Fire Sale

European beer. Where in Europe do you think of when you ponder about beer? Belgium, The Czech Republic, The Netherlands, and Ireland are all names that come to mind. While these and many other great nations in Europe produce great beer, there is one country which exceeds all of these in terms of annual production that you might not be so sure about. Of course, you know Germany and The UK. In fact, they are the top two producers in Europe respectively. Well, we would ask if you knew what number 3 is, but clearly you went to this page for a reason. Yes, Poland is the third largest producer of beer in Europe. In 2009, the total annual production of Poland's breweries was 36.9 million Hectoliters, according to an Ernst and Young report. Beer consumption is also third for Poland, which is only trailing The Czechs, and The Germans. Today, over 70 different breweries, all being different sizes and organizational types, exist in Poland, 27 of them being Microbreweries. Though the industry is rather diverse on paper, it is actually very concentrated. As it stands, roughly 86% of the entire industry is controlled/owned by three different multi-national firms. SAB Miller controls the largest amount (45%) with majority ownership in Kompania Piwowarska. Next is Heineken International N.V., which owns 61% of Grupa Zywiec S.A., a local and well known brand which operates twelve different facilities in the country. This equals a 35% control in the market. In third is Carlsberg, with 14% from its ownership of Okocim, Kasztelan, and Bosman. In 2009, the entire beer related (sales & production) industry employed 207,900 people. As is with most other Eastern European countries, Lagers, particularly both lighter and stronger Euro style lagers, are the most popular styles of beer. The industry was put under great amounts of pressure from outside forces on two fairly modern occasions: The German invasion of Poland during WWII, and the rise and fall of the Soviet Union. After the end of the Second World War, the breweries of Poland were nationalized under a Communist Economic Regime. When the current free market economy was introduced, many of the more established breweries were sold off, usually to large international companies, resulting in the oligopoly which exists today. In recent years, the interest in craft and microbrews has risen steadily, taking away market share from the large macrobreweries which are no longer seen as popular as they were only ten to fifteen years ago.

Na zdrowie, Vivat.

Rated Polish Beers

12-04-16 - Grupa Zywiec Lazajsk - 2.79, Euro Pale Lager, 5.50%
1-05-13 - Browar Witnica S.A. Black Boss Porter - 3.05, Baltic Porter, 9.40%
9-18-12 - Browar Okocim O.K. Beer Okocim - 2.16, Euro Pale Lager, 5.60%

Popular Beer Styles in Poland

  • Piwo Jasne Lekkie/Mocne
  • Vienna
  • Kozlak
  • Baltic Porter (Piwo Ciemne Mocne)
  • Piwo Czarne
  • Piwo Jasne Pelne
  • Doppelbock
  • Marzen
  • Schwarzbier
  • Piwo Ciemne
  • Polish Breweries with Rated Beer

  • Browar Okocim S.A. - Brzesko, Poland
  • Browar Witnica S.A. - Witnica, Poland
  • Grupa Zywiec S.A. - Zywiec, Poland