Polish Beer Review: Karpackie

Karpackie Beer
Karpackie Beer

It’s that time again—time for a Polish beer review! Today’s lucky lager is Karpackie Premium beer, brewed by Van Pur brewing company in Rakszawa, Poland.

If you’re looking for a beer with  a long and rich history, then Karpackie is not for you. Normally, I like to devote time to sharing the beer’s origins and history, but in this case, there is little to report. The Van Pur brewery dates back only to 1992. Although it has expanded since then, its beers simply do not share the heritage of a Warka or a Tyskie.

Karpackie is just one among many beers brewed by Van Pur. It’s name—which translates to “Carpathian”—is meant to evoke the mystique of a mountaineer’s beer. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be super popular in Poland. I recently spoke with a Pole who admitted not even having heard of the beer, making it ironic that I was able to find it in the United States.

I was not disappointed with the beer itself. The keyword to describe it is sweet. Before tasting it I took a whiff and noticed a syrup-like smell. When poured, it has a decent head of bubbles, but they dissipate fairly quickly. The taste is light and sweet—some other reviewers have described it as having a light cinnamon flavor. I would liken it more to honey. Karpackie’s aftertaste also leaves a very nice, sweet flavor in your mouth. Like many other Polish lagers, it’s only 5.0% ABV, making it easy to put down one or three of these.

Overall, no serious complaints. Karpackie may not be the nectar of the gods, nor have a long and mysterious history, but it gets the job done. Overall, I give it a 6.5/10 only because there are many other better Polish beers to choose from.

6.5from10

Polish Beer Review: Okocim

polish okocim
A glass of Okocim (OK) beer.

If you see an image of a goat handing you a beer, it’s an Okocim. In the USA, it’s often known as “OK” beer, but it’s far more than just ok. I can’t say I’ve tried every Polish beer, but Okocim is definitely my favorite so far. It’s motto is “Podążaj za swoim pragnieniem”(Make your wish come true).

Okocim was first brewed in 1845 in the small Polish hamlet of, well, Okocim, outside the larger town of Brzesko in southern Poland. Interestingly, the brewery was founded by a German—Johann Evangelist Götz. Those Germans always make good beers. It’s currently brewed by the Carlsberg brewing company.

The beer is a Euro Pale lager with 5.60% ABV. It has an appetizingly light yellow color. Pour it with care because it has a very impressive head of bubbles, unlike many other Polish beers I drink. Bubbly beers always tempt my appetite because there’s just something healthy-looking about them. Unfortunately, the bubbles dissipate quickly with this beer.

The taste is smooth and light. Unlike a beer like Tyskie, it goes down much more easily, and you can drink it much faster. There’s even a very subtle sweetness to it. Overall, I cannot find too many faults with this beer. For those of you who like the hard, bitter alcoholic taste, this might be too light for you. But for someone with as low an alcohol tolerance as me, OK beer is great. I give it a 9/10.

okocim review

Polish Beer of the Month: Tyskie

I’m starting a new feature called the Polish Beer of the Month. Each month, I’ll highlight a different Polish beer and rate it on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being amazing and one being a piece of kupa.

Tyskie beer
Tyskie Gronie: One of Poland’s most popular beers.

For my first installment, I’ll discuss one of Poland’s most popular beers—Tyskie Gronie. Its motto is “Po Naszemu, od Zawsze” (Our way from the beginning). The motto means something when you consider that this is one of Poland’s oldest continuously brewed beers.

Brewed since 1629 in the Tyskie Brewery in Tychy, Poland, Tyskie is a Euro Pale Lager with 5.60% ABV. It has a light, golden color and goes down smoothly, despite having a somewhat stronger taste and higher alcohol content than other lagers.

If you go to Poland, you WILL see this beer. In fact, it accounts for about 20 percent of beers sold in Poland. Interestingly, it has also become one of the top selling beers in Great Britain due to the recent swarm of Polish people immigrating to that country. In the USA, it’s one of the few Polish beers that is considered mainstream—if Americans do try a Polish beer, it’s probably going to be a Tyniec.

Overall, I give it a 7/10. If you’re looking for a slight buzz on a Friday night, a couple of these will do it, but they’ll go down relatively smoothly so you won’t feel like you’re drinking lighter fluid. It’s not the smoothest Polish beer I’ve come across, and it’s slightly bitter. Furthermore, the “foaminess” or head is somewhat lacking. These minor points aside, it’s a beer I highly recommend. I’ve given it to a number of my non-Polish friends, and they all enjoyed it. So go out and try one. Any store with a decent beer selection will carry Tyskie.7from10

Greatest Polish Snacks: Part 1

Let’s face it, Poland has a bunch of pretty awesome things to eat. I’m not even talking about full meals right now. Here I’m talking about snacks and drinks you can enjoy anytime.

I’m not going to rank them in any way, but you can decide what fits, what doesn’t, and what I forgot to mention in the comments below. And now, without any further ado, here’s the first installment of the greatest Polish snacks!

Prince Polo

prince poloWhoever Prince Polo was, I am eternally grateful for his existence. Actually, Polish people pronounce the name of this delicious chocolate bar Prince-eh Polo. Introduced in 1955, Prince Polo bars now come in a variety of flavors and tastes such as coconut and milk. There’s even a more female  version of the bar called Princessa. Overall, the bar is as light and crunchy as a wafer but easily melts in your mouth. I know I said I wasn’t ranking these snacks, but if I did, Prince Polo would definitely be near the top.

Paluszki

paluszkiYes, they’re basically pretzel sticks. But they’re Polish pretzel sticks and delicious, which is why I care about them. Anyway, it’s common to see them laying out in a serving cup in Polish houses for anyone who wants one. Unfortunately, people often forget to replace them, and they get stale. Don’t eat stale paluszki!

Kubuś

KubuśThis is mainly a drink for children, but it’s also many adults’ guilty pleasure (including mine). It’s a pulp juice made from carrots and other fruits grown in Poland’s Mazury region. Most of the flavors consist of some combination of apple, carrot, and banana. These drinks are really refreshing after working out or doing some other physical activity. They’re also a good source of Vitamin C, so drink up!

 

Delicje

DelicjeThe same people who have paluszki available around the house for guests to enjoy also usually have a dish of Delicje nearby. These soft, chocolate-topped biscuits have different flavor fillings ranging from strawberry to orange (my favorite are raspberry). When you bite into one, the chocolate on the outside deliciously mixes with the soft fruit on the inside and brings you to Polish heaven.

Ptasie Mleczko

Ptasie MleczkoOk, this stuff is amazing. Chocolate on the outside plus milk soufflé on the inside equals a delectable experience unlike any other. In fact, it’s so good (and so Polish), it’s worth an entire blog post just by itself. Until then, go out to the nearest Polish store and grab a box. Then eat and eat and eat and……….