Polish Amber Ale
After years of drinking typical lagers (and getting bored with them), I have had a (long) moment of getting very extreme with my beer taste – high hops, brutal IBU, good beer starts with IPA or RIS and so on.
After a while, I have realized that its nonsense. Of course, if you give me 200 IBU I will take it, but the fact is that the everyday beer does need to be barley wine. Druga Zmiana (Second Shift) is one of the best examples of that situation. This beer is hoppy and aromatic enough to keep even the majority of the craft-beer lovers calm. On the other hand, it is still very light (12% extract) and low, 4.7% alcohol make it acceptable for the majority of weak lager drinkers. There is one interesting thing about it – this is the first beer I know to use Cascade hops that were grown in Poland. This is a kind of interesting novelty, Cascade are one of my favorite hops and were normally grown only in US. Cascade PL was first planted in 2011 (to my knowledge). The effect is very interesting – after replanting from the sunny California to more moderate climate Cascade seem to be losing a lot of its aromatic hoppy bite. It is still more aromatic than the most of the original, European bitter hops, but not even close to its American ancestor*. Still nice to try.
Summary - Browar Zakladowy is becoming one of my favorite breweries for everyday beers. I am not really sure whether they will attract any high-IBU-dependent aroma crazy people, but they exactly fill the gap between tasteless concern lagers and elite craft. Excellent job.
*I would be happy to know whether anybody have tried the opposite. Does Polish hop, e.g.: Marynka change its properties after being grown in California?