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Checking out the Ciechan

By some bloke at Cor Blimey!

Posted June 01, 2013
Browar Ciechan makes great Polish lager cor blimey
Boozebath: The Ciechan brewery even has it's own swimming pool. © Harry, apparently.

Ever since Dr Miltov Lamprey (struck off) wrote about Ciechan beer, the whole world has been abuzz with this glorious Polish lager. Sort of.

You've visited breweries before, course you have, but have you visited one like Ciechan (pronounced 'checkan')?

Not here spotless staff in scientist outfits and long, gleaming corridors that look like a nuclear lab.

Ciechan, located about a third of the way between Warsaw and Olsztyn, is the opposite and a bit of a surprise.

Like turning up to a Spanish timeshare to find that instead of a luxury condo you've been sold a derelict construction site with a rotting donkey by the gate.

So yeah, Browar Ciechan1 is not what you expect.

Brewing since 1864, its disintegrating outhouses look like they've been smashed by a bomb – but reassuringly so.

Having this noble brew concocted in some faceless research facility just wouldn't feel right.

As such, your whistle-stop tour (book in advance so they can locate an English speaker), takes explorers wading through barley and past topless calendars, clattering down stairwells and ducking low ceilings.

Deep underground, you're escorted to the fermentation rooms, dark slippery cellars filled with dials and rust, before making it back to the rattle and din of the bottling room.

Here elf-like men scuttle around in earmuffs, their shouts and commands obscured by the firecracker sounds.

With 4,000 bad boys bottled in an hour, it's no sweat for the guide to grab one from the conveyor and give you a little something – it's been a hard day, you deserve it.

With the tour done, the real work begins.

On-site you've two options for getting gattered: a pub and a club.

In the bad old days these were recreational premises for the local SS unit; now though, the sieg heil has been replaced by the sieg hurl – at least it will be once you achieve the boyhood dream of getting banjoed in a brewery.

The original version of this article first appeared in Cor Blimey. It appears here now because they still owe us for that hair we bought them at Christmas, the tightwads.

See also Check out the Ciechan, posted 20/9/12.


1) Browar, in case you hadn't guessed, is Polish for 'brewery'.

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