February 2021 – tasting set by the Slow Craft Association
Together, we aid craft breweries in difficult times
BREWERIES & BEER
|Alternatywa – RIS||AntyBrowar – PROboszcz, dry stout||Beskidzki – Braggot||Caminus – Octo, oatmeal IPA||Folga – Red O’Brian, irish red ale|
|Łąkomin – Basior, american barleywine||Roch – Balios, forest bomb black IPA||SUCH a BEER – SUCH a Double, dubbel||Świebodzin – KOSA, Imperial IPA||Tarnobrzeg – CBD Pale Ale|
The beers included in this set come from small craft breweries which quite often are basically a one man show. Some beers are still fermenting; others are waiting to be bottled. Some of them were brewed in super small amounts… The last mile (before they land in our hands) may be full of surprises. Together with the brewers, we want you to receive the freshest beers in the best possible condition – that’s why should they choose to withdraw their beer, because it doesn’t meet their high standards, they will have the right to do so. It is also possible that for reasons unforeseen some of the beers might run out or another problem will arise that we cannot predict now. In situations like these, we will replace the beer(s), to the best of our knowledge, with a similar one. We hope you will enjoy this set just as we did while we were preparing it!
THE NUMBER OF SETS is highly limited!
Jacek Kocurek, Daniel Lempke, Rafał Skórka
Every success has its funding fathers: Jacek Kocurek, doctor of engineering and champion of numerous homebrewing competitions. He throws into the kettle his experience as well as his technical and sensory knowledge. Daniel Lempke, also an acclaimed homebrewer, adds his talent, professional practice, joy of life and optimism. Rafał Skórka, entrepreneur and enthusiast, mixes in his persistence and self-confidence. With these powers combined the special beer is created. Our brewery is not large, but it was born from strong passion, that is why we can easily say that our beer is brewed with dreams 🙂. Why Alternatywa (the alternative)? Because craft beer is an alternative to the big company beers, common euro lagers.
28° Balling, 10.5% abv.
Refined recipe, quality ingredients, patience but most of all the experience and the talent of our brewers! These are the elements that constitute the final effect: a unique Russian Imperial Stout. Before the brewing we had a lot of discussions and one goal! According to our brewery’s policy – sincerity and naturalness! We do not use any unmalted ingredients! The beer is pitch black, thick, with gorgeous beige head. Distinctly roasted in aroma and flavour, with pronounced hop bitterness, dominated by pleasant notes of chocolate, roasted coffee, and sweet dark bread. We had brewed our RIS in November 2018. Just as a good wine, it matures and changes with time, the flavours become richer.
Thanks to the passion of an owner of Peron 6, the pub in my home city of Łódź, I had had the occasion to taste the beer styles from all over the world as far back as 2003. Back then the Polish breweries had been producing one beer under various labels and some of the styles had been only available when brewed at home. The homebrewing hobby was giving me so much joy that I decided to make it my profession. In 2015 I resigned from my corporate job and – as a cofounder of Antybrowar – i became a brewer. The work is mostly physical, but for me it is the essence of craft, being so close to the equipment, the ingredients and the product, putting the sweat and the effort into the final beer.
11,5° Blg, 4% alk.
Ever since the beginning of my beer adventure I have appreciated the classic beer styles, especially the ones from Great Britain and Belgium. I would love to brew them more often but the market reality does not always allow that. That is why I am happy that we have been able to make the dry stout Proboszcz one of our core brands. This is the classic style in its purest version, with no modifications or unusual adjuncts. The recipe is well refined, because the beer was awarded with medals (2018 – gold, 2019 – bronze) at the Kraft Roku (Craft of the Year) contest. It is dry, roasted and bitter, but at the same time balanced, smooth and drinkable, as a dry stout should be.
