Jewish Breweries of old Kolomyja, Galicia. Part III, Stefan Weiss Brewery.

In The Memorial Book of Kolomea (1957), a supplement (p. 91) lists businesses engaged in by Jewish residents of Kolomyja. For brewing it states:

Beer breweries – Stefan Weiss, Jakov [Jakub] Brettler and sons.

Weiss duly appears as a brewer in the Kolomyja section of the 1913 Galicia and Bukovina Business Directory:

 

 

The prefix to Weiss’s name, Karolówker Dampbierbrauerei, shows he was in Korolowka. This is a hamlet two or three kilometres east of Kolomyja, just north of which today lies an airport.

There were and remain numerous localities named Korolowka in Ukraine and Poland. Weiss’ as noted was just outside Kolomyja, see its position in this Mapcarta link.

It is rare to find images online of old Galician breweries like Weiss’. This is due to their relatively small size, the continual wars and changes of regime, and genocide of the European Jews. Nonetheless, in April 2020 a good image of the brewery was posted to a Facebook entry.

A short profile of the brewery accompanies the image. The following is an extract (Google translation):

… On an old postcard from the period between 1900-1905, a view of the Stefan Weiss brewery and one of his advertisements from a distance. The brewery was founded in 1890, the original owner was Leokadia Sejk, and two years later the plant was managed by Wenzel (Wacław) Sejk. Weiss handed over the brewery in 1894.

The first beer brewed in Korolówka was “Piwo Kołomyjskie” – a deckchair, “ham beer”. Its delicious taste and health were praised.

The translation is somewhat awkward but the overall meaning is clear, even as Weiss acquired (not sold) the brewery in 1894. “Ham beer” is a translation of the Polish piwo szynkowe.

The entry appears to have been posted by the author of, or another person connected to, a book on the history of pastry-making in Lviv, but images from other parts of former Polish lands are sometimes included. The brewery image is stamped “lvivcenter.org”, a local historical and research institute. Presumably it supplied the image and historical note.

Ham here could mean smoked, although smoked Polish ale is more associated to Grodziskie aka Grätzer in western Poland. “Zynkowe” is occasionally used today to describe beer in some East European countries. See for example this listing of Moravian beers.

The term is not standard Czech, to my knowledge, but Google translation renders it in this case parenthetically as “inn” or “hut”. This makes sense to me, a light, tavern beer, minimally processed and meant for local sale.

Perhaps szynkowe is a dialectical term in some East European tongues for inn.

For what it’s worth the names of the first and second owners of Stefan Weiss brewery have a Bohemian ring.*

And they, and from 1894 Stefan Weiss, operated an inn. In the above business listing, below the entry for Bierbr.[auerei] appears “Bierpropinationspächter“. Weiss and another firm are listed as conducting this type of business.

This meant that in 1913 Weiss was a holder of propination rights, historic rights conferred on land-owning nobility to brew or distill and sell the product on a monopoly basis locally.

Indeed it appears peasants could be compelled (or originally) to purchase the output. This is said to have contributed to rural alcoholism, although this is not clear, imo.

Jews often leased the rights, which provided an income to the lords without the need to manage production, and retail the product, day-to-day.

For good background on propination (aka propinacja) see from Yivo Encyclopedia Judith Kalik’s learned essay.** By the period in question propination had been formally abolished in Galicia but traces remained as the prohibition preserved existing rights for a certain period.

In the Facebook image the substantial two-story building on the right was likely the inn, with Weiss or his manager living on the second floor. Note the placard at the left of the building. It seems to state B&B, which was actually a logo (intertwined B’s) used on Brettler beer labels in the interwar period.

Since the Facebook entry dates the image to 1900-1905, and Polish Beer Labels has Weiss owning the brewery to 1925, the B&B – if it does state that – is puzzling. Maybe Brettlers (father and son?) bought the brewery from Weiss even before WW I, and his name was retained, or he kept only the inn-keeping part.

Possibly the sign does not refer to the Brettlers at all.

