Kvass or as it is more commonly known in Poland ‘Kwas Chlebowy’ is a soft drink made from fermented dark rye bread and historically very popular in this part of the world. While you’ll not find it being sold on the street from large tanks, like you do in nearby Kaliningrad, you will find it making a bit of a comeback in local bars and restaurants. Kvass has a very low alcohol content (generally less than 1%). It is thought to have arrived in Poland from the east in about the 10th century and has been popular for most of the time since. Between the wars Kvass made a strong comeback after its popularity suffered during the century of partition but it lost ground again later on in the communist era as Coca-Cola became the fashionable drink.
With the growth in small, traditional bars and restaurants who are reviving traditional recipes, Kvass has started to make a bit of a comeback here. Described by Michael Palin on his travels through these parts a few years ago as having ‘A curious taste which I can only describe as a mix of Pepsi-Cola and gravy’ it might not be for everyone, but when in Rome and all that.