Wargaming Tournament Trip, Part V – Beer Festival!

This is mean, but I just couldn’t resist texting my husband (who’s a craft beer fanatic) and telling him, “Guess where I’m going today? I’m such an ass.

The festival was (as mentioned before) at Legia Stadium, and I was early so I stood outside for an hour with four other guys who were as anxious as I to sample Poland’s offerings. I asked a question of one particular portly man, and he was a little stand-offish at first. He warmed up to me though. He was secondarily a Czech Hewlett-Packard employee—primarily, he was an avid beer label collector. He told me he had more than 300,000!

He was a nice guy actually, and even bought me a ticket to the festival. (Don’t get too excited – they were only $2.50 each.)

I got the Golden Ticket.

Once inside, (it was held in kind of the concession area at the top of the stadium) there seemed to be 20-30 stands, some with multiple brewers, and a good selection of Polish craft beer. Craft beer is still pretty new in Poland it seems, and they haven’t yet figured out how beer festivals are meant to work.

Why, Poland? WHY?

Poland's idea of a sample.

Rather than giving out samples, they wanted to pour you a full glass of beer. It was cheap – maybe one or two dollars—but there’s no way you can drink multiple glasses of craft beer and still remember your name. I ended up sipping a sample for a little, then sneaking to the downstairs ladies room to dump the rest of it out. That process didn’t allow me to try more than a handful (the highlight was one called “Smoky Joe” – a smoky stout by Hop Head Browar) so in a way, the experience was disappointing. I think there were many, many good beers there, and it was sad not to have my way with all of them.

In the end, I did have enough to put me in the kind of reckless mood that makes me think things like, “Let’s order an extra large pizza at midnight!” so on the way back to the hotel, I bought a little treat from a small bakery.

I don’t know what it was called. In fact, I only know four things about it:

1. It cost around $.70.
2. It had an unexpected cookie-like texture
3. It was stuffed with Nutella.
4. It was friggin’ delicious.

Back at the hotel, I attended a Wargaming “welcome” dinner and cocktail hour at the baroque bar on the 40th floor. Sadly, my photos of the bar came out like crap, so instead, enjoy Poland’s loud-and-proud support of Heinz catsup.

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