Weiss’ brewery was not an insignificant agricultural brewery. A well-written historical sketch (in English) on Kolomyja, in the tourist site Danelis, states Weiss sold 30,000 hL of beer in 1913. This was the size range of Brettler, a medium-sized brewery for Galicia.

A pre-WW I bottle from Stefan Weiss, listed on a Russian auction site, has a few lines on the brewery. It states the period of greatest growth occurred under Stefan Weiss, who was a member of the Lviv Chamber of Commerce and Galician Brewers’ Association.

Period ads (pre-1914) suggest, as for contemporary Brettler ads, a brewery in full flush, ambitious, looking to grow.

A 1912 ad, catalogued at National Archives of Krakow, is illustrative:

 

 

We see the basic lager, March beer, Export, and Porter offered. An advertisement of the same period at Archiwum Allegro (auction site) states military music was performed at the brewery, near the train station.

There was likely a beer garden there.

As we saw, Polish Beer Labels states Stefan Weiss’ role ended in 1925, whence the I. Brettler name appears together with S. Bleiberg. They could be B&B too, although the time period seems wrong for the inn’s signboard, unless the postcard actually dates to post-1925.

This timeline terminates with a question mark, as often the case for Jewish-owned, East European breweries. While it seems, as I discussed in my Brettler posts, that Brettlers stopped brewing in Kolomyja/Diatcowse before 1939, perhaps I. Brettler and S. Bleiberg continued to operate the brewery in Korolowka until war intervened.

I could not trace what happened, in any case. Maybe the brewery was seized by the Russians and then the Nazis. Maybe – likely I think – the last Brettlers to brew and S. Bleiberg disappeared in the Nazi maelstrom, I don’t know.

Note re images: images above are identified in the text with original source linked. All intellectual property therein belongs solely to the lawful owner, as applicable. Used for educational and research purposes. All feedback welcomed.

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*[Added May 17, 2021]. See in Comments remarks by reader Yann, and my reply. I think the mystery is solved now.

**See my Comment which links to a fascinating video on Jews, vodka, and propination by (Professor) Judith Kalik, at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. There seems no reason to think the logic does not apply to beer, and the term Bierpropinationspächter would seem to underscore this.

 

 

 

 

 

Beer Reviews 2021, Cont’d.

And We’ll Talk in the Present Tense …

Some notes on beers tasted recently.

Hop City North of 41º

 

 

(Sample provided by representative for the brewer). New World-styled blonde ale with notes of orchard fruit and cereals. Finish is clean and rehydrating, almost as if sparkling water was blended in, but it is all-beer.

A beer designed for a certain demographic or taste, I’d think, and fair enough. It was introduced on draft before Covid-19, and plans are to re-launch the draft once conditions of normality return.

Will be carried by some well-known Ontario restaurant chains. Perfect beer for the beach, or a basket of wings or tacos, or to drink with gusto after a long day.

From Hop City Brewing Co. in Brampton, Ontario (unit of Moosehead Brewery).

Third Moon Kills Pils

Saaz-hopped, good malty body, interesting scents of meadow and vale on a warm day. Top quality, from Third Moon Brewing in Milton, Ontario. Bought at Collective Arts Toronto shop today.

This, with the beer below, reminds me why the Reinheitsgebot (German pure beer law) retains full relevance.

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

Good solid body, emphatic German hop taste. Seems better than ever, clean yet with rich natural flavour.

A trendsetter for years that still deserves your attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jewish Breweries of old Kolomyja, Galicia. Part II, Brettler Brewery.

Serendipitously, I have been sent a postcard with an actual image of Brettler brewery by Ms. Isabella Seitz, who resides in Germany. She kindly consented to its reproduction here to shed further light on the history of this brewery.

Ms. Seitz was researching a postcard that had been owned by her great-grandfather, a German soldier in Galicia during WW I, and saw my Part I. The postcard carries the notation “ehemalige Brauerei Colomea“, which she informed me means, “former brewery Colomea”.

She added the postcard is most likely from 1916 as her great-grandfather was in Galicia then.

