Best Polish Beers: Decoding the Secret Pleasures of Polish Pints [Must-Try List]

by Karl S | Updated: June 29, 2023

Poland boasts a rich history of beer brewing that dates back centuries, offering a diverse selection of both traditional and craft beers. Ready to embark on a journey through the vibrant world of the best Polish beers?

Let’s dive into the top traditional Polish beers, explore the thriving craft beer scene, and discover the perfect pairings with classic Polish dishes. Na zdrowie!

Short Summary

  • Sample the top 10 traditional Polish beers like Żubr, Tyskie & Żywiec for a true appreciation of their variety & quality.
  • Explore Poland’s ever-expanding craft beer scene for unique award-winning brews!
  • Experience the best of Polish beer culture by attending festivals, visiting local breweries and trying traditional beers with dishes.

Top 10 Traditional Polish Beers

Poland’s beer market has evolved considerably since the emergence of a free market economy, which led to the production of more refreshing beer options and the rise of craft beer in the country.

With 39% of Poles preferring beer over wine, there’s no shortage of popular and delicious beer choices.

Here, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 traditional Polish beers that are widely available and beloved by locals.

  1. Zywiec
  2. Tyskie
  3. Okocim
  4. Lech
  5. Warka
  6. Perla
  7. Ciechan
  8. Lomza
  9. Zubr
  10. Brok

These best Polish beer brands include:

  • Żubr
  • Tyskie
  • Żywiec
  • Lech
  • Okocim
  • Warka
  • Perła
  • EB
  • Łomża

To truly appreciate the variety and quality of Polish beers, it’s best to sample all of these before picking a favorite. If that’s not possible, at least give the top three a try.

And don’t forget to enjoy the two fingers thick foam on top, a signature characteristic of the best Polish beers.

Żubr

With a history dating back over 250 years, ubr is a popular lager in Poland, known for its smooth taste and 6% alcohol content. The beer’s name and iconic bison logo pay homage to the European wood bison, a symbol of the brand’s connection to nature.

As a go-to choice in clubs and bars, ubr is a must-try for anyone seeking a light and non-offensive taste in their beer.

Tyskie

Tyskie is a well-known beer brand in Poland, offering a standard beer with wide appeal and a presence in many bars and clubs. The brand produces various types of beer, such as Tyskie Pszenne (wheat-based lager), Tyskie Palone (dark lager) and Tyskie Pilzne (Pilsner).

Tyskie Gronie Lager, a Bohemian lager, has gained international popularity and even won the “Beer Oscars” awards twice in the British Brewing Industry Awards.

Żywiec

Żywiec is a popular and widely available brand that produces a variety of tasty beers. Their flagship beer, Jasne Pelne, is a go-to choice for many Poles, but the brand is also known for its Baltic Porter, which features delightful coffee and chocolate notes.

Żywiec has a long history, with its label designed in the 1950s to capture the attention of Polish Americans by incorporating folklore and local customs.

The brand offers a diverse range of beers, including:

  • Żywiec Białe (witbier/wheat beer)
  • Żywiec Marcowe (märzen beer)
  • Żywiec APA (American pale ale)
  • Żywiec Amerykańskie Pszeniczne (American wheat beer)
  • Żywiec Porter
  • Żywiec Bock
  • Żywiec Saison
  • Żywiec Bezalkoholowe (non-alcoholic lager)

With such a wide selection, there’s a ywiec beer for every taste and occasion.

Lech

Lech is a popular beer brand in Poland, offering a variety of flavors, including alcohol-free options. Established in Pozna by Kompania Piwowarska in 1846, Lech has become one of the most popular beers in the country.

Lech Premium, a light and refreshing European-style pale lager with a 5.05% ABV, is one of the brand’s standout offerings. For those interested in learning more about the brand, Lech even offers a brewery tour in Pozna.

Okocim

Okocim is a classic golden lager from Poland with a unique can design and a history dating back to 1309. Brewed for export, Okocim is a symbol of quality Polish beer and is owned by the Carlsberg Group.

The beer is brewed using traditional methods, including natural ingredients like barley, hops, and yeast, resulting in a light, crisp taste with a hint of sweetness.

The can’s cool rooster design represents the symbol of the Okocim Brewery, making it a standout choice in the Polish beer market.

Warka

Warka is the oldest brewery in Poland, established in 1478, offering a smooth taste, quality, and a variety of options. The brand has a long history and has gained commercial recognition recently, making it a popular choice among Polish beer enthusiasts.

