Beer Review: Karpackie Premium Lager Beer

CHEAP Polish lager has swamped the shops of Britain in recent months. Undoubtedly to quench the thirst of the hundreds of thousands of Polish tradesmen and builders here. This one is Karpackie Premium Lager Beer. This 500 millilitre bottle cost £1.19 pence from an off-licence corner shop, but this one is much harder to find than its competitors.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer bottle

First impressions are that it’s trying to be a Tyskie or a Zywiec. Put them next to each other on the shop shelf, and from a distance, they look almost identical.

The neck label is uninspiring. White background, gold colour scheme and the “Karpackie Premium” logo. And nothing else.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer neck label

Maybe the main front label is better?

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer front label

No. It isn’t. On the same, plain white background, is simply a bigger version of the same logo. It’s not all bad though. It is a fairly good logo. Even if I have no idea what the implements it features are. There are some Polish words around the edge too. One of which I think means “Tradition” or “Traditional”. And other which I think say “Original Polish Recipe”. Is that right? Can anyone out there translate what’s on this bottle? If so, do please leave a message in the comments box at the end of this post.

That’s nearly everything on the front label. But not if you look very closely. That’s because there is some tiny writing on it. And that writing tells us that this 500 millilitre bottle has a 5% volume. A fact so unremarkable, you can understand why it’s the size of our national defence budget.

Like the back labels of most Polish beers, it’s hard to learn very much from it.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer back label

It does have the odd bit of English writing however. The ingredients are water, malted barley and hops. It also tells us, in English, the size (500 ml) and volume (5%). That’s it’s best stored in a cool place. And that Karpackie comes from a company called Van Pur SA, who are from the Polish city of Warszawa. A city you might know as Warsaw.

Apart from that, there’s nothing else to read on there. That means it’s time to see if Karpackie Premium Lager Beer is any good. I doubt it will be. So the new question is, will it be better than the other Polish lagers? I doubt that too.

Poured briskly into the glass, a thick head froths up. But give it just a few seconds, and it’ll die down to a thin and inconsistent little layer of bubbles.

Karpackie Premium Lager Beer poured into a glass

The colour is a weak shade of yellow. It certainly doesn’t shout flavour and body. And it’s visibly full of bubbles, which hardly inspires confidence. Still, this is a lager. Low quality is a pre-requisite.

The smell is… lagery. Fortunately, not the ghastly ultra-strength lagers or “Mocne” style smell. Karpackie smells of cheap lager. That is to say, a mild blend of malted barley and hops.

The taste is equally as unimpressive. Apart from the lagery bitter and sourness, there’s nothing else in there. The bitter isn’t strong. The sourness doesn’t linger for long. And there’s no complex blend. This is a straightforward cheap lager.

In its favour, it is refreshing if you have it cold. And, it’s easy to drink.

On the other hand, it’s easy to drink because it’s so watery. And that means it’s got no body. And that it’s not full-flavoured. Karpackie is, sadly, yet another cheap and sub-standard lager.

If you want a good lager, then try one of Karpackie’s competitors. You’re not short of choice. You’d have to be very short on choice or taste to choose this over something better.

Rating: 0.9

Have you tried Karpackie? What did you think of it?
Got any translations, corrections, comments, ideas or suggestions? Is there something you really want me to review for you?
Leave your messages in the usual place please.

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39 Responses to “Beer Review: Karpackie Premium Lager Beer”

  1. island1 Says:

    Never come across this brand in Poland, but there are hundreds of cheap imitations like this. Wouldn’t surprise me if this was actually made in Ukraine or somewhere and just sold under a Polish label.

  2. Daniel Sandford Says:

    Once again you let yourself down Island – Karpackie is widely available in Poland, just look in any supermarket!

  3. vincenzo Says:

    Fa leggermente schifo!! Però c’è gente che pure di spendere poco che se la compra, nn vi sto a citare chi! Addio

  4. colin Says:

    tesco now stock a 4 x 500ml at only 3.59 of this product in its polish section. I generally like cheap 5% lagers an dthis one is no differnt to others and makes a change from stella or kronenburg

  5. Surge Says:

    I work in an off licence and thus have drank ALOT of beers from around the world, including many polish lagers(lech,tyskie,zyweic,etc) and in my opinion it is the best of the lot, most polish beers taste like dutch gold to me(any lover of a good beer i imagine does not like dutch gold!) for the price it is a very enjoyable beer especially(as stated) when chilled and served from the bottle, i would prefer it to the regular brands like heiniken, carlsberg, etc. i think its a great beer!

