Warszawski Festiwal Piwa’s diamond edition — a gem of a beer festival
The great and the good of the Polish beer world descend upon the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th–6th April, 2019 for the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa. Over 50 of the best new and established Craft Beer brewers will take-over three floors of the stadium to delight a large number of local, national and international visitors.
The vast majority of breweries are from Poland, with a handful of international participating breweries from the likes of Denmark, Serbia and the UK.
A key feature of WFP is its events that are held in side-rooms and on the main stage across the three days — both paid and free. The paid events are naturally dominated by Polish Beer Tasting workshops, many of which are held in both English and Polish, allowing beer-novices to learn more about the flavours and styles before taking that knowledge out into the festival for further research.
Elsewhere there are sessions on barrel-aging, beer sensory training, and various other beer tasting workshops.
For the casual drinker who simply likes to tag onto a free event to get a feeling for what is happening in the world of beer, there is much to choose from. Whether its brewing traditional Lithuanian beer or an overview of the British Craft Beer scene, historic beer styles or Balkan brewing there is something for everybody. Naturally we are drawn to Saturday afternoon’s beer and ramen session.
And no WFP is complete without a Fussball Championship — prizes will be awarded on the main stage on Saturday afternoon.
And like other great international beer festivals, there are passionate volunteers available to help unfamiliar drinkers navigate their way through the vast array of beer styles and flavours — there will be 700-800 beers served from 350 taps! A dizzying number.
Hailing from the northern Gdańsk Pomerania region of Poland, Lębork’s AleBrowar will be bringing seven beers to Warsaw for the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, once again being held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019. The self-proclaimed ‘Hop Heads of Poland’ has existed since the beginning of 2012 and its mission is to change the face of Polish beer with unique beers for interesting times.
Because of its renowned Warsaw city centre Craft Beer Pub, Browar Artezan will be certainly one of the most familiar names and prominent brands at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019. And the Browar Artezan ‘hedgehog’ logo is omnipresent on the local beer scene because the beers are capable enough that their quality speaks for itself.
Co-organiser of the festival, Jacek, is also a co-founder of Browar Artezan, which, like many of its Polish Craft Beer brewing contemporaries, has existed since beer revolution exploded in 2012. Although the brewery opened a larger production facility in Błonie, Warsaw West County (not actually containing any part of the city), after only a couple of years because it quickly outgrew its capacity.
Siemiatycze’s Brovca — or broVca, to give it its proper form — puts all its effort into its sole art: brewing great beer. Its portfolio is dominated by IPAs, Bitters and Tripels, plus a few other specials, so it is inevitable that drinkers will be satiated with awesome beer during its attendance of the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa — the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
Browar Dolina BoBRU
Making its debut appearance at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, south-western Poland’s Browar Dolina BoBRU from Gmina Wleń will be ensuring visitors to the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019, are provided with some extremely capable beers. Located on the ground floor at the event — the place to be for meeting and drinking the best new Polish breweries and beers — Browar Dolina BoBRU is a name to watch out for.
What beers may drinkers be offered? Maybe it will be the Rufus East Coast IPA or the Cogito American Pale Lager. Or maybe it will be the Astrojla Vanilla Milk Stout or the Jub Jub Hoppy White Ale? Or maybe they’re all be there…and more.
Browar Golem is a brewery that needs little introduction — its reputation precedes it. Appearing to present itself as the ‘enfant terrible’ of the Polish Craft Beer scene (and being somewhat successful in that respect), its striking, robust beers, popularity and affability of its Golem Crew ensure it will be one of the highlights of the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
Browar Golem is a brewery that claims to dislike boredom, monotony and standing still, which is evident in its approach of not presenting a core range of beer. Its beers are continually repeating and changing as the brewery discovers new and interesting tastes and methods. Its most liked beers, however, are occasionally repeated.
The focus is either on strong, dark and barrel-aged beers or sours, although more sessionable beers such as an exceptional IPA or two are regularly presented.
Following its success at WFP9, Browar Gzub will once again be presenting its unfiltered, unpasteurised and uniquely refermented beers at WFP10 — the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
Browar Gzub is a small, family-owned brewery in the village of the Annopol, near Środa in the heart of Wielkopolska, that delivers its beers direct to customers. It is one of the many breweries in Poland that contributes to a surge in interest in Polish Craft Beer thanks to its focus on producing great beers, being uncompromising with its high standard of quality and educating its drinkers about the range and style of beers on offer.