While the name of the brewery does not appear on the card, it is clearly the Brettler brewery. All one need do is compare the structure, layout, and paint scheme of the buildings to the artist’s rendering in Brettler labels between the two world wars.

The labels may be viewed on this page of the website Polish Beer Labels (included in my Part I with further information).

Colomea is simply one of the many spellings for Kolomyja, which denoted not just the city but the region around it including Diatcowce, likely location of this brewery.

The fact that the card states “former brewery” can be explained by the fact that there were many disruptions in Kolomyja during WW I.

Breweries might shut for a time due to war conditions but start up again when times were more favourable. That clearly was the case here.

There is nothing like seeing the actual image, which renders the reality more tangible including the delivery vehicles lined up in the yard facing the buildings.

Thanks again to this reader for sending this to us, which deepens our understanding of this corner of European brewing history.

 

 

Note re image: The image above is the property of Ms. Isabella Seitz of Germany, who kindly agreed to its reproduction here.

 

 

Jewish Breweries of old Kolomyja, Galicia. Part I, Brettler Brewery.

Introduction

In this post I discuss the Brettler Brewery in former Eastern Galicia, now part of western Ukraine. Polish historian Grzegorz Gembala mentions the brewery briefly in his article “History of Beer Brewing in Galicia”.

A shorter version of the article, credited to Greg Gembala, appears in the genealogical and Holocaust memorial site, Kehilalinks. I linked to that version in a recent post.

My link above is to the full-length version, at least as it appears in English. I cannot see a date attributed, but the authorship seems recent.

Snapshot of Brewery Pre-WW I

As set out in each version of his article, Gembala writes:

Kołomyja / Kolomay (Jacob Brettler) — one of the larger breweries, producing 32.6 tsd hl beer in 1912

 

Hence, 32,600 hectolitres of beer in 1912, for a firm that began in 1890 in Kolomyja, Galicia. This denotes a medium-size brewery by Gembala’s metric.

This also means, larger than the agricultural breweries that issued from the old landed estates, but smaller than more technologically advanced breweries established from the mid-1800s by aristocrats or other wealthy, non-Jews.

As the references below show, Brettler brewed in different periods export, double, dark bock, standard lager, and lower-alcohol beer, similar to the range for other Galician and Polish breweries.

Kolomyja in Galicia

There are many spellings for this city, depending on language and time period. I will use the modern, and Gembala’s preferred spelling, Kolomyja. Variants include Kolomea and Kolomyia.

Kolomyja is located in the Carpathian hills in what was south-eastern Galicia, on the Prut River. From 1772 until 1918 Galicia was a province of the Austrian, later Austro-Hungarian, Empire, except for a period of Russian occupation during WW I. For most of the interwar period it was part of the Polish Republic.

Western Galicia was characterized by significant Polish ethnicity and in general, was Polonised as the term went. The eastern half was mainly Ruthenian, or today Ukrainain. Nonetheless many areas featured a mix of these and yet other ethnicities, especially in the cities.

This is an image of Kolomyja, the market square before WW I (via Wikipedia):

 

 

With WW II, a period of Soviet occupation ensued, and nationalizations and other harsh consequences, especially for Jews. Then came German occupation and terror until 1944. After Russian liberation a Soviet socialist republic was created. Full independence arrived for the Republic of Ukraine in 1991.

Kolomyja and the Jews

Kolomyja had a very substantial Jewish population before WW II, half or nearing that level since the mid-1800s. Non-Jewish citizens comprised ethnic Poles and Ukrainians, with smaller numbers of other ethnicities.

For a good picture of Eastern Galicia in the 19th century with population breakdowns, this essay in Jewish Virtual Library illuminates.

The Nazis sometimes with local participation annihilated almost all these Jews, about 20,000 civilian people. This forever destroyed not just the people but a significant part of the character and pace of the city, which derived from its Jewish component.

Kolomyja was, before WW II, a Jewish cultural, educational, and religious centre of importance. Many Jews were engaged in business including textiles, oil exploration, finance, grain trading and milling, the professions, and both wholesaling and retailing.

