No I don't mean the Counting House in Glasgow, though you certainly can get it there, nor do I mean Drygate Brewery in Glasgow where you can also get it - more of that later - but I do mean Wroclaw in Poland where you most certainly can get it and in very nice surroundings too.
Wroclaw is a Polish city in Western Poland. It used to be the German city of Breslau until after the Second World War when Poland was moved west and it kind of retains its German feel, though it was completely Polonised after the war after the German population was expelled. As Festung Breslau (Fortress Breslau) it was ferociously defended by the Germans and had the distinction of actually surrendering more than a week after Berlin fell. It was completely devastated, in its eastern areas particularly, by the advancing Russians and very heavily damaged elsewhere. You can see that today in the buildings, though the centre is wonderfully restored. It is also a very beery town indeed.
We started off our wanderings on our first night there (we only emerged from our hotels around half past eight) with a meal and beers in Spitz, a grand cellar beer hall, very much in the German style, underneath the Town Hall. They allegedly brew there, but if they do, it certainly isn't on the kit on show in the main area. This looks old and unused. The beers are broadly German in style - think helles, dunkel, schwarzbier - and while soft and drinkable, lacked any real oomph. This was in a huge way made up for by the charm of the young waitresses and waiters who were eager to help with menus and explain the beers and by the general jolly beer hall atmoshere inside. The hearty food wasn't half bad either and the crowd, a lot of them young, made for a very convivial couple of hours. We had to wait for a table and we weren't the only ones, our spot being swooped on on our departure, as soon as our bums lifted from the seats.
Just time for a couple before bed then. Next up was a much more modern affair. Browar Złoty Pies was just across the square and several of us congregated there. Translated as the Golden Dog, it had several dog themed craft beers on show and rare for me - I'm no ticker - I took the opportunity to have a sample tray. Four standard beers are produced on the premises and in addition, ever changing seasonal beers. Alas the passion fruit weizen had gone off but I enjoyed Setter Stout (maybe needs some work) the standard weizen was bang in the middle of the style, a perfectly decent Bokser Lager and the pick of the bunch, Pit Bull IPA which was American in style and pit bull like in
every other way. It bit. The bar itself was modern, buzzy and if you are
wondering about prices, under £3 a pint equivalent. Bar food is
A good start, but Saturday was yet to come. That's when it really got going.
This was a CAMRA trip. Around 25 of us, though we went around in groups rather than mob handed.
E and I stayed in Hotel Puro, a boutique hotel which is handy and highly recommended.
A bit of a CV. Tandleman is a veteran beer lover, local CAMRA Chairman and activist, beer writer, beer reviewer and pursuer of all things good in beer. He lives in the North West of England and London. Despite his CAMRA membership, he does not limit himself to cask conditioned beer, though he believes that cask conditioning, when done correctly and appropriately, brings a quality to beer that is hard to equal by any other kind of presentation. He is a strong supporter of Northern methods of beer dispense and avidly detests poorly presented beer and dislikes pasteurisation. He regularly visits Germany, has conducted corporate British and German beer tastings for CAMRA at the Great British Beer Festival where he has worked for years on Biere Sans Frontieres and was Deputy Organiser at CAMRA's very successful National Winter Ales Festival in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and at the Manchester Beer and Cider Festival from 2013 to date. He admires good brewers wherever they are and has travelled extensively in pursuit of good beer to drink.
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