Thursday 3rd October 2013
This brew pub-restaurant is situated on the ground floor of the Hotel Gdańsk, which itself is housed in a beautiful old former granary that was first recorded on mortgage records in 1690. It is located on the far side of the Motlava river at the point its navigation, the Nowa (New) Motlava joins the original watercourse. It is just a ten minute walk from the Old Town and there are wonderful vistas of the famous restored Gdańsk waterfront from the front of the hotel. You can both drink in this view and have a drink in the summer when there are seats and tables outside.
Gdańsk, or as it has been several times in its history: Danzig, the German name, is a very old city indeed. I won't dwell on its early history very much, except to say it was one of the most important ports in the Hanseatic League.
When the granary was first mentioned the city was in Poland, which was then part of a union with Lithuania. This lasted quite a long time until 1793 when it was annexed by the King of Prussia and became part of that country.
When the Prussians were defeated by the forces of Napoleon in 1807 it became a Free City, the first time this happened. Anyway, this didn't last long and by 1815 after Napoleon's string of defeats, it became Prussian again. In 1871 Prussia was one of various countries, principalities, etc, that formed the German nation. This situation continued until after the First World War when, as part of the Treaty of Versailles, Danzig became a Free State for the second time.
The Versailles convention also created a new Poland and although that the country was granted the minor seaport of Gdynia, it still had such a vast amount of coal to export and other goods to import, that it was given free access to the port of Danzig. The city was physically connected to the German state of East Prussia but was separated from the rest of the German nation by the "Polish Corridor" that led from Poland to Gdynia and there were several disputes from Germany regarding access to Danzig.
Whilst Gdynia was being developed into the port it is today, Poland had to use Danzig. This led to tensions and although most of these were worked out, the financial collapse of Germany led to the Nazi party gaining a lot of supporters amongst the majority Germans in Danzig.
The Second World War was the result when Germany invaded Poland on the pretext of securing access to Danzig. Thus, with all the horrors of that war, it became part of the German nation for the last time. But, In 1945 it formed part of the new Polish state.
Surprisingly the old granary survived all of this sometimes violent, history. If walls had ears and eyes....?
When I visited the restaurant they were celebrating Oktoberfest despite it being a very long way from Bavaria!
Although there was space at some of the tables I took a stool at the crowded bar. The main rooms are decorated in fake Bavarian decor. The brewery is located behind the bar and I eventually got a menu to look at the beer offerings.
There were three regular beers and one special as follows:
Jasne, a light lager in the German Hell style.
Starogdanskie Cienne, dark Bavarian Dunkel type.
Pszeniczne, a wheat beer.
Oktoberfestbier was the special amber lager.
I tried everything except the wheat beer, and this what I thought: The Dark was really good, with a good balance between the dark malts and a nice medium bitterness. The Oktoberfestbier was also well thought of, having a pleasant autumnal flavour. The Light was all right but did not have the hop smack of the other two.
So, in conclusion, the beers here are well worth the short journey from the touristic attractions of the city.
Browarnia Gdańsk, ul Szafarnia 9, Gdańsk. Tel: 583 201 970
Open: Sunday-Thursday 13.00-23.00; Friday-Saturday 13.00-24.00
As it located in a road that doesn't go anywhere important there are no bus or tram routes immediately close so it is better to walk to the Old Town for these.
The main station has rail connections to all over Poland. It also has excellent bus and tram connections. Gdansk has an International airport with flights to all over the continent including the UK.