The 2018 Warsaw Beer Festival was a showcase for Polish craft beer. There are supposedly 400 breweries in Poland and many of them are reasonably new and a lot of those are craft-oriented.
It was a reasonably large festival with just over 60 exhibitors. Roughly 80% of the stands were Polish breweries, almost all of which were offering some craft beers. Our main takeaway from the show was that craft beers far outweighed the more traditional Pils or lager offerings.
There was only a handful of foreign (mainly Danish) breweries represented.
There were three levels to the more than adequate football stadium venue:
• Ground floor: 5 stands including the large US Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) stand with hops and US beers
• First floor: foosball tables and toilets
• Second floor: the buzziest hall with roughly 40 exhibitors. People could go outside and sit in football bleachers. There was also a stage on one side where presentations were made
• Third floor: 10 stands in a narrow hall and a free pinball section
The show was similar to Craft Beer Rising in that stands sell their beer in 150ml (5–7zl or US$1.50), 300ml (10–15zl or US$3.00) or 500ml (20–35zl or US$6.00) quantities. The 150ml size is ideal for tasting. Entry tickets are cheap (US$5). There were around 15 food trucks in the area just outside the stadium, so soaking up all that beer was never a problem.
All in all, we think this is a good – and growing – beer show which clearly demonstrates that the craft beer industry is growing quickly in Poland.
If you'd like to chat more about the show please contact Ted Horton here.