Tyskie of Poland

I’m tasting this today, a sample provided on behalf of the distributor.

It has a definite Polish lager profile, clean but quite dry, 5.3% abv. It is well-brewed – no green, “young beer” flavours, decent hopping, all-barley malt. A slight buttery quality is noticed, not dissimilar to Budweiser Budvar, say.

Why the dryness in the mainstream Polish lagers? I think simply because, as I once read many years ago, Polish food has a sweet and concentrated quality. So you don’t want a beer with equal richness. Some sweet strong porters are made, inheritance of an old English export trade, but their sale is very small in the total picture.

The taste is midway between Stella Artois or Molson Canadian, say, and Pilsner Urquell. Lots of potential growth in that zone.

Good with food, good as a regional example of flavour, e.g., Polish hops are used.

The brewery is a few hundred years old, founded in Upper Silesia. It switched to lager (bottom-fermentation) in the 1860s when a Polish duke invested in upgrades and new plant. Now part of AB InBev, Tyskie holds about 20% of the Polish market. My can was brewed in Poznań, home of the Lech affiliate, another noted Polish brand. The two breweries merged many years ago and were acquired about two decades ago by SAB Miller, predecessor to AB InBev.

The big groups control most brewing in Poland but even the mainstream brands have a national character.

It would be good to see Tyskie here on draft.

I would like to try (and maybe there are Tyskie extensions in this line) a 5% or 4.8% abv beer with the same mash bill. That is, a beer of richer character. I don’t know the current finishing gravity, maybe 1010 FG. More sweetness out of a commendably all-malt mashbill would kick it up a notch, for many.

 

 

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