After our first night, it was up bright eyed and bushy tailed - honestly - yes - but that was the last of that joyous state. A very decent breakfast set us up nicely for a walk around the city - well some of it anyway - in beautiful sunshine and shirt sleeve order. It really is an impressive place and before joining the others, E and I poked around a bit. It really is amazing how the devastation has been seamlessly turned back into what it was (or near enough).
Our walk sort of ended at the River Oder which in Wroclaw is spilt into several different branches. The main bit was very attractive with people out enjoying the autumnal sunshine, but inevitably as it was a beery mob I was with, we found ourselves in the huge covered market. Some of us wandered around gawping at venomous looking mushrooms, home made jams, impressive meats and sausages breads and vegetables - all the usual paraphernalia that such places provide. Of course there was an ulterior motive as some of the party, giving up any pretence, sought out our goal, Targowa a multi tap pub located "somewhere" in the market hall. Probably around ten taps or so of various Polish beers to go at. I had a very impressive Apatron American Pale, some New England Pale and a taster of a very fierce Habanero Oatmeal stout, which hadn't held back on the chillies. All beers were around 13 -15 zloty for a half litre or around £3, though the 13.8% Russian Imperial Stout was a whopping 31zl.
The party then split up to pursue other cultural pursuits. Well I won't lie to you, to pursue other pubs. Five of us decided to walk to Browar Stu Mostów which was a simple enough feat as we just followed the tram line. A fascinating walk of around two miles took us up through an old tenemented part of the city, many clearly dating back to Kaiser Bill times (Wilhelminesche) with their elaborate wrought iron works and tiny balconies. Some were more modern where one assumes, destruction had occurred, though equally redevelopment could have been the cause. We also passed a huge empty brewery, its buildings still intact and the name, just about readable on the chimney. Awaiting development no doubt.
Just over the river - the Oder again - a quick left and right and we arrived at our destination on the spot of its two o'clock opening time . Browar Stu Mostów is impressive as a venue.Downstairs, a shiny brewery of some size and upstairs, a rather small bar complete with a number of taps from its own brewery and elsewhere. Now it has to be said that we likely spent a bit more time there than intended and that wasn't good for us, though some of it was the wait to be served as the small bar got more and more busy, overwhelming the two or three staff. Additionally, each time we tempted to leave, some others from our party showed up. I started of with a Hefeweizen after the hot walk, I had Black IPA, then my nemesis. I discovered Strawberry Milk Shake IPA - brewed on the premises - and the rocky road to ruin was assured. I caught up with this lovely lady several more times elsewhere and she still held me in her thrall. An easy drinking 5.9% can be a hard mistress though as I subsequently found out, but she was so beautiful to be with.
Needless to say, we caught the tram back and more Polish beer was to come, though my lovely lady was nowhere to be seen. Just as well, but she was waiting for me elsewhere. It was destiny.
A word about Polish bar staff. All were most charming, male or female. English was widely spoken by the young.
Most Polish Craft Beer places were more pubby and less bleak than many elsewhere, but many similarities were to be found. Few hipsters though.
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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