It started life as a hobbyist club of brewers who worked together in the same company, brewing beer as Christmas gifts for clients. It proved so popular that a momentous decision was taken to concentrate on brewing full-time. And so, after several years of planning and preparation, Klubopiwiarnia was born.
Filling a gap in the local market, Klubopiwiarnia was the first restaurant-cum-brewery in Łódź, Poland’s third-largest city, with its large and striking gastropub proving instantly popular. Alongside the great food, drinkers can sample the beer — brewed inhouse under the Warkot Craft Brewery name.
Drinkers in Warsaw can try the beer in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019, at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa.
Browar Maryensztadt is the brewery that started it all — our recognition and appreciation of the Polish beer and brewery scene. A chance encounter in Berlin resulting in a further meeting in Warsaw, followed by continued attempts to bring wares into the Dutch beer market, as well as far off Japan, rendezvous in Barcelona, and return trips to Warsaw. It’s like something from a spy-novel, but it’s merely the actions of pursuing great beer and spreading word of its excellent quality.
With its brewery in Zwoleń and a rather fabulous taproom/restaurant in the heart of historic Warsaw, Browar Maryensztadt is a name on everybody’s lips, nationally and internationally. It’s an international medal-winning brewery with a fine range of capable beers, whether it’s a superb sour or a stunning stout or a more traditional style of brew. And then there’s Projekt 30, in which each beer is an attempt to reach 30 Plato.
Browar Maryensztadt is certainly one of the highlights of the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
What’s that coming over the hill? Is it a monster? Yes, it’s a monster, but in name only. Browar Monsters is one of the new breweries bringing its monstrously good beers to the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
It’s one brewery to be excited about.
Despite being a relatively new brewery, Browar Monsters already has a large and varied portfolio of beer – all of which scores highly on various beer rating sites. It is with this in mind that beer-lovers are perhaps wondering in thirsty anticipation about which beers will be on offer at WFP10.
It’s said life imitates art, but it’s often art that imitates art. And art imitates life with its appropriation of words, images and graphics. It is therefore refreshing to see Jamie Reid’s classic artwork borrowed by Browar Monsters for its “Never Mind the Bollocks, here’s the Monsters Brewery” iconography. Indeed.
Perhaps one of the most recognisable Polish Craft Beer breweries outside Poland thanks to its appearance at a couple of high-profile international beer events. Thankfully, more and more Polish breweries are making the transition into international markets, and it is the high-quality of beer from breweries like Browar Nepomucen that is increasing the demand in other markets.
Housed in a converted former-bakery in the west-central Poland village of Szkaradowo, Browar Nepomucen produces both modern, contemporary beers and classic styles in its quest to offer a beer that everybody finds to their taste.
Warsaw’s Browar Palatum is one of the local highlights at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
A recipient of gold, silver and bronze medals at the preeminent Polish Craft Beer awards, Browar Palatum has a reputation for high-quality beer brewed to its own brewhouse rules using the finest ingredients.
It is the passion for huge beer flavours and keen eye for spotting new trends and ideas that sets Browar Palatum apart.
The western Poland town of Świebodzin is home to the eponymous Browar Świebodzin, and it is from there that the brewery will be taking a selection of its core beers — and a new beer — to the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
It may be offering appreciative drinkers its SEKAL (Black Rye IPA), its MARAJA (Passion Fruit Ale), its JETI (White IPA), its KOSY (Imperial IPA) or its ŚWITA (witbier). Either way, drinkers will not be disappointed.
Browar Szpunt from the central Poland town of Zduńska Wola was founded in 2015 by three homebrewers with aspirations to introduce some great beers to the burgeoning Polish Craft Beer scene. It has a portfolio of about 20-beers and specialises in producing wild, sour beer, barrel-aged and heavily hopped beers — and it undertakes a lot of collaboration.
With its metallic foil hologram labels, Browar Szpunt may be one of the most recognisable Craft Beers at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
From its origins in the home-brewing traditions that gives us so many high-calibre brewers, through a period of contract brewing, to its own fully-fledged brewery, Browar Waszczukowe goes from strength to strength.
Located in Czarna Białostocka, a town in north-eastern Poland, Browar Waszczukowe takes its world-class water from the nearby Knyszyn Forest Landscape Park, a 750 square kilometre area of protected nature, to create beers that are award-winning at various national brewing and Craft Beer competitions.