The smallest craft brewery in Poland – that’s something to be proud of! We are completely independent, we don’t need to make compromises regarding ingredients and beer styles, we can focus on what gives us the greatest joy – brewing better and better beers. That’s a lot of manual work but it doesn’t scare us! We don’t use ready-made flavourings nor extracts. Before leaving the brewery our beers lager in bottles, they are unfiltered and unpasteurized, so they can stay fresh for a long time. Apart from the classic beers we are not afraid of challenges, difficult or unusual styles. Thanks to the micro scale we were able to make true our dreams – achieve professional level as brewers!
32° Balling, 13% abv.
Braggot crosses the line between beer and mead. Our rendition is hopped for bitterness only to counter the flavours coming from honey and malt. It is dark-coloured. We had used buckwheat honey that has a distinct flavour and aroma, as well as pilsner, rye and biscuit malts. After that we had fermented the wort with yeast dedicated to meads, high-attenuating and producing a lot of fruity esters.
For Grzegorz brewing is not only a job, but also a passion. He has been working continuously in the industry since 2010, both in regional and craft breweries. Browar Caminus based in Kąty Wrocławskie is a joint effort by the brewer Grzegorz and by the founder Sławomir Hryniewicz. Together they build the customer base, focusing on cooperation with restaurants and pubs. According to Grzegorz, the most important tenet behind brewing is the repeatability factor of his beers and the incessant improvement of technology. Apart from beer, his biggest hobby is playing bass guitar in the Wszem Wobec band.
35° Balling, 6,1% abv.
We really don’t bother with market trends. Our IPA is not hazy and it has a distinct bitterness. Just like the IPAs used to be in the beginning of the Polish craft beer revolution!
Folga Brewery is the first restaurant brewery in Poland with ales only in their offer, that is exclusively top-fermented beers. Along with the same-door restaurant and hotel, it has been operating with very short breaks since 2020. At the brewery, beer has been brewed in more than a dozen different styles, from Belgian and British classics to experiments crazy craft beer lovers adore, such as a saison with… thyme (a collabo with Bartek Markowski). And who is the man behind all this? Meet Filip Mazur – a home brewer, PSPD and BJCP judge as well as a proud lil’ beer geek.
IRISH RED ALE
12.5° Balling, 5% abv.
Irish Red Ale is an Irish (as the name suggests) classic. Its colour a lovely copper red, the taste dominated by noble malt. This style dates back all the way to Celtic times, and its drinking is inextricably linked with the celebration of the fire of good fortune. That holiday is called Beltane (also spelled Baltain) and basically is the Gaelic May Day celebration usually taking place between the spring equinox and summer solstice. Back to the beer! It has been brewed with traditional British hops, the malt ennobles the ale with aromas of toasted bread and biscuits – all this crowned with a subtle notes of spices and tobacco. The beer is rather light, yet boasts a nice body too. Oh well, it is perfect in any weather, be it the hot summer sun or a heavy winter snowfall.
Let our imaginations run wild for a moment. If anyone had told Adam 10 years ago, as he was opening his first homebrewed beer, that he would one day be brewing professionally in his own brewery, he would have laughed his arse off. And yet! Six years ago, he opened a petite, manually operated brewery in Łąkomin – first with a 90-litre brewhouse, and then 800. As a result, whenever he’s tasting his own beer nowadays, he can’t stop wondering where he will be in 10 years… Adam specializes in classic styles, but he also likes to experiment and combine classics with a new-wave folly. And he loves the magic of oak barrels. But beer is not his only passion – his all-time favourite beer is “Mustang: I am Legend”. Can you figure out what the other passion is?
25° Balling, 11.5% abv.
A beer with an intense malty aroma, complemented by unexpected citrus notes from American hops. Slowly aged, lush, strong, warming and exceptionnally full-bodied. It has won many medals: a gold medal at the prestigious Polish KPR in 2016 and later bronze in 2018, as well as a silver medal at IBEERian Awards 2017 followed by gold at 2019 edition.