In addition to their classic lager, Warka also offers Strong (strong lager) and Radler (a range of flavored lagers) options that are worth trying.

Perła

Pera is a budget-friendly beer worth trying, especially their award-winning Pils, which has garnered attention both in Poland and internationally. The brand’s main brew, Pera Chmielowa, is a hop-forward Pilsner with a 6% alcohol content, offering a unique taste for those looking to explore the Polish beer market.

As a symbol of quality and affordability, Pera is a great choice for those looking to sample the best of Polish beer brands.

EB

EB is a classic European pale lager from Elblg, Poland, with a unique can design and a history dating back to 1309. First brewed by Elblg Brewery in 1993, EB was aimed at a younger crowd and quickly became the most popular brand in Poland in the late 90s.

With a cool can design featuring a bright yellow background and a black and white logo, EB is a standout choice in the Polish beer market. The beer itself offers a light, crisp taste that is perfect for casual consumption.

Łomża

Łomża, the fourth largest brewery in Poland, offers a unique and increasingly popular honey beer called Miodowe. As a symbol of quality and innovation in the Polish beer market, oma is a great choice for those looking to sample the best of Polish beer brands.

With a range of beers on offer, including their flagship European/Dortmunder Export Lager style brew with 5.7% alcohol, oma is a standout choice for beer enthusiasts.

Exploring Polish Craft Beers

In recent years, Poland’s craft beer scene has experienced significant growth, with innovative breweries and unique beer styles emerging across the country. The craft beer revolution in Poland started in 2011. It was Pinta who revolutionized the craft beer brewing scene with their first IPA-style ale named Atak Chmielu (Hops Attack).

Today, Poland’s craft beer scene offers a diverse selection of delicious and award-winning beers for those looking to explore beyond traditional, mass-produced options, thanks to the rise of Polish craft breweries.

Notable Craft Breweries

Some of the most notable craft breweries in Poland include:

  • Pinta, the brewery that started the craft beer revolution in Poland, offers a variety of unique and innovative beers, including their flagship Atak Chmielu IPA.
  • Browar Grodziskie is famous for their Piwo Z Grodziska, a fruit-flavored beer with a low alcohol content, often referred to as the “Polish champagne” of beers.
  • Browar Szałpiw

Browar Szapiw, another standout craft brewery, offers a range of unique beers, including Buba Extreme Jack Daniels beer, a fermented beer stored in old Jack Daniel whiskey barrels with a strong malt flavor and an ABV of 16%.

With so many innovative and delicious craft beers available, beer lovers will find plenty to enjoy in Poland’s thriving craft beer scene.

Beer Styles to Look Out For

Some unique beer styles emerging from the Polish craft beer scene include:

  1. Grodziskie: a golden, low-gravity wheat ale with a smoky oak aroma, originating from the city of Grodzisk in Wielkopolska (Greater Poland). Often referred to as the “Polish champagne” due to its low alcohol content and fruity flavor, Grodziskie offers a refreshing alternative to traditional lagers and ales.
  2. Baltic Porter: a strong, dark beer with origins in the Baltic region. It is characterized by its rich, malty flavor and higher alcohol content.
  3. Polish IPA: a hop-forward beer style that showcases the flavors and aromas of different hop varieties. Polish IPAs often feature local hop varieties, giving them a unique twist.

These beer styles offer beer enthusiasts a taste of the diverse and innovative brewing scene in Poland, showcasing not only Polish beer but all the Polish beers.

Another standout style is the Baltic Porter, a rich and complex beer style that combines the characteristics of British porters, Russian imperial stouts, and traditional Polish brewing methods.

These beers often feature flavors of dark fruits, chocolate, and coffee, providing a unique and delicious beer experience for those looking to explore the diversity of Poland’s craft beer scene.

With such innovative and varied beer styles on offer, Poland’s craft beer scene is truly a treasure trove for beer enthusiasts.

Beer and Food Pairings

Pairing the right beer with traditional Polish dishes can elevate the flavors of both the food and the beer, creating a memorable dining experience.

Classic Polish dishes like kielbasa and pierogi perfectly complement the best Polish beers, making for a harmonious marriage of tastes.

Let’s explore the ideal beer pairings for these quintessential Polish dishes.