It is the connection with nature that gives the brewery its focus on producing natural, unique and high-quality beers of which it is rightfully proud. Something fortunate drinkers can discover for themselves when Browar Waszczukowe presents its beers at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019.
Belgrade, Serbia’s Dogma Brewery is one of only a handful of international breweries attending at the tenth edition of the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa, held in the Legia Warsaw Municipal Stadium between 4th-6th April, 2019. With the standard of Polish beers and breweries being so high, to be invited as an international guest is both an honour and a challenge — and only the best of the best can rise to meet the challenge. Thankfully, Dogma Brewery is one of those breweries.
From its industrial brewery and taproom just outside Belgrade, Dogma Brewery will be in Warsaw presenting its fine beers brewed with passion, demonstrating the art of Serbian beer brewing.
“In hops we believe!” is a mantra of Dogma Brewery, an ideal statement for a small-batch brewery that specialises in special hoppy ales that combine the best natural ingredients with imaginative brewing ideas. Already in its fourth year of operation, Dogma Brewery is certainly a brewery to watch.
(The following was published to Social Media on 5 April.)
Even a fool would struggle to deny that the Warszawski Festiwal Piwa – now in its tenth edition – is one of the world’s great beer events. Truly, the quality of beers on offer and the evident standard of brewing talent is a benchmark against which all aspirational breweries should judge themselves (and enter the spirit of collaboration, of course).
Furthermore, the event itself not only ticks every possible box as a model of excellence, but demonstrates how many other events fail to provide a visitor experience that is, frankly, mind-blowing.
Mention the greatest beer festivals in the world and the mind’s eye may take us to Munich, Portland, Denver, London or the Netherlands (and many others that righty deserve to be mentioned — they will be covered here), but there’s a massive, undiscovered secret that beer-lovers, beer-nerds, aficionados, the beer-faithful and every other permutation of beer drinker are slowly beginning to realise: beer and brewing in Poland is a tour de force of skill, talent, capability and, most importantly, freindliness and open-armed welcomeness.
It is a challenge to be anything but effusive and filled with pleasure and gratitude at these type of events. It is a challenge for beer-lovers across the world: we throw down the gauntlet – come to Poland, try the beers and fail to be impressed – it’s an impossible task.
Day one of WFP10 has passed, a day of fun, laughter and genuine sincerity. Nobody is claiming to produce some of the best beers in the world. That humbleness is mind-blowing when the standards are so high and the talent is so evident. Thankfully there are still two more days in which to visit the Municipal Stadium of Legia Warsaw and tear up the rulebook – this is craft beer. Ground-breaking. This is phenomenal craft beer. This is a global beer event that should not, must not and cannot be missed. The beer meets all the requirements to make this a not-to-be-missed gathering of the finest beer producers in the world of water, malt, hops and yeast. And yet, take the breweries away and even the event itself surpasses many other beer festivals that claim to be visitor-focused; WFP10 elevates the visitor-experience to another mind-boggling level of value-for-money and a truly memorable experience.
Three floors of the best beers ever tasted. Whether its the newbies breaking into the beer scene for the first time – their special area is rammed full of people tasting the future – or a long-established (at least 5-years) Polish craft beer giant; whether its Shepherd Neame proving that cask beers are vastly overlooked, or Dogma Brewery demonstrating that Serbia challenges Poland for beer supremacy, there is something here for everybody. So, choose WFP10 this Friday or Saturday, and not only try some of the best beers known, but also experience an event unlike any other.
(The following was published to Social Media on 15 July, 2019.)
Warszawski Festiwal Piwa is one of the world’s best beer festivals. And yet it continues to be omitted from many ‘best of’ lists — indicative that its relatively undiscovered. For now. That in itself is enough of a reason to visit the Warsaw Beer Festival, held twice-yearly and presenting the very best of Poland’s Craft Beer alongside a selected handful of wonderfully curated international guests. It’s not only breweries, but some very special speakers too. For WFP, now approaching its eleventh edition, offers its visitors much more than many other events. There are lectures, workshops, training sessions, games, games tournaments, pinball, an extraordinary number of food trucks serving almost every type of cuisine, and lots of space in which to relax — indoors or outdoors. It’s an experience not to be missed. Much more than a festival of beer, although the exceptionally high-quality beers and pleasant atmosphere are the main attractions.
Here are some memories of WFP10.