Brovarnia Gdańsk: the secrets of open vats
Brovarnia Gdańsk reminds me of a glass of delicious wheat beer, drunk on a hot summer afternoon. That’s why I was very happy that I could meet the people behind the scenes of the taste and the idea of this place.
Interview with a brewer in Brovarnia Gdańsk
The main brewer of Brovarnia is Tomasz Biegański, who has been with the brewery since the very beginning, which is for over a decade.
It’s great to meet enthusiasts who talk about their work with flushed faces and in such an interesting way that even the completely ignorant can be drawn into the world of their passion. During the conversation with Tomasz Biegański I dived into the world of hops, and I can assure you that what you can read below is only a fraction of our interesting talk. If you would like to learn more about brewing, the brewers of Brovarnia Gdańsk are happy to show you around their kingdom, all you need to do is ask the staff. Larger groups can arrange a walk in this land of flowing beer ahead of time, and those who are interested in a deeper knowledge can attend brewing lectures, combined with tasting, on the history and current situation of this craft.
But let’s get back to the conversation with Tomasz Biegański:
“We feel we are the heirs of the Old Gdańsk beer culture, which was once very well developed.” 500 hundred years ago, there were hundreds of breweries in Gdańsk. We were the first Gdańsk brewery to open after the closing of the last of the previously operating breweries – the one in Wrzeszcz. Our philosophy is to reclaim old beer recipes and introduce them to our guests. We want to step back in time, and let people know the taste of beer created centuries ago, although obviously we create their versions adapted to the palate of the 21st century. ”
The brewing process at Brovarnia is distinguished by the fact that the brewery puts a strong emphasis on regional raw materials. “We use Polish hops when creating beer. We work with the best Polish producer of hops, Paweł Piłat, who provides us with a unique raw material, which makes our products special even in the world,” says Tomasz Biegański. He also adds: “Our flagship beers are the Gold of Brovarnia pilsner, based on 5 noble Polish hops and the award-winning wheat beer.”
Another type of beer that the brewery boasts is Ciemne Starogdańskie dark beer. Brovarnia was the first brewery to bring it back to life using old Gdańsk recipes. The beer has smoky malts in its composition, thanks to the return to malting methods from centuries ago. The smoky flavor comes from a special method of drying barley on wood-fired grids. In summer, you should try Pszeniczne (Wheat) beer, which is a refreshing, slightly tart drink with the aroma of fruit and cloves.
In Brovarnia every beer is brewed by open fermentation. Fermenters are not closed, thanks to which “The beer works better, feels better, and it doesn’t get stressed,” Mr. Tomasz Biegański says cheekily.
Every September, the Fresh Cones project is launched in Brovarnia – brewers join Polish hops harvests, where they personally collect fresh hops cones, which are then added to the pils, giving it a grassy-herbal, unique, and multidimensional flavor. It is also a return to historical methods of beer production. Every year in autumn, after the hops harvests the Gdańsk Beer Festival Oktoberfest takes place in Brovarnia. It is an event for beer lovers.
Tastes of Brovarnia Gdańsk
As it is not the best idea just to drink beer and not to eat, I look into the kitchen of Brovarnia. For the last few years Jaroslaw Waloch from Gdańsk has been the chef. He says:
“In Brovarnia we have Polish cuisine with Gdańsk and European accents, we focus on regional specialities. Wherever possible we try to buy Polish supplies by creating the menu based on local ingredients, e.g. we substitute parmesan with hard Bursztyn (Amber) cheese, and we use Polish meat and vegetables.”
On the menu, you can find Jurassic salmon (from the most modern fish farms in Poland), Kashubian duck, Polish goose, herbs from a Gdańsk farmer, Polish cheese (from Osada Burego Misia farm or from Korycin). Brovarnia’s speciality is goose, which reigns in autumn, but not only then as some dishes are on the menu all year round. It is worth mentioning that in 2017 Brovarnia was awarded the Amber Laurel of the Marshal of the Pomorskie Voivodeship in the “Pomorskie Flavor” competition for the best dish for their goose specialities. The restaurant’s menu changes twice a year, but there are eight seasonal inserts. Before June, asparagus was the top product, and then chanterelles were introduced on the menu.
According to the chef’s recommendation, I try a delicious, spicy and aromatic Gdańsk fisherman soup that contains a lot of herbs, salmon and zander.
Then I get goose dumplings with prune sauce and boletes. The goose filling of the dumplings, has a slight citrus flavor due to the citrus fruit marinade used during the preparation process.
The last dish I try is soft duck accompanied by delicate pasta (yummy) and red cabbage s, marinated and baked in oranges, sour apples and marjoram, and then glazed with honey.
At the end, I would like to come back to the heart of Brovarnia – its beer and quote Tomasz Biegański: “Brewers are passionate about, and fascinated with what they do. To brew beer, you have to feel it in your heart in order to translate it into the language of malts, hops, and flavors.” I can assure you that sipping wheat beer in the garden of Brovarnia you will understand the meaning of his words perfectly.
Szafarnia 9, Gdańsk
phone.: + 48 58 320 19 70