AleBrowar – hoppy beer made with passion
Pomorskie region has plenty excellent breweries, in which beer is brewed with passion, respect for tradition and openness to new flavours. In search of pronounced, hoppy aromas with a surprising twist, it’s worth considering bottles showcasing the AleBrowar logo. We can find them, e.g. in the brewery in Lębork, but also in official pubs of AleBrowar scattered around the Tri-City: in the centre of Gdynia and Sopot, as well as in Gdańsk at Wajdeloty street. The drink will captivate those who expect a more profound, hoppy beer journey.
The official story of AleBrowar begins in 2012, when two hop-heads, Michał Saks and Arkadiusz Wenta, started brewing together first beers under the logo of AleBrowar. In the beginning as guests of the nearby Gościszewo brewery, and since 2017 at their own brewery in Lębork. And although AleBrowar has been on the market for less than a decade, it has already casued quite a stir with 85 different beer styles they have made.
– Beer is not just a product for us. The most important thing is the atmosphere. Travelling, meeting people, talking, testing new flavours and getting feedback on our beers. All this makes us want to work even harder – says Michał Saks, one of the creators of the brand.
Hops in your head and beer in your heart
It all started with Rowing Jack and Lady Blanche, which are shining among dozens of labels to this day and have remained the brewery’s locomotives. Rowing Jack is an India Pale Ale, with pronounced but not edgy bitterness and delicate aromas of grapefruit, mango and pine. In turn, Lady Blance is a Witbier, which is a traditional Belgian wheat beer with light and strongly refreshing aroma of coriander and bitter orange peel. Both enjoy unflagging interest, despite the fact that quite a few competitors arose in the market over the past few years.
According to RateBeer, the most prestigious on-line beer guide, AleBrowar was the best Polish brewery in 2014 and 2015. Moreover, in 2014 AleBrowar was among the 100 best breweries in the world.
Awards were also given to specific beers under the AleBrowar label. In 2012, the brewery’s debut year, the following beers were awarded browar.biz in a consumer poll: Sweet Cow, Rowing Jack, Black Hope and Amber Boy. Three years later, in the contest “Złote Krasnale 2015 Jak będzie w piwie?” (Golden Dwarves 2015 On the future of beer), second places in different categories were awarded: Hard Bride, So Far So Dark and Saint No More 2015. In the same contest a year later, the following beers were awarded the second place: Lazy Barry, Ortodox Pale Ale and Roo Ride. As you can see, there is plenty to choose from. An intriguing choice for all those who love surprises is Saint No More, a festive beer that appears every year and each time it is made using a different recipe.
And although the selection of beers is wide, and each of them has a unique character, they all have a strong, hoppy aroma. It is not without reason that the creators of the brand call themselves hop heads, which means that they can not imagine life without strongly hopped beer. They are also the initiators of the hoppy community – Hop Heads of Poland – which they are building around AleBrowar.
How is good beer made in AleBrowar?
When we visit the headquarters of AleBrowar in Lębork, we see a small, but well-planned production line. And although sterile conditions prevail in the brewery, you can feel at every step that a good piece of history is being brewed in this place. Each beer is a composition of 5-6 malts available from a dozen or so kinds.
– We specialise in hopping. We add hops during fermentation and maturation processes. After brewing, some of our beers are casked, i.e. put into rum or chardonnay wine barrels, where for several months they absorb all the flavours and aromas. Each step we take is of great importance for the final flavour and is carefully thought out. These are the characteristics of craft brewing – adds Arkadiusz Wenta, one of the creators of the brand.
Before our favourite beer is bottled and labelled with one of many well-thought-out and colourful labels it must go a long way, starting with grinding malt. Then, the meal goes to the mashing pot, where the enzymes convert the starch into fermentable sugars. During the filtration process, all solid elements, such as husks or sprouts, are separated and a clean and clear solution of sugars in water, called wort, is obtained. While cooking wort for about an hour, hops are added for bitterness, and in the final stages of the process hops are added for aroma. Finally, everything ends up in a whirlpool tun.
– It is said that man produces wort, and yeast produce beer from wort. Man works on beer production from 6 to 8 hours. The first fermentation lasts about a week. Next, the maturation process takes place, which lasts about 3-4 weeks in case of standard types of beer, to even half a year or longer with special types of beer. There are beers where hops play a crucial role, and which quickly degrade over time. Such beers should be consumed fresh, after a short maturation period. But there are also porters or Russian Imperial Stout, which acquire flavour over time, becoming velvety and smooth. Such beers can mature up to 25 years with no harm done – adds Arkadiusz Wenta.
Brewing is a way of life
In addition to venues in the Tri-City, beers from AleBrowar are also available in Wrocław, and perhaps soon in Warsaw. In addition, bottles are delivered to multi-tap pubs and one of the largest supermarket chains in Poland. AleBrowar also exports beers to Thailand and Italy. And although AleBrowar beers have already won many awards and enjoy unflagging consumer interest, the brand’s creators are setting the bar higher and higher.
– We try to pioneer different areas, we experiment a little, we try to think out of the box. When you work with flavours, you need to have an idea of what you want to achieve even before you have started. And the effects? I would compare it to a shooting range. You rarely get to hit the bull’s-eye. It’s the same when it comes to working with flavours. But thanks to an experienced team, we are still very close to perfection. However, there is always a desire to get something more and that is where we are heading – sums up Michał Saks.
Juliana Węgrzynowicza 1, Lębork
phone.: +48 535 207 067