Jews figured in the tavern trade, and brewing in Kolomyja was a Jewish business.

Background to Jewish Role in Galician Business Life

This subject has a complex history. In part, and see Gembala’s remarks in the brewing context, it arose from a societal structure influenced by its feudal past, where nobility controlled land worked by the peasantry.

To enhance value from the lands Jews were encouraged to settle and act as intermediaries, managing estates as lessees for often-absent aristocrats or gentry. This provided an economic interface with the volk, the people. An essay by Judith Kalik in the YIVO Encyclopedia of Jewish History is informative for background, among a significant literature in various languages.

The American scholar Glenn Dynner has explained how, despite legal obstacles enacted in the 19th century to reduce the Jewish role in alcohol supply, Jews continued to participate in this sector, in his (2010) paper Legal Fictions: The Survival of Rural Jewish Tavernkeeping in the Kingdom of Poland.

By the late 1800s, in the general economy occupations held by Jews increasingly were performed by Poles and Ukrainians, although until WW I many sectors still reflected a strong Jewish presence.

The growth of the cooperative movement in Ukrainian and Polish-speaking communities is an example, which posed ultimately significant competition to Jewish traders in this sector.

Even before this, prosperity did not reign generally among Jews in Kolomyja.  Most Jews eked out a living as craftsmen: eg. cobblers, tailors, carpenters, and potters, or factory workers, peddlers, and shop-owners.

A story in the 1897 press in Chicago claimed rather dire conditions for all but a handful of Kolomyja Jews. Together with recurring pogroms (more so in West Galicia) and deteriorating economic prospects, these conditions caused the continual emigration of Jews from Galicia to the New World and Zionist Palestine, starting in the late 1800s.

Some departed for nearer lands, Hungary and Romania among them.

A small percentage of Jews in Kolomyja did acquire wealth. They assisted their compatriots by giving employment, creating loan societies, and funding social and religious causes. This was a vital assist before the era of governmental supports, although labour agitation characterised some industries.

Brettler Family and Brewing

The Brettlers were in the well-off group, with interests in grain milling among other enterprises. There are numerous references to them in a 1957 book published in Israel memorializing Jewish life in Kolomyja, called English Memorial Book of Kolomey. Portions are hyperlinked in the Jewish Generations site. See e.g. at p. 96.

Litman Brettler was an estate lessee. His son Jakub Brettler, described in the Memorial Book as a millionaire, founded the brewery in 1890. In the years leading up to WW I the business evidently was incorporated with other shareholders, including the Seidmann family, whom Gembala described as heirs of the Brettlers.

The 1913 Galicia and Bukovina Business Directory included this entry in the Kolomyja section:

 

 

So, three breweries in this period were associated with Kolomyja: Brettler, Stefan Weiss, and Baruch Weiser. They were independently owned but Brettler or heirs later had a connection to Stefan Weiss’ brewery.

A few years earlier, in 1909, this description of the Brettler brewery appeared in a regional compilation of business firms (as translated by Google):

First Kolomeaer Masch.-Dampfbr. by Brettler & Komp., owners Mendel Brettler, Moses Seidmann, Moses Breier and Nathan Baran; Operation of the brewery as a branch of the main office in Kolomea.

Jakub is not mentioned, so must have left the business or passed away by this time.

Surviving Labels and Bottles

The Polish Beer Labels site shows the Brettler name and labels for no less than three localities, Kolomyja, Diatcowce, and Korolowka. The second and third are just a few miles from the first, in effect satellite towns.

This map view shows Kolomyja today and one can see the other two flanking, called here Dyatkovtski and Korolivka.

Pre-1920s embossed Brettler bottles are occasionally offered on auction sites. These are tallish, brown wine-type bottles, see e.g. this Archiwum Allegro listing.

Stefan Weiss aka Stefana Weissa owned the Korolowja brewery from 1894 until 1925, but did not found it. I will deal with his brewery in a further post.