Time flies, doesn’t it? It has already been half a decade since the premiere of our first beer. How many hectolitres have we brewed since then? Too many to ocount! 🙂 Inspired by the spirit of creating good beer, my father and I worked very hard to open ouor own brewery in the heart of the Kaczawskie Mountains in Lower Silesia, south-west off Wrocław. We built it almost from scratch on the site of a former lime production plant. And Balios is part of this great history. Wondering where the name comes from? Then you should have a look at Homer’s “Illiad”! Balios was one of Achilles’ two immortal horses and he was piebald – srokaty in Polish. And Srokowski is our family name.
FOREST BOMB BLACK IPA
16.5° Balling, 6.2% abv., 90 IBU
Balios has become our flagship classic. Brewed for the first time in 2016 for Beer Geek Madness, a massive craft beer festival, it caused quite a stir within the craft beer community. The combination of spruce resin with Mosaic and Simcoe hops, as well as dark malt gave the beer a mighty aroma and a unique taste.
SUCH A BEER
Marcin Kubasiak and Łukasz Chrząszcz
The name of our brewery is an homage to Sucha Beskidzka, where our chief brewer Marcin lives. He is the owner and creator of the entire Such a Beer infrastructure in Śleszowice. The brewhouse, tanks, pourers were all manufactured in his backyard – real DIY-style, baby! Same thing with the labels. Fun fact: thou shalt find Marcin’s face on the labels… The recipes for their beers come to life as a result of close cooperation with Łukasz Chrząszcz aka Vettis, an award-winning home and craft brewer. The brewery has been in business since March 2019 and has already won three prestigious KPR medals in 2019, two of them almost golden 😉
SUCH A DOUBLE
16° Balling, 6,8% abv.
An interpretation of the Belgian Dubbel, rich ‘n’ malty, notes of caramel and dried fruit. The addition of home-made candied syrup introduces the notes of caramel infused witth grapes, raisins and dried apricots. Its colour – dark amber and clear. Bitterness – medium-low. And the yeast – liquid Wyeast 3787 Trappist High Gravity. What a beer? Such a beer!
Already as a student of Food Technology and Human Nutrition, I brewed at home as my first attempts at craft beer. Persistence and hard work paid off and after two years (!!!) in 2017, I managed to open my first brewery and (not a joke) brewed my first professional beer for April Fool’s Day. As the owner, brewer and originator, I do my best to stay up to date with trends and the situation on market. I have dabbled with many styles, which allowed me to get a hang of the dynamics on the beer market 😉 As of now, we are not brewing anything whatsoever since October 2020, we’re sells off what we have in stock, but I hope that together we will make it to see the arrival of those legendary “better times”.
18° Balling, 8% abv.
Kosa, or ‘scythe’ in Polish, is Świebodzin’s very own classic and our flagship beer. It is a dry India pale ale with 8& abv. thanks to a high extract. Pronounced bitterness, the effect of dry hopping with several varieties of American hops, including Citra and Mosaic, provides the lucky drinker with an amazingly positive “user experience” without a syrupy side effect 😉
The Tarnobrzeg Brewery was established in 2017 in the renovated (or actually rebuilt) premises of the old brewery in Tarnobrze. The original brewery, having been in business for 120 years and survived two world wars, was closed in 1979. These were passion, talent and commitment of the founders that contributed to the revival of beer brewing in its new, fresh form in line with the philosophy of creating beer using natural methods and ingredients of the highest quality.
CBD PALE ALE
12° Balling, 5% abv.
A top-fermented beer, pale ale style, with a little bit of hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) oil. The brewers’ goal was to boots the aromatic and taste qualities of hemp, the carrier of which are terpenes. And that is precisely why they only used bitterness hopping (whirlpool) without dry hopping for aroma. The content of naturally occurring cannabidiol (without THC) in the bottle come up to 30 mg +/- 5 mg. CBD has a relaxing and calming effect. The tests too come up with the perfect combination of beer and hemp took over 9 months in the making, but the effect were well worth the wait! Citrus notes, grapefruits and oranges in particular, plus a subtle earthiness along with grassy notes exceeded our expectations!