In addition to the Tyskie Brewery in Tychy, those with their beer goggles on and a good map in front of them are going to notice another famous name associated with beer on the map of Upper Silesia – that of Żywiec. A small, picturesque town about 80 kilometres south of Katowice, Żywiec is home to a 13th century castle, several fine cathedrals and a large protected landscape park in addition to Poland’s most famous brewery. Chosen for its crystal clear mountain waters, the Habsburgs (yes, they of royal origin) founded the brewery here in 1852, and the first batch was produced four years later. The brand developed into a symbol of national identity as exports began in 1913. Nationalised under communism, the brewery was acquired by the Heineken group after a drawn out court battle and was thoroughly modernized in the 90s. Today over 20 rooms of the brewery are open to all with a museum and brewery tour (available in English, Czech and German) showing you the different ingredients, stages and methods of beer production, as well as the history of the site itself from its beginnings, through the world wars, under the PRL and on to today. Much is housed within the original Habsburg buildings and part of the site has been recreated as it was in the 19th century, including a Galician Inn. Ticket prices include the obligatory half-litre and you get to keep the commemorative glass. Due to its popularity and the high volume of guests, a tour reservation is required. Żywiec brewery is a 15 minute walk from the local train station or take buses 1 ,5, or 15 (in the direction of Węgierska Górka).