Location of Brettler Brewery

Based on all my reading, before the 1930s, it appears the Brettlers or heirs had only the one brewery in Diatcowce, a few miles north-west of Kolomyja.

The whitewashed factory buildings shown on Brettler labels for Kolomyja (see in Polish Beer Labels), were, I believe, in Diatcowce. Satellite views do not show these buildings, that I can see, they probably were demolished at some point.

If I am wrong and the whitewashed buildings actually stood in Kolomyja, they may still stand, but I don’t think so.*

For obvious reasons Brettler brewery wanted to show its association with Kolomyja, a substantial city compared to the hamlet of Diatcowce. It did this by stating the office was in Kolomyja, and the Diatcowce business, a branch.

The office did certainly exist in Kolomyja, and has survived. It forms part of an elegant block on the main square. You may view it in this site which memorializes Jewish Galicia and Bukovina. The caption identifies the portion that served as offices for the Brettler brewery.

A 1906 advertisement for Brettler Brewery, catalogued in the National Archives of Krakow, taken together with the 1909 business listing, bears out the head office-branch inference.

 

 

1930s and WW II

Polish business registries show the Brettler brewery still operating in the 1920s and 30s, but it seems to end before the onset of WW II. I don’t know if descendants of Jakub Brettler survived the Holocaust, it seems unlikely, but I don’t know in fact.

Kolomyja Today

A literal tour d’horizon (2017) may be had of Kolomyja, via YouTube. For some, depending on the perspective, it is a melancholy look.

Actual Image of Brewery

To see an actual image of Brettler brewery, see our Part II of this post.

Note re images: each image is identified with source linked in text. All intellectual property therein belongs solely to lawful owner, as applicable. Used for educational and research purposes. All feedback welcomed

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*See my caveat in Comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expedition Brewing Co. Lager

I mentioned Expedition Brewing earlier this week, based in Newmarket, Ontario. I was in touch recently with one of the principals, Colin Parr, who heads up marketing and sales.

He mentioned the venture is actually two years old but really got moving in the last six months. He provided some details of the brewing, done at Equals in London, Ontario. Equals are well-known brewing specialists who cater to the contract market.

Colin said their advice was helpful to fashion the kind of palate he and business partner Patrick had in mind.

The Loch Ness Lager is a blend of two malts, one a Munich malt, with some acidulated malt added. It shares with stablemate Bigfoot Bock a good body, always a plus in our book.

The bitterness is balanced, showing light citrus and mineral notes. The taste is slightly honeyed and reminded me of English digestive biscuit.

The brewery bills the beer as inspired by Helles and Dortmund styles. I’d call it classic “craft lager”, with a distinctive note due to the malt character.

If we can get the restaurants and bars open again, I could see a pitcher going great with piping wings, a charcoal burger, or cheese plate.

An excellent addition to the Ontario lager scene.

 

 

 

Amsterdam Starke Pilsner

Starke Pilsner is an Amsterdam Brewery limited edition, part of the Toronto brewery’s Adventure Brews series. I think we see it twice a year but tasting as it does now, I wish it was on permanent list.

It combines the best features of Czech and German pilsener, with a bit of Helles thrown in too, if you get each fresh and unpasteurized.

The body is rich, with a maltiness rarely found in craft brewing. It uses Saaz hops in the kettle and floor-malted pilsener malt.

 

 

35 IBUs offers a solid balance to the malt. I’d guess the final gravity is 1.014 or so, which lets you taste the malt, as old-time pilsener and Helles did, too. Nor do I believe those attenuations were simply the result of yeasts available: I think brewers and drinkers of Hapsburg times sought that malt quality, and brewers responded.

The Germans said, “Malt is the soul of beer” – they had a reason.

Many Victorian ales and porters similarly highlighted body and residual extract. So did in the main American beer before WW I, whether malt adjunct or not.

Starke shows this quality to great effect.

It seems to be tweaked year in year out and this is the best I’ve had. I wouldn’t change a thing going forward. Nice labelling, too.

Congratulations Amsterdam and the brewing team, led by Iain MacOustra and Cody Noland.