    • richie79 Says:

      I tend to agree with surge and others aswell (and yes surge, dutch gold stinks!- it is the worst beer out there I know). Anyway, Ive never seen Karpackie in the bottle here in dublin Ireland. Its 4 for a 5er here (euros) in 500ml cans. It comes in sealed 4 packs with this price printed loudly onto the wrapping. Well, this is about as cheap as you get any 500ml can for here, unless its tesco brand 4% lager (or 3.8% bass at lidl etc etc). 4.3% Bavaria crown is 6 for 7.99 and so roughly the same price and no way near as good a beer as karpackie. Then you have hackenberg (which has been the main other quite longstanding 4 for a 5er beer here). I think karpackie is a much nicer beer taste wise (though hackenberg is prob not as bad tasting as most other cheap beers here). All I would say is that Hackenberg has to have something wicked in it cause it gets you extremely drunk. It says only 5% but time and time again, if I get hackenberg I notice how it takes at least one can less that any other 5% beer I know to get me rotten. It would have to take the crown when it comes to the “rocket fuel” of beers up to 5% here. So yeh, Karpackie is a good beer, and great beer for its price. Indeed near all the expensive heineken, bud, carslberg we get here is the UK made crap (there is this shitty factory in uk somewhere that makes all these beers if you look at the small print). It is not the real deal at all! I too would rather drink karpackie than any of these cans which cost almost twice as much just cause of the name. Now, get an import heineken or carsberg.. and thats a different story. Totally different beer. Id love a job in an offo like you surge.. but Id be drinking cans all day

  6. threeshoes Says:

    I agree with Surge, its a nice refreshing drink especially if you get it cold. And at just over 3 quid for 4 500ml’s, the price is right!

  7. Peter Says:

    Karpakie is the nicest beer i have ever tasted, The tangy kick of an aftertaste is beyond compare.

  8. Paulie Says:

    Richie79. such a truer word never spoken. 4 4 5er. lubbly jubbly. hoppy, bubbly, de-not licious-but good at the price. Poland. hmm. tisk. zwivvvish, hard to tell. Take a look at the price Tyskie:2.29 Karpackie:1.25. Lech though, V tasty

  9. Bobby Says:

    Karpackie has made my university experience complete….God bless you Karpackie!

  10. Marco Maroso Says:

    Premetto che ci sono birre veramente buone sul mercato. Questa è una birra di fascia bassa, ma pur essendo di fascia bassa (economica), è molto bevibile specialmente se bella ghiacciata e il suo effetto alcolico non perdona (9% di alcool). Tutto sommato per essere una birra da Penny Market e considerando il prezzo non è niente male. Altra birra è la Tenents!

  11. mac Says:

    Ill take this over heineken, or stella anyday. Really cheap too. Hope this stuff sticks around.

  12. Iwona Says:

    I agree with many above that the beer is great and your review just sucks….! Who if anyone paid you for that review? Karpackie tasts great and many of the consumers acknowledge it. Do you even know much about how the beer should taste?????

  13. Iwona Says:

    To the author of this review one more thing…. what do you think it is on the beer labels all around the world…..your review is very unprofessional – sorry man… switch to drinking wine, maybe you will have the better luck!

  14. Andy M Says:

    A mate brought 4 cans over a few days ago and only drank one and left the rest in my fridge, I wasnt expecting much but have just opened a can (Its Good Friday, I’m in Dublin and there’s no alcohol sold today so I’m going to a party later, I got 5 bottles of Budvar for the party for 10 euro in an off license, good value for a great lager).Back to Karpackie, of all the cheap lagers i’ve tasted its the best and way better than Budweiser (what isnt?) and Heineken as well. Fairly decent if light flavour. 3/5

  15. stephen Says:

    i have bought your can of beer in ireland and i love the beer but when i buy a can of this beer and its half full i’m not going to premoit it to anyone i will change what i drink now

  16. paoloc. Says:

    version 9% is good

  17. Arigones Says:

    This beer is lovely. Nicer than the chemically canned Budweiser, Heineken etc. Lovely to drink. And at EUR5 for four cans, you can’t go wrong

  18. Tom Says:

    Damn, i can’t find this beer in Poland, and you find it in Britain…

  19. Bill Says:

    I became addicted to this beer in Los Angeles (where I could only find it in one supermarket, sold by the bottle and not cheap!). Am absolutely enthralled with Karpackie. The store stopped carrying it and I’m going crazy because none of the other beers compare to its sweet easy drinkability. Oh, I looked up the word from the front label “wysmienite” online and it means “excellent” or “delicious”, which it is.

  20. Martin Says:

    Thanks for this blog entry. Actually the first part (about the label and stuff) is very poor, but I agree with your judgement about the beer and its taste. I am a German living in Italy and I sometimes buy it, because it is one of the cheapest beers available (6x500ml for 3,59 EUR) but chilled it is still better then most other beers available in Italy at least in the “normal” price range, especially the Italian ones with corn in them.

