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    Wednesday, 29 August 2007

    In Praise Of Eastern European Imports

    In a change of tack from the usual (and usually crap) Irish bars, a landlord in Edinburgh has opened a Polish bar complete with vodkas and beers. Apparently it is a pretty decent success and the local Scottish people are becoming as good customers as the Poles. I would certainly welcome such a venture in my town and there would definitely be enough interest.

    Of course since Poland and other Eastern European states joined the EU in 2004 the UK has seen a massive influx of migrants from these countries. We have seen a great many shops selling Eastern European foodstuffs, and luckily for those of us who will try any beer once: lots of new beers.

    I am sure this pub will concentrate on common national brands such as Lech and Tyskie, but in shops in Northampton where I live I have found such delights as Ciechanów Farskie Piwo Ciemne a very decent dunkel from Poland, Svyturys Degintas, another dark beer (possibly a dunkel) from Lithuania and Obolon Porter, a delightful Baltic Porter from Ukraine. I have obviously had tons of pretty poor pale lagers also, but at least they are new experiences. One thing that I have noticed is how cheap these shops sell the beers and that can only be a good thing.

    Just as an aside make sure you read all the smart alec comments at the bottom of the article. They should give you a giggle.


    Stonch said...

    There's been a decent Polish bar for years right next to Holborn Station in London...I had many a good night in there when a student. Quite an upmarket place, actually.

    The Beer Nut said...

    Ireland too has benefitted beerwise from the Eastern European arrivals. Look out for Okocim Palone: it's lovely.

    Bailey said...

    In London, it's hard to get anything other than the pale lagers. Svyturys Baltas is a good one to look out for if you like German-style wheat beer; Okocim Palone is an interesting smoked schwarzbier. I'll be keeping an eye out for the dunkel you mention.

    Stonch -- is that Nazdrovye? (Excuse my spelling.) Great place, and a fantastic range of proper vodka. Not so excited about the beer, though.

    Stonch said...

    That's right.

    As you say, it's all about the vodka.

    A mate of mine works for BBC Business News. They were doing a location shot from the warehouse of a Polish beer importer in West London who said he does bring in some Polish porters from time to time... so they are out there.

    The Beer Nut said...

    In London, it's hard to get anything other than the pale lagers.

    Well, gee, move out of the sticks...

    maeib said...

    I have had Okocim Palone and did like it. The three I highlihted are either better or rarer (or both)