 

Amsterdam Dutch Amber Lager

Amsterdam Brewery’s Adventure Brew series currently features Dutch Amber Lager. It was first brewed at Rotterdam brewpub on King Street in Toronto, “way back when”, c. 1988.

That facility converted a few years later to Amsterdam Brewery, a commercial microbrewery, which later moved to south Bathurst Street. In 2012 it moved to Esander Drive in Leaside uptown. There is a small batch branch on Queen’s Quay by the lake, the Brewhouse. The associated pub is closed currently due to Covid-19.

Until 10-12 years ago Dutch Amber Lager continued to be brewed, I used to buy it in bottles at the King Street and Bathurst locations. Now it is back, temporarily, as an Adventure Brew.

The term “Dutch” is a nod to the brewery’s name and first owner, who was from Holland; it is not meant to designate the style, which is Vienna Lager. The current can states Vienna Lager on the side, in fact.

It’s a very good Vienna, different from any other I’ve had. There is an almost mapley malt character with fruity or winy notes, backed by good noble hopping (or that type).

It’s a natural, local take: craft to the max.

 

 

 

Expedition Brewing Co. Bock

Some notes now on Expedition Bigfoot Bock from Expedition Brewing Co. in Newmarket, Ontario. This is a fairly new brewery that contracts out its production, currently in London, Ontario.

The website is marketing-oriented, with a fun theme built around travel, adventure, and tasting beers.

For Beer et Seq, it’s always about the beer, and Expedition hit the ground running with this one. It has the rich, molasses-tinged flavour of the best German bock I’ve had. Not surprisingly it’s an all-barley malt beer.

 

 

The flavour is full and sustained from start to finish, with a mineral-like hop finish, but the story is the malt here. It achieves a winy, rich taste with the molasses tone a constant undercurrent.

We had some good crafted bocks in Ontario in the last 12 months, there was the return of Creemore Urbock, and Hop City’s Boxcar Bock impressed as well.

But this Expedition takes the palm. It is 6.2% ABV, strong enough but not so strong that the alcohol takes away from the bibbing enjoyment.

I bought mine at The Beer Store in Toronto, Leaside branch. They have a lager as well, which I will review later this week with more info on Expedition.

 

 

 

 

 

Pantomime Golden Ale

This week I will highlight recent Ontario beer releases of note.

From Amsterdam Brewing in Toronto there is Pantomime Golden Ale, which uses a new British hop, Harlequin. It was developed by UK hop specialists Charles Faram through its Hop Development Program.

The beer is part of the ongoing Amsterdam Small Batch Adventure Brew series.

Indeed Pantomime Golden Ale is described as a collaboration with Charles Faram, a venerable concern with roots in the 19th century.

A description from the website of Faram’s Hop Development Program is informative. It seeks to marry “new world” flavours with a character from English soils and environment.

A seminar in Toronto the other day, conducted by Ben Adams and Shayn Sawchuk of Faram’s Toronto office, added further perspective. Eg. the name “Harlequin” was inspired by the multi-coloured look of the hop bract, the main leaf structure of the plant.

Pantomime Golden Ale uses Harlequin as single hop. It is added through the boil, at whirlpool, and in dry hopping at end of fermentation, just before final gravity is reached.

The malt is Maris Otter from UK maltsters Crisp. The result showcases the peach and pineapple character of Harlequin against a velvety, English malt base.

So, classic English malt, new English hop with some non-English influence in its DNA. Result: an accomplished British Golden Ale. Never had a better one.

You can buy it at the Amsterdam Brewery shop on Esander Dr., the Brewhouse shop on Queen’s Quay downtown, and by delivery through the website. Details in above link.

 

(Image via Amsterdam website and Canadian Brewing News)

Ale of Zywiec, Poland. Part II.

Sala on the Burton – Burton on the Sola

In Part I, I queried whether Zywiec’s ale was a strong type such as Burton ale, or an English pale ale, drier, less strong, from Burton but a later implant.

