grupa Żywiec|
|Kasztelan||Pilsner, Unpasteurized, Lager||3.10PLN ($0.70)||none||Carlsberg|
|Karmi||Alcohol-free||3.90PLN ($0.95)||Ice Coffee, Cranberry||Carlsberg|
|Książęce||Wide selection of beer types (lager, ale, porter, IPA, alcohol-free, etc.)||3.90PLN ($0.95)||Cherry Ale, Irish Ale||Kompania Piwowarska|
|Piwo Z Grodziska||Top-fermented, called the Polish Champagne||7PLN ($1.60)||Apa, IPA, Ale Mango Free||Browar Grodzisk|
|Komes||Baltic Porter, Russian Imperial Stout, Barley Wine, Imperial IPA, Styrian Golding||7PLN ($1.60)||Sherry Oloroso||Browar Fortuna|
|Fortuna||Lager||125PLN ($32)||Quince, Plum, Mirabelle Plum, Whisky Wood, Honey, Cherry, Alcohol-Free||Browar Fortuna|
|Okocim||Lager||3.10PLN ($0.70)||Cherry, Limon, Grapefruit, Orange, Raspberry, Lemon, Mango||Carlsberg|
The Types And The History Of Polish Beer
Did you know that in the Middle Ages Poles were drinking more beer than water? It may seem crazy but when you took a closer look at that, it’s perfectly understandable!
Beer became so popular because it was safer to drink than water. The contaminated water had bacteria that caused many diseases while beer was always safe to drink.
The beer was so popular back then that the word “piwo” (beer) literally meant “napój” (drink). Even though the beer contained alcohol, it was drunk by adults… and kids.
The Types Of Polish Beers
To start with, you need to understand that there are 2 ways of producing beer. They can either be top-fermentated (górna fermentacja) or bottom-fermented (dolna fermentacja).
There are many differences between top and bottom-fermented beers, the main is in the fermentation temperatures. To read more about it, follow this link.
The Polish beer market has been dominated by bottom-fermented beers (lagers).
Polish Lager Beer
Lager is the most popular type of beer in Poland. If you are looking for Polish ale beer, you will be disappointed as Poles produce lagers almost exclusively!
The most popular types of Polish lager beers are:
- Jasne Pełne (Pale Lager)
- Koźlak (Bock)
- Porter Bałtycki (Baltic Porter/ Imperial Stout)
- Piwo Marcowe (Oktoberfest Beer)
Polish Pale Lager
Jasne Pełne is the most popular Polish lager beer. It’s light, golden, refreshing, and bitter-sweet.
Some of the best Polish pale lager beers are:
- Łomża (5.7% abv) – it’s made of barley malt and hops, so the ingredients are clean with no additives!
- Żywiec (5.6% abv) – clean ingredients, delicious taste, it’s one of the best pale lagers to buy in every supermarket in Poland. It’s the Polish beer both me and Pat has chosen as the winner in our video.
- Lech (5% abv) – it was my personal favorite when I was younger! Lech is tasty and it’s made just of barley malt and hops.
- Tyskie (5.2% abv) – delicious beer with simple ingredients
Not recommended Polish pale lagers:
- Tatra (5.9% abv) – this beer has additives such as corn and glucose syrup, so don’t buy it!
- Żubr (6% abv) – it’s the best-selling beer in Poland. They spent too much money on marketing and too little on quality. Don’t buy Żubr because the beer has an addition of glucose syrup which is so unhealthy!
- Warka (5.2% abv) – this beer has an addition of corn which is so unnecessary.
Polish Bock (Koźlak)
In the past, Koźlak was usually brewed in the cold months. It’s a strong beer (6% abv) that has been produced for over 500 years now! Bock originates from Germany.
Some of the best Polish bock beers are:
- Koźlak Bock Beer (7,8% abv) – it’s made of barley malt, caramel malt, and hops, so the ingredients are clean with no additives!
- Miłosław Koźlak (7,5% abv) – the beer has an addition of sugar, apart from that it’s made of hops and barley malt.
- Żywiec Bock (6,5% abv) – it was once a limited edition beer but customers loved it so much that it’s still on the market!
- Perła Koźlak (7% abv)
Baltic Porter (Polish Imperial Stout)
Porter bałtycki is one of the stronger Polish beers. They can have as much as 10% abv! Baltic Porter is dark and strong. It tastes like chocolate and dark fruits.
