I’m going to make a guess that one would pronounce it Zee-vi-ech. If you know the right was to say it, leave me a comment in the usual place.
Widely available in East End corner shops, off-licences and supermarkets, this is an inexpensive Polish lager beer. And one I think, looks a lot like Tyskie.
The resemblance is remarkable. Yet each is from a different brewery. Is every bottle of Polish beer so similar?
Zywiec, we learn, dates back to 1856. Exactly like Tyskie, it is 5.6% and, in the UK at least, only comes in 500 millilitre bottles. Helpfully, the front label also indicates that 500 millilitres translates to 1 pint. Or, if you measure your drinks in fluid ounces (and who doesn’t), a 0.9 fl.oz. measurement is included. I don’t mean to knock this however. In fact, I actively encourage all brewers out there to include more than meaningless millilitre measurements.
Perhaps my favourite aspect of the front label is where they allude to the winning of awards. Unlike the other brewers and their drinks, that hazily refer to their beer as “award winning”. Or “prize winning”. Or “champion”. No no. Zywiec has been “Awarded Medals”. What medals or for what, we are never told. But definitely the most Pol-glish way of expressing the concept.
In terms of smell, you can detect a weak malted barley odour. But one that is less premium than some others I have tried recently.
The taste had a slight bitterness. And the after taste was slightly sour. What little taste there was, certainly was not strong. The lager taste was thoroughly unexceptional. That said, it wasn’t a chore to drink and easy to reach the end of the bottle. The drinkability does redeem it somewhat.
But there’s no escaping that Zywiec was a bit disappointing. It’s not a bad drink for the money. It just doesn’t do anything special, new or different. And as such, I can’t give it high marks.
Let me know what you thought of Zywiec in the comments. Have you tried anything else from the same brewer? And any tips for good Polish beers available here in the UK?