  21. bizzjoe Says:

    i discovered karpackie recently here in limerick, ireland & have to say i find it very nice indeed & cheap at 15 euros for a box of 20 330ml bottles. i used to drink stella but found that after drinking a certain amount i would be running to the sink gasping for water.. so fuck stella.. & budweiser is just a pile of watery piss.. heineken not bad but you just know its full of chemicals.. & theres no alcohol in tea so i think i will be sticking to this polish tak for a while.. nummy

  22. Zillionz Says:

    Someone must have given you a bottle of Karpackie tainted with a drop of everyone’s urine to sample ahead of writing this review… 0.9 out of 10… how do you come to that stupid figure? Just look at all the comments left to your review… nobody agrees with you. Karpackie is fine, and its dirt cheap. Don’t pay this sap any attention, his only criteria for a beer to get a high rating is that it should have a high price… the more expensive the higher the rating he gives it… anyone that likes to drink beer knows that the relationship between cost and quality is a very poor one, with some of the cheapest beers on the market being some of the best.

  23. hm Says:

    la amo adoro questa birra è buonissima great beer better than tennent’s super 🙂 tennent’s is still great but this beer is very good, actually my favourite beer is karpackie super mocne 9% .

  24. dave Says:

    I very much enjoy this golden Polish lager. Here in New York we have stores that have this beer and the karpackie premium is very good but, the super beer karpackie is heavy and will mess u up fast good stuff.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    i am a lover of good beer and of the many i have tried over the years karpackie is one of the better beers i have tasted,good stuff.

  26. Anonymous Says:

    I just bought a 4 pack today cause it was cheap, I prefer Tyskie but this wasn’t half bad :>

  27. Johnny McIlroy (@Broone88) Says:

    Best beer I’ve tasted in a lot of years…and I ain’t no young ‘un. Don’t know how you can say it tastes like a cheap beer

  28. raf Says:

    i drink karpackie 9% every day and i love it. i used to drink tenants super daily but karpackie 9% is loads nicer! i

  29. Davey Beers Says:

    I love Karpackie premium lager and the super beer. This beer is a great summer lager that is for hot days. Here in New York City we get Karpackie and it tastes way better then Becks or Heineken etc. THIS REVIEW JUST SUCKS THE BIG ONE, THIS PERSON HAS NO TASTE. CHEERS KARPACKIE LOVERS.

  30. Todd Says:

    I just had one in Taiwan. It isn’t bad for an inexpensive lager. A bit on the sweet side for my taste.

  31. Darren Says:

    I would like to know what strength the beer is in the gold cans of tyskie

    • Anonymous Says:

      Hey Darren says. I think the tyskie gold cans are the same strength as normal one just a different coloured can? Any help. Ian stoke on Trent England.

  32. Anonymous Says:

    Special brew is very easy drinking I was on other supers now its my face strong la a from Ian stoke on Trent England.

  33. Anonymous Says:

    Does anyone know where I can get bellgars fizzy pair cider it came in normal sized wine bottles from b an em by the way it is not the normal pair cider alcohol by volume is 7.5 percent on this 1 lovely best ever drank in my time.?Ian stoke on Trent England.

  34. Anonymous Says:

    This is a chemical weapon to kill anyone who can handle I’ve drunk the 9%gravity version it’s lighter fuel they kill others with it not one Polish gene will touch I don’t give one YOU can’t kill same man twice GALLOWS HUMOUR DRINK THIS AND YIR A DEAD HEAD STICKER ON A CADILLAC WORK THAT OUT WITHOUT GOOGLE! -I’m smart if I keep on KARPACKIE I probably won’t be anything!!! LOL CHEESING YI XXXBRI

  35. Bri Rodgers Says:

    This is a chemical weapon to kill anyone who can handle I’ve drunk the 9%gravity version it’s lighter fuel they kill others with it not one Polish gene will touch I don’t give one YOU can’t kill same man twice GALLOWS HUMOUR DRINK THIS AND YIR A DEAD HEAD STICKER ON A CADILLAC WORK THAT OUT WITHOUT GOOGLE! -I’m smart if I keep on KARPACKIE I probably won’t be anything!!! LOL CHEESING YI XXXBRI

  36. Paul Camps Says:

    I prefer the older, mightier brother Karpackie 9%. That’s 4.5 lean units, delivered with surprisingly refreshing efficiency. It’s got a well rounded malty aftertaste, which towers over this particular one

  37. Solomon Spike Says:

    My brother let me tell you one time that Karpackie 9% lager is the one true king. I go to Southgate News, £1.20 for 4.5 units that will sent my body in to overdrive. Give me 4 cans of Karpackie 9% and I’m a happy man, I don’t want no of that tripe, I want KARPACKIE 9%

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