A group of us spent a weekend in Kraków, Poland for Ed Shaw‘s 40th birthday. The trip was booked through ChilliSauce and I have nothing but good words to say about their organisation of our activities and accommodation. ChilliSauce also offer the option of an evening tour guide for the city centre. If you’re planning a trip to Krakow, take a read of the following review and perhaps ask for a tour guide to help you locate each of these fantastic venues.
We had a list of places we wanted to visit based on a few Google searches, with no real idea of what to expect. We knew we’d picked the right city when we arrived at our first stop, Multi Qlti. The good news is, Poland gets craft beer. Everywhere we went on this trip has nailed the format. Good clear signage of the beers on tap (most had a number associated with it to help with the language barrier) and an accessible fridge for browsing bottles and cans. This may sound like the basics you’d come to expect, but many pubs at home still manage to get this wrong.
Multi Qlti can be found at Szewska 21, 31-009. It’s located above street level, with window seating looking out over the city centre below. They have twenty beers on tap plus bottles and cans. It was a good casual starting point for the early evening on Saturday, day one of our two day tour. From here we moved on to House of Beer at Świętego Tomasza 35, 31-027, a short ten minute walk through the city centre. House of Beer seemed to be popular venue, with lots of big groups filling up the pub’s two floors (street level and an arched ceiling basement). It was difficult to see the full extent of what was on offer at the bar, but it looked to be the widest selection of the trip (perhaps worth noting that some of this was spirits).
Our last stop for night one of the tour was Viva La Pinta at Floriańska 13, 31-019 a three minute walk from House of Beer. Viva La Pinta is a smaller bar set back from the main street with mostly outdoor seating, which was great for an early September night. If memory serves me right the area is heated. We came back here again on day two of the trip.
We got started again mid afternoon the following day with a 15 minute trek out of the city centre to Weźże Krafta at Dolnych Młynów 10/3, 31-124. When you start to think you might have gone the wrong way, rest assure you’re almost there! It actually felt a lot like home turning up at a run down industrial estate in search of good beer. Weźże Krafta is a fairly big room, which was empty when we arrived. It took me a while to get back into the swing of things with my first beer of the day. I was mostly enjoying the decor of the place, which matched exposed work unit chic with neon lights and 1950’s American diner style furniture.
From Weźże Krafta we walked up along the Vistula River to T.E.A Time at Dietla 1, 31-070. This is about a half hour walk, so you may want to take a taxi if you’re choosing to follow our route. T.E.A Time have a slightly strange British influence to their branding, decor and beers, with some leaning more towards real ale. I didn’t quite get the reason behind the theme. T.E.A brew their own beer on site in the basement. We tried a few, including a nice and hazy 6% New England IPA called Anaconda.
Before retreading some of Saturday’s steps in the city centre we walked across to the Jewish Quarter to check out two more great pubs. One of which, Strefa Piwa (at Józefa 6, 31-056) has an cool diagram of beer styles painted on it’s arched ceiling and a decent stack of board games (we had a few competitive rounds of Dobble). The other pub, Omerta is just around the corner at Kupa 3, 31-057. Omerta has a selection that rivals House of Beer, with two bars on opposite sides of the room, which makes it look as if it was once two pubs that they chose to knock through. Unless I was very, very drunk by this point, I think they also had two entrances?
Our last pub of the trip was the Pracownia Piwa brewery’s tap house at Świętego Jana 30, 31-018. Here they serve their own beers, brewed on the outskirts of Kraków in the small town of Modlniczka, as well as a fair selection of guest beers, available on tap and from the fridge.
All in all, a great weekend. We’d highly recommend a visit to Kraków for any craft enthusiasts looking to venture outside of the UK. The beer scene in Poland has a useful online tool (which I found while writing this review) called OnTap, that allows you to browse listings of craft pubs and bars by city and also see what they’ve currently got “on tap”. Check it out at ontap.pl.