Harpoon Beer Culture Trip 2013 - Poland
By: Adam Bailey - Creative Director Published:
For those not in the know, Harpoon takes a “beer culture” trip to Europe each year featuring its utmost respected, hard-working, loyal, and flat-out indispensable employees, who happen to be celebrating their 5th anniversary, (and for some their 8, 12, and 17th…) on the job. This year, a group of Harpoon employees traveled to Poland to learn more about Polish beer culture. Harpoon's Creative Director - Adam Bailey, tells us what they are up to over there!
Saturday, 4/20 — Warsaw
We arrived in Frankfurt early Saturday morning with the news that the second suspect was caught. A great relief for all of us. We then got on the flight to our first destination, Warsaw.
Our first stop was Artezan a micro brewery on the outskirts of the city.
Artezan has been open for about a year and they brew about 400 barrels a year with three employees and only one of them being full time. The two owners still keep their full time job still.
We tried several of their beers. They have been greatly influenced by the American craft beer scene and are brewing some more adventurous things.
We sampled, Pacific Pale Ale — an American style pale ale hopped with simcoe, cascade, and Pacific Jade, a smoked wheat beer — fairy low alcohol slightly smoked — and, lastly a flemish style red. All were very good.
After Artezan we went into Warsaw and visited the Warsaw Uprising Museum. It was great to get a glimpse at the back story to this interesting city and see what it has gone through. Definitely worth the stop.
We split off into smaller groups for the evening. Our group checked out some of Warsaw's brewpubs:
- Bierhalle — A Munich inspired beer hall, with two locations in Warsaw where we some good dunkel.
- Browarmia — We met with more Harpooners here and had some great porters.
A long and good first day.
Sunday, 4/21 — Warsaw
A beautiful, sunny, and mild day.
Our hotel was centrally located and right near the main drag into Old Town.
We broke into small groups and toured the historic city center and the old market square visiting outdoor beer gardens, historic churches and sights.
We met for a group dinner at Podwale Piwna Company and had a great traditional Polish dinner, cured meats, fish, cheese, followed by soup, duck, fish and dessert.
We drank Polish and Czech Pilsners and then capped off the night with a stop at tiny bar where the three person band took up half the space and our group took up the rest.
A great day two.
Monday, 4/22 —Wroclaw
Today we traveled to Wroclaw.
We toured the Wroclaw's market square making stops at Piwnica Swidnicka, supposedly the oldest restaurant in Europe, in operation since 1273, which is situated beneath City Hall followed by a trip to Spiz, the oldest Brewpub in Poland, which has been open since the early 1992.
We then met our brewing friend Tomek who helped with some of the trip planning. He is a Polish beer expert and took a good part of our group to a polish beer bar and helped us pick some Polish craft beers including some by AleBrowar for the bus ride to the Widawa brewpub in Chrzastawa Mala.
Widawa had four different beers on tap for the night, Shark, an American Style IPA (brewed by Tomek) was the crowd favorite. We then got a tour of the brewery and celebrated a feast day on their back patio with barbecued kebabs and sausages. Then a group of us worked it off in a pick-up basketball game.
The brewpub is normally closed on Monday but opened for us, it was a real treat. Then we headed back to Wroclaw.