Some of the best Polish Baltic porters beers are:
- Komes Porter Bałtycki (9% abv) – it’s one of the best Polish beers. Komes is a bronze award winner at the World Beer Cup.
- Żywiec Porter (9.5% abv) – the beer is the most frequently chosen by customers in many competitions.
- Komes Mistrzowski Porter (8.9% abv) – another award-winner beer! (European Beer Star 2015)
- Książece Porter Bałtycki (8% abv) – it’s not as strong as the other Baltic porters on the list which is a big advantage for me!
Polish Oktoberfest Beer (Piwo Marcowe)
While koźlak was produced during wintertime, piwo marcowe (March beer) was brewed at the beginning of the spring. It was ready to drink at the beginning of the fall, thus it was really popular during Oktoberfest.
Some of the best Polish March beers are:
- Miłosław Marcowe (6% abv)
- Żywiec Marcowe (5.4% abv)
Other Polish Lagers
Another lagers worth trying are
- pilsner (for example Namysłów Pils, Perła Chmielowa Pils, 6% abv)
- strong lager (for example Dębowe mocne, 7% abv)
- upasteurized beer (for example Kasztelan Niepasteryzowany, 5% abv). Although this beer is quite popular, remember that most of them are low in nutrients.
Polish Top-Fermented Beers
Although less popular, there are some Polish top-fermented beers worth trying!
Polish Ale Beer
The one and only Polish ale worth trying is Piwo Z Grodziska (3.1% abv). It’s also called the champagne among beers and it’s an award-winning craft beer that you need to try while in Poland!
It’s not available in every grocery store but you can get it in Żabka (it’s a popular grocery store chain in Poland).
Polish IPA Beer
This beer is strong and full of flavors. Depending on the brand, you can feel the taste of fruits, caramel, or coniferous trees while drinking.
Some of the best Polish IPA beers are:
- Żywiec Pszeniczne IPA (4.8% abv) – This refreshing beer has a delicious citrus flavor.
- Książece IPA (5.4% abv) – Simple composition and delicious, refreshing taste. This beer is definitely worth trying. It’s one of my all-time favorite beers.
Polish Weizen Beer
This sweet and light beer tastes like bananas and cloves. There is one Weizen wort trying in Poland.
It’s called Książece Weizen (5.3% abv) and it’s really delicious.
Radlers And Alcohol-Free Beers
Low or no-alcohol beers are getting more popular in Poland every year. In the past, there was one alcohol-free beer called Karmi. Right now there are so many options to choose from in every Polish supermarket!
Here are some of the best Polish low-alcohol or alcohol-free beer:
- Karmi – this alcohol-free beer is still recommended by midwives in Poland to drink in the postpartum period. They believe hops contained in beer stimulate lactation and make it easier for the mom to nurse the baby.Karmi’s taste is pretty unique so I recommend everyone try this beer when in Poland!
- Lech Free – Lech has a variety of alcohol-free beers in different flavors!
- Żywiec Free – it tastes just like a standard beer.
- Warka Radler – Warka has many flavors of the beer as well but in my opinion, Lech is much better!
- Łomża 0%
- Okocim 0% – it also comes in different flavors.
- Browar Grodzisk Mango Ale – hands down, this beer tastes best and it’s made of the top ingredients. It’s not available to buy everywhere though. If you are lucky enough to find it somewhere in Poland, don’t hesitate and try it!
How Do Poles Drink Beer?
When I was traveling across the UK, I was surprised that every time I got a beer in a pub, the glass was full. In Poland, you will get a beer and a foam on the top that’s as thick as two fingers.
It’s quite popular to add syrup to the beer. The most popular flavors are raspberry and ginger.
The third thing that may be odd for some of you is drinking beer through a straw. Some Poles do it and it’s perfectly acceptable.
Many people in Poland believe that bottle beer is better than can beer. It’s not true! Both glass and can are good enough, so choose either one you want.
Best Beer Tours in Poland
If you are already in Poland, be sure to join one of the beer tours to try different flavors and get to know more about this famous alcohol! Check out the recommended tours below:
So Which One Is The Best Beer In Poland?
Książece and Żywiec!
It wasn’t easy to choose the winner but I’d say Książece is the best brand to try. They have a variety of beer types to choose from (Lager, IPA, Porter, alcohol-free, etc.).
Książece is easy to get in every supermarket, the beer has clean ingredients with no additives.
When it comes to taste, we’ve chosen Żywiec as the best Polish beer
Pin For Later:
Let us know what you think! Which one of the list is the best beer in Poland?