While we don’t typically think of Poland as a brewing powerhouse, it would certainly be wrong to underestimate the brewing culture of this nation and its proud people. The history of Polish brewing goes back at least one thousand years, to the beginnings of the Polish state itself, and the Poles have been able to help preserve certain beer styles, like the Baltic Porter, that in many other places died out. Currently, Baltic Porters can be enjoyed well outside of the north-eastern area of Europe due in no small part to the handful of brewers who helped preserve the style – including prominent brewers in Poland. Unfortunately certain other styles of beer have not been so lucky, such as Poland’s own Grodziskie, an unusual smoked wheat ale that essentially died out when the last brewer to make it closed down during the 1990s.
The Lomza Brewery (spelled “Łomża” in Polish and – we’ll try our best here – pronounced “wom-zhah” – the “zh” sort of like the “g” in “mirage”) was founded in 1968 in the city of Lomza, an area specifically chosen after intensive chemical analysis for its excellent local water. Focused primarily on servicing their local market in northeast Poland, they do export limited quantities of their beers to other countries – for which we’re quite grateful. The fall of the iron curtain certainly helped in that regard. By 1994, food and beverage companies in Poland began to leave state control and privatize, allowing them the flexibility to adapt to the new markets that had now opened up to them around the world. It was in 1997 that Lomza began exporting to the U.S., in response to the impassioned pleas of Poles living here in America.
If you can read Polish and would like to learn more, visit www.browarlomza.pl