The topic of amber has been relatively well-explored, especially in Gdańsk, considered world’s amber capital city. Coming in different shapes and sizes, from tiny chunks that can be found scattered on the Baltic beaches after a storm, to breath-taking art pieces at Mariacka Street. But, is this all? Not necessarily and I had a chance to learn this.
A fine, calm evening at the Old Town is disrupted by cheering and commotion at the nearby marina. Cheerful accordion music leads to Brovarnia Hotel Gdańsk. I remember having been there before – their crafted beer tastes great! Without hesitation I enter the restaurant in search for a free table. A waiter greets me at the entrance, dressed to look like taken straight out of a beer fest. It’s not only him – blue and white decor and plenty of people holding to their pints, laughing and drinking. Noticing my amazement, the waiter invites me inside and leads to one of few free tables, informing me that I have just found myself in the middle of Gdańsk Hop Harvest Oktoberfest Festival hosted by Brovarnia Hotel Gdańsk for the sixth time.
Being unable to resist the temptation, I start to browse the beer menu and my attention is immediately drawn by the AMBER LAGER. As I find out later, it is a lager type beer with amber tones that is prepared using Munich amber malt. It is sweet, with a hint of caramel and has been prepared especially for this year’s event. Being able to check how amber tastes with caramel is too good an opportunity to pass up. Now it’s time for some Bavarian flavors. The range of available choices is broad: I can’t resist the specialties from the menu: potato dumplings (Knödel) in mushroom sauce and eisbein roasted in dark beer. I am enjoying my amber beer… Oh, tasteful delights! The waiter is relentless and, already full, I choose Bavarian obatzda with red onion rings. It was definitely worth it. I observe new waves of food amateurs appearing in the doorway; finding a free table for tonight is getting more and more difficult, if not impossible. Fortunately, they can visit Brovarnia Hotel Gdańsk for 6 weeks (19.09-31.10), so there’s plenty of time.
A couple dressed up in Bavarian clothes catches my attention. They attract the waiter’s notice as well. A smile appears on his face. A minute later another round of beer comes in for the brave ones, adding up to the happy atmosphere. The band picks up on the mood, people are cheering, singing and dancing. This is what Oktoberfest is all about – fun. An interesting interlude to all this: beer contests. Who wouldn’t like to win another round? Two tables decide to join the competition and race to drink 1l of beer, the faster team wins. You can also try and test your knowledge of beer and compete with other beer amateurs. How much hop is needed for brewing 1000 liters of beer in Brovarnia Hotel Gdańsk or how much a 50 liter beer keg weighs are only two examples of quiz questions prepared for you. And so, the Saturday evening in Brovarnia Hotel Gdańsk goes by…
Oktoberfest in Brovarnia Hotel Gdańsk is about cultivation of the long tradition of brewing that has always played an important role in life of Gdańsk. The granary that is the location for the event was used for storing malt, which was later used by local brewmasters in the process of brewing. The long tradition of hop harvest dates back to the XV century and has been continued ever since.
Text: Izabela Koch
Photos: Joanna Ogórek