National Historic Lager

Brewery and Country of Origin: Grupa Zywiec S.A. of Zywiec, Poland

Date Reviewed: 4-06-16

By the end of 2015, there were 54 objects designated as official Historic Monuments by the Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa (National Heritage Board of Poland). Like the US equivalent, National Historic Landmarks, these objects are diverse in both type and size, ranging from singular paper mills to salt mines, town centers, canals, and battlefields. One such landmark is the Bernardine Monastery Complex in Lezajsk, within the southeastern region of Poland. The Cistercian monastery, built in the 17th Century and architected by Antonio Pellacini, was designated one of the country's official Pomnik Historii on April 20, 2005. Inside it is one of the most famous and perhaps most valuable pipe organs in Europe. The pipe organ was installed in the mid 1600s and has remained within the bascilica since. Lezajsk, within the Subcarpathian Voivodeship (province) is also home to roughly 15,000 residents, and of course, the Lezajsk Brewery. The brewery is one of five facilities contained within the Grupa Zywiec S.A. brewery group, which is in turn, majority (61%) owned by the Dutch multinational, Heineken International. Lezajsk's famous for it's pale lager, a Euro lager akin to many staple mass produced beers of the region. This particular example is produced by the millions of hectoliters each year within the Lezajsk facility, and distributed mostly around the eastern half of Europe with a very limited reach further abroad. The brewery claims that in 1525, Polish King Sigismund I the Old granted the town of Lezajsk the exclusive right to brew beer for the kingdom, and the same beer has been produced since, winning several awards along the way. The brewery also produces a few other less popular beverages, and in all, constitutes for 17% of Grupa Zywiec's annual production.
Date Sampled: 12-04-15 At: 7 Priscilla Road, Brighton, MA 02135, USA
Beer Style: Euro Pale Lager
Alcohol by Volume: 5.50%
Serving Type: 500 ml Can, 20 oz Mug Glass
Rating: 2.79


Lezajsk pours smoothly with a medium low amount of carbonation action, producing a thin, quarter inch tall foam head with a quick dissipation rate, a mostly white color, and a medium low density. This is an clear, yet unfiltered beer that is shipped out with the inclusion of a fair amount of extra large chunky sediment, giving this beer a clear, bright golden shine in light with a fairly bright glow. This beer shows off a medium high amount of effervescent effect, no settling, and a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.


This European beer offers a fairly dull aroma which is mostly characterized by a grassy pale malt presence typical of beers of this style. This aroma has a heavy malt emphasis with no alcohol or metallic smells accompanying it. There are also no fruity notes, but despite the fact that this beer does have a somewhat weaker aroma, this does help influence the grainy like taste of this beer overall.


This is a medium light bodied brew with a very crisp and refreshing character overall. This beer is easy going and is best suited for the summer, but still drinkable in the cold winter months. This beer has a low weight, a low viscosity, and a medium high amount of carbonation, giving this beer a lighter feel. This is also a smooth beer with no real texture and the finish is dry but mostly dull with a slight cooling effect. There is no alcohol bite or warming towards a close which is crisp and somewhat refreshing.


As is with most pale lagers, this beer has a light malt dominated flavor with a good amount of pale grassy and grainy flavors typical of the style. This beer also features a slightly noticeable semi-sweet biscuity undertone, and a small amount of hops toward the finish. There isn't much bitterness overall and this beer finishes with a slightly sweet fruity banana like aftertaste with no alcohol tinge and a mostly dry finish in general. This beer has a fairly simple flavor which doesn't offer a profile too complex to put this outside of the norm.

Our Take

As most Euro Pales go, this falls comfortably in the middle. There isn't any characteristic terribly distinct enough to earn it higher than average marks and we certainly wouldn't travel to southeastern Poland specifically for this beer, though we hear the region is nice to visit. This beer's light and grainy character make it a typical summer and high volume situation choice with a little bit of the fall eligible concerning its traditional lager qualities. This is a refreshing, easy going beer with a simple flavor profile, and a weaker aroma, but indeed, sometimes that is what you want. With that, it's fairly unlikely you'll ever come across this beer under normal circumstances, but if you do, maybe you should give it a try. We can't promise that you'll instantly fall in love and write to your parents about it, but it's always to get a second opinion, even if it's from you. This beer's fairly mundane presence does make it a pretty versatile pairing option with just about everything that goes well with lighter grainy tasting beers, including spicy foods, hearty meats, fruit, sweet desserts, and Shortbread Girl Scout Cookies.