Poland

Krakow

Hot Beer?

There are a number of ways to survive the winter in Poland, and we’ve tried them all, from dressing up like an Eskimo to staying in bed and refusing to get dressed at all. Of all the methods known, however, none rewards as much as a pint of 'grzane piwo'. That’s hot beer in layman’s terms – essentially a frothing hot pint spiced with artificial ginger syrup, clove, cinnamon and other mulling spices. For some an acquired taste, for others an early Christmas present and others still an utter profanity, but an invention necessary for everyone to try at least once. There are a couple things to consider with regards to hot beer: Firstly, it takes a while (5-10 minutes) to properly heat the drink without exploding it, so prepare to wait and be patient.

Secondly there is a tendency to immediately stab a straw into the glass to mix the syrup at the bottom throughout the drink. If the beverage is too hot this will result in it erupting all over you. This common rookie mistake is an event many twisted bartenders wait for with relish; you can avoid it by simply letting your drink cool slightly and gingerly testing its reaction to the straw. [We're telling you this to save you some face. Ours has had egg on it too many times.] Similarly popular is 'grzane wino' – or sweet mulled wine – which you'll find is suddenly okay to drink in public places once the holidays come around and barrels of it dispensed on Poland's market squares. You can also order it at the bar and even buy it in the shop and heat it up at home - a popular brand is Grzaniec Galicyjski.

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