I reviewed rare Zywiec ale labels from the late 1800s and for the 1920s-1930s. All these state “ale”, using the English word, with no further description except “March”, for the earliest.

A 1912 print advertisement for Zywiec takes the matter somewhat further. The ad is from the Jan Goetz-Okocim brewery archive, maintained at National Archives in Krakow (NAIK).

It is among 16 exhibits set out in an historical page of the website for Wyborcza, the Polish newspaper. The ad could suggest (or in my opinion) the ale was a rich Burton-type, not a pale ale.

First, there is no doubt Burton ale had a vibrant trade in Poland in the 1700s. Numerous sources attest to it, in that century and the next. For my purposes here, ample evidence is provided by the 1864 essay-collection of George Augustus Sala, After Breakfast.

He noted that Russia, Poland, and the Danubian provinces “were great consumers of the sweet strong ale of Burton” in the reign of George II.

The goods were sent to St. Petersburg initially, and as we saw earlier the middle and upper classes formed the main market. The brewer Benjamin Wilson of Burton is associated in particular with expanding the trade in Poland after the introduction of tariffs foreclosed the Russian market.

Examining the advert – see in the second row of thumbnails – both porter and ale are mentioned (and other beers). The ad was likely placed by Ludwig Lazar named in the ad, an agent for Zywiec in Krakow.

Here is a detail from the ad (source: Wyborcza page linked and NAIK):

 

 

Google translation renders the ale wording as:

Excellent Like English sweet and very restorative at a price like a porter.

Not quite grammatical, but the sense seems much like Sala’s beer. Pale ale, particularly as exported, generally was not sweet due to prolonged maturation and heavy hopping.

Pale ale was famously a “tonic”: bitter, dryish, bracing, not restorative really. The alcohol content itself is not stated in the ad. Restorative, if it meant strength, seems more consistent with an English Burton (barley wine) strength, not a pale ale.

At the same time, a piece of evidence seems to lie against.  In 1991 a supplement to a newspaper in Zywiec, entitled Echo Browaru, reviewed Zywiec brewery history. It stated the porter was introduced in 1881, which is confirmed by other sources, and the ale, 10 years later.

The account then described the latter as “pale ale”, without further details.  The sweet and restorative description that appeared some 20 years after Zywiec introduced its ale seems at odds with a pale ale designation, yet presumably the 1991 account relied on reliable information.

It may be that in the 1890s the beer wasn’t a pale ale, but became one after WW I, during the interwar period mentioned in my Part I.

Only brewing records, or further relevant information, can ultimately answer these questions. I would add that whatever style this ale was, or in specific periods, it should not be viewed as unrelated to the vogue for British ale in the country in the early 1800s and 1700s.

True, the 1991 account also suggests the ale and porter were introduced for “export” purposes. But we know porter remained a popular niche style in Poland through the 20th century.

This itself is connected, as commonly understood, to the early popularity of British porter in the country. The same must be true for the more attenuated ale tradition.

Zywiec continued making ale into the 1930s, but to all appearances as an outlier: this style of Polish brewing, such as it was, had practically disappeared.

Porter by contrast remained an item of the Polish brewing inventory. Indeed Zywiec still makes a porter, as noted in this description from its American site.

It seems doubtful Zywiec made ale in Communist Poland post-WW II, but I do not have details in this regard, for that period.

The other 15 exhibits from the Okocim archive are also of good interest. Most pertain to Okocim brewery itself, from the late 1800s-early 1900s, but some pertain to other breweries. These show cooperage works, line shaft power transmission, the exterior of buildings, offices and more, in excellent resolution.

Below, for some general atmosphere, is a modern image (source: Wikipedia) of the Sola river, where it is dammed about 12 miles upriver from Zywiec.

 

 

N.B. The Zywiec porter description somewhat defeated me, even with Google translation. I think it states the medical profession approved the product for their prescriptions.

Note re images: source of each is identified and linked in text. All intellectual property therein belongs solely to lawful owner, as applicable. Used for educational and research purposes. All feedback welcomed.