In 19th century living in Jezewo, a village located not far from Bialystok, Zygmunt Gloger, famous ethnographer and historian started brewing beer. The brewery produced until 1954 and enjoyed good reputation. Today it is only history and ruins of the brewery not far from Tykocin. Recently some people wanting to reach back to this glorious history showed up. They set up City Brewery Gloger in the city of Bialystok in north-eastern Poland. We decided to check how their first production went and what is its result.
Beer revolution is coming
Poland is floded with new wave beers, we already have over 100 new breweries, hundreds of beer premiers a year. The wave of the revolution got also to Podlasie. Next to already existing breweries such as Slodowy Dwor and Stara Szkola, City Brewery Gloger came up. In the era of beer tourism, very often beer becomes something that attracts people to the region. It was the same with us – although we are not beer sensors, during our different trips we visit some places only to see beer house or beer festival. When we heard about new beer house in our city, we were happy to have here some interesting production that might, next to the obvious natural qualities, become also a reason for visiting Podlaskie.
City Brewery Gloger
Brewery is located outside the city center and together with the brew house there is a big restaurant. Inside it all looks very nice, minimalistic design, big garden. The only thing that surprised us was opening hours: in weekdays they are closing already at 9 pm. But thankfully practice shows that if only there are customers they are able to close later. Together with beer you can try some Polish cuisine with knuckle of ham and sausages. Vegetariand will have to watch the others eat bacause there in no offer for them in Gloger. We stayed only with beer. It is quite surprising that the brewery started with ten kinds of beers right away. It is pretty bold. On their premises they are available as draught and in bottles. We expected to find, popular in places offering wide assortment of good beers, some tasting offer of smaller volume glasses. Unfortunately they don’t offer such thing. We did not manage to try all the beers being there so we took couple bottles home.
Flat beer, or top fermentation
As new beers fans we started from India Pale Ale, which as we found out was one of their worst beers. It is unpasteurised of 16°Blg, 6,2% alcohol. Not in the restaurant nor on the bottle label we found information about what kind of hops and malts were used for production. We looked also for IBU, with no result. This lack of information refers to all Gloger beers. Plish IPA is dark, unclear, has a very poor foam and almost no aroma. Do not expect citrus ot other associated with American hops aromas. We were also disappoined by the taste, bitterness was very delicate. The same beer from draught seemed a little better than drunk from the bottle at home.
Gloger Herbowy is a wheat beer of top fermantation with 12,6°Blg and 5,4% alcohol. Our first impressions were positive, nice foam, interesting look. Label announced bananas in the aroma but we haven’t found them, however we can say that it tasted nicely. We mostly found there wheat. It is a very dry beer, refreshing, although dominating in flavour sourness might not be liked by majority of drinkers. It is worth to pay attention on the name Herbowe – before Kompania Piwowarska it was a top beer produced in Dojlidy Brewery in Bialystok. Although it was a regular lager its name is still very well remembered and appreciated in the city. But we do not expect that Gloger Herbowy will succeed on the same scale.
Another beer we tried was Rubinowe, Red Irish Ale with extract 12,5° and 5% of alcohol. Coppery color, nice but short lasting foam. Aroma is poor, malty, same is flavour. It is difficult to find any hop aromas, bitterness at our surprise was there but it disapeared very fast. Beer is flat. We moved on to the next one with no regret.
Brewery staff advised trying their Stout beer but we believe it is not the best option. Beer is not exceptional. Extract 14° and 5,7% alkcohol, it has dark brown color, tastes of roasted malts mild, even poor. Foam difficult to be achieved at all. The beer seemed for us to be poorly hoped, bitterness very delicate, general impressions negative. As we read on the label the beer was supposed to be full, with coffee and caramel aromas. It was hard or impossible to find those flavors in this beer.
Bottom fermentation, or classic types of the same quality
We started from Marcowe. Historically this type of beer was produced in the first weeks of spring and than cellared until fall. It is famous mostly thanks to Monachium Oktoberfest. Here the beer could not have been cellared for that long, however it tastes good. Godlen color, malty taste, foan unfortunately fast disapearing. Extract 13,7°, alcohol 5,8%.
Another bottom fermentation type we tried was classic pils. Golden color, nice but quickly disapearing foam, bitter taste. It culd have been quite a good beer it it wasn’t for its aroma. Beer experts would probably say that it is DMS, but as we are not experts, it will be enough to say that we didn’t like the beer, especialy its aroma. Extract 13,5°, alcohol 5,2%.
Golger Zlote we found to be the worst beer of this brewery (extract 10°, 4,1% alcohol). Light color, almost no foam, but the most important a kind rotten aroma reminding hydrogen sulfide. The smell was strong, repulsive. Because we had similar impression with Classic (12,5°, 5,2%) we gave it up and finished our adventure with Gloger beers. It’s a pity that those two beers, also with names referring to Dojlidy brewery, did not really worked out.
In their offer there are also two other beers: Brylant Jasny i Pszeniczne Ciemne. Brylant Jasny name was supposed to correspond to flagship product of the brewery in Jezewo Stare. You can check that on your own, we give it up already. Based on tested beers it seems to us that Gloger beers are not worth their to be honest very high price. The more that kraft beer market offers very wide selection of way better beers than theirs, in much better prices. For this money you can easily find something really good.
So as not to present everything in dark color we have to admitt that the visual aspects of the project are very good. Labels on the bottles are of classic style and make a good impression. We should praise also interesting caps with brewery logo. We hope that brewery will develope and in some time it will offer something better. Maybe it is just the matter of first brew and with each next one the quality level will increase. We will see. Maybe they should have focused on couple of kinds of beers and make them prefect instead brewing 10 at once? Who knows? They should also put some more information on the labels, such as used hops, malts and IBU.
We wish them good luck with next production and keep our fingers crossed for quality improvement because the initiative of recalling the tradition of local good beers is a very good idea but also a great opportunity to familiarize wider group of Bialystok residents with other than regular lager kinds of beers.
First three beers we tasted from draught and bottle, others from bottle only.