Kielbasa

Kielbasa, a type of sausage that originated in Poland, can be made of pork, beef, or a combination of both and comes in a variety of types, such as smoked, dried, and fresh. The best beer pairing for kielbasa is a chilled, light pilsner, which complements the seasoned pork with a dry, malt flavor.

So next time you enjoy a plate of kielbasa, reach for a cold, light pilsner to enhance the flavors of this classic Polish dish.

Pierogi

Pierogi, filled dumplings made by wrapping unleavened dough around a savory or sweet filling and boiling them, are a popular Polish dish typically served with various toppings.

The best beer to pair with pierogi is a Polish Pilsner, such as ywiec or Okocim, which provides a perfect balance to the rich flavors of the dish.

A crisp, refreshing Polish Pilsner will complement the hearty, delicious taste of pierogi, enhancing the overall dining experience.

How to Experience Polish Beer Culture

Poland’s long and storied history of beer making, combined with the emergence of innovative craft breweries, makes it a destination for beer enthusiasts from around the world.

To fully experience Polish beer culture, consider attending beer festivals and events, visiting local breweries, and trying a diverse selection of beers paired with traditional Polish dishes.

Here, we’ll provide some tips on how to immerse yourself in Poland’s thriving beer culture.

Beer Festivals and Events

Poland hosts several beer festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing both local and international beers. Some notable events include:

  • Warsaw Beer Festival: an annual event in Poland’s capital, featuring local and international beers along with food and live music.
  • Wrocław Good Beer Festival: an annual event offering craft beers from local and international breweries, as well as food and live music.
  • Poznań Beer Expo: a beer expo held in Poznań, showcasing a variety of beers from different breweries.

These festivals provide a great opportunity for beer enthusiasts to explore and taste a wide range of beers in Poland.

The Pozna Beer Expo is another annual event held in the city of Pozna, offering a wide variety of local and international beers, food, and live music.

Attending these festivals and events is a great way to experience Polish beer culture, sample a diverse range of beers, and learn more about the country’s rich brewing history.

Where to Buy Polish Beers

To sample the best Polish beers, you can:

  • Visit local shops, bars, and specialty stores like Duży Ben
  • Look for Polish beers in international markets
  • Check online retailers like Drizly, Total Wine & More, and GotoLiquorStore

By exploring these various sources, you can discover a wide range of traditional and craft Polish beers, allowing you to experience the diverse flavors and styles that Poland’s beer culture has to offer.

Summary

In conclusion, Poland’s rich brewing history and thriving craft beer scene offer a wealth of delicious and diverse beer experiences. From the top traditional Polish beers like ubr and ywiec to innovative craft breweries like Pinta and Browar Grodziskie, there’s a beer for every taste and preference.

Pair these exceptional beers with classic Polish dishes like kielbasa and pierogi, and immerse yourself in the country’s beer culture by attending festivals and events.

So raise a glass of your favorite Polish beer and toast to the vibrant world of Polish brewing. Na zdrowie!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the local beer in Poland?

Poland is known for its beer, with local favorites like Grodziskie (Grätzer) being a distinctive, golden, low-gravity wheat ale with a smoky oak aroma.

Other popular beers from Poland include ywiec, Okocim, Tyskie, and Zubr.

There’s also a selection of craft and regional brews available to enjoy.

What is the 1 beer in Poland?

If you’re looking for the most popular beer in Poland, then ywiec, Okocim, Tyskie, and Ubr are all great choices!

These lagers have been delighting taste buds across the country since the mid-19th century and continue to be favourites today.

What kind of beer do Polish people like?

It looks like Polish people definitely love their beer! Lagers, pilsners, and Baltic Porters are all popular styles in the country – so if you’re looking to try out some beers that the locals enjoy, these are a great place to start.

Polish beer is known for its unique flavor and character, and it’s a great way to experience the culture of the country. Whether the latter is true or not.

What is the strongest Polish beer?

Baltic Porter (Polish Imperial Stout) is considered to be the strongest Polish beer, boasting an abv of up to 10%. It is a dark beer, full-bodied and intense – perfect for those looking for something strong!

This beer is a great choice for those who want a strong, flavorful beer. It has a deep, rich flavor that is sure to satisfy even the most discerning beer connoisseur. The high alcohol content makes the high alcohol content a problem.

What are some of the top traditional Polish beers?

If you’re looking for a traditional Polish beer, you won’t go wrong with any of the classics: ubr, Tyskie, ywiec, Lech, Okocim, Warka, Pera, EB, or oma.

Enjoy!