6 Bars For Sampling Warsaw’s Best Craft Beers
Considering they each consume a staggering 100L of beer annually, it’s fair to say the Polish people know a thing or two about beer. And while vodka is still considered the national beverage, a boom in local microbreweries is giving the beloved spirit a serious run for its money.
From the moody, signature Baltic porter to the light and fruity India Pale Ale (IPA), Poland is brewing it all – and there’s nowhere better than capital Warsaw to sample its wares.
#1 Artezan Pub
As the first independent craft brewery in Poland, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a place doing more for the beer economy than Artezan. The brewery itself is in Blonie, a town just outside of Warsaw, but, in September last year, a city outpost was opened, much to the delight of locals.
With a stellar range of IPA, witbeir (wheat beer), and barrel-aged brett pale ale, the label is also known for its more intriguing options, like rye ale with orange zest and bergamot.
Where: Stanisława Moniuszki 1A, 00-001, Warsaw
#2 Małe Piwo
The phrase “small but mighty” was surely coined in Małe Piwo’s honour. Although it’s notoriously difficult to secure a space in this very cosy venue (the name literally translates to “small beer”, after all), what it lacks in square footage and plush interiors it makes up for in extensive menu offerings: you’ll find upwards of 100 different brews, mostly bottled, many of them little-known but most of them regionally representative.
Where: Oleandrów 4, 00-629, Warsaw
#3 Cuda Na Kiju
There aren’t many places you can grab a brew in former communist party headquarters, but Cuda Na Kiju is one of them. With 16 draught taps and even more bottled inclusions, staff at this venue know their stuff. The menu changes often, so it’s worth letting them guide your selection.
The multi-level set-up and city fringe charm means it’s a little lacking in Polish authenticity but, for a mid-afternoon thirst-quencher, don’t snub the opportunity.
Where: Nowy Świat 6/12, 00-400, Warsaw
#4 Same Krafty
With wine bar interiors and a serious beer menu, this little spot is smack-dab in the city’s Old Town has unbeatable ambience. The real drawcard is, of course, the fact that Same Krafty has 10 draught taps pouring local craft options – from Faktoria to Kopyra and Widawa – whatever happens to be the most-talked-about at the time.
There’s also a fridge full of established international favourites and snacks like local favourite oscypek (smoked, salted sheep’s milk cheese).
Where: Nowomiejska 10, 00-271, Warsaw
#5 Kufle I Kapsule
There are no frills at this low-key industrially decorated bar, just good beer. Among the 16 rotating taps at Kufle I Kapsule, there’s always a wide selection of good local craft brews, and considering the owners are the brains behind the Warsaw beer trail map, they’re the best ones to ask about the best brew for you.
If, for some strange reason, none of those on tap take your fancy, the red-bricked bar also has almost 150 bottled options to choose from.
Where: Nowogrodzka 25, 00-511, Warsaw
#6 Piw Paw
There’s a reason Piw Paw touts itself as “beer heaven” and it has a lot to do with the 90-odd draught taps behind the bar. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by choice, but, because of the sheer size of the offering, sampling is encouraged. And that’s not even the best part: Piw Paw doubles as a bottle shop, and any beer bought on the premises can be taken with you (in a plastic container, of course).
Where: Żurawia 32/34, 00-515, Warsaw
(Lead image: Alexander Cahlenstein / Flickr)