Saturday 5th October 2013
Szczecin is a large city and port on the River Oder (Odra) that was the German city of Stettin until the end of the Second World War, when it was ceded to Poland. Prior to 1630 it was part of the Dukedom of Pomerania before it became part of the Swedish Empire. The Swedes turned it into a fortress until following the Great Northern War in 1720 it became part of Prussia. Prussia, of course, became part of Germany on unification in 1871 and that's the way it stayed until 1945.
This is a beautiful looking little brew pub on a small square just away from the hubbub of a busy city. On this particular day I was with beer drinking companion Russell and although we were aware that the pub's opening time was advertised as 13.00, we weren't exactly sure where it was, so we went looking for it.
Our intention was to locate it, then go for a beer in another local pub, to be back on the doorstep at opening time. So, you can imagine our pleasure when we found it open at 12.10. There was a meeting on the first floor so I guess that was why.
The building was opened as the city's military headquarters in October 1867 during the Prussian regime and it remained as such until 1908 when it was handed over to the city authorities. After the Second World War it became the headquarters of the Polish Film Distribution Board.
Now the property is occupied by law firms, small businesses and the brew pub. The name Stara Komenda means "Old Headquarters".
After walking through the impressive entrance we could see an outside drinking area directly ahead. We went another door on the right and there was a small bar-room that was empty and unstaffed. Turning left towards the sound of conversation we entered the main room. It has a really nice feel about it, relatively basic yet atmospheric nevertheless.
At the far end of the room we could see the bar area on the left and behind it, on the right, the gleaming brewery. It was built by Kasper Schultz, the famous company of Bamberg, Germany. There are three regular beers:
Jasne, a light lager in the Pilsener style.
Bursztynowe, a dark brown lager.
Pszeniczne, a wheat beer.
Naturally, the seasonal beer at this time of the year was: Oktoberfestbier which was in the Märzen style.
Because of the earlier opening I was able to sample three different half litres and these, with my notes, are detailed here in the order I consumed them.
Bursztynowe was in the Dunkel style and thought it good, with a medium taste and a nice finish with slight bitterness. Oktoberfestbier was the correct taste for a Märzen, a bit too sweet for me, but well made nevertheless. After the first beer, we were joined by Vaughan and Patrick and they got stuck in.
There is always a special seasonal beer and these are some of those already brewed: Świąteczne (Christmas), a smoked Märzen; Czame, a black beer; Czeski Ležak, a Czech light lager; Kalifornijski Sen (Calfornian Dream), an American Pale Ale; Dunkelweizen, a dark wheat beer; Irish Porter and Witbier, a Belgian style wheat beer.
Too soon, I had to leave my drinking companions to catch a train to Germany. They were just perusing the menu prior to ordering a meal. They later reported it as being very good. As can be seen, this is a great pub that shouldn't be missed if you are in the city.
Browar Stara Komenda, Plac Batorego 3, Szezecin 70207. Tel: 914 234 445
Open: Sunday-Monday 13.00-22.00; Tuesday-Thursday 13.00-24.00;
One side of the square outside is the Avenue of the 3rd May which continues northward to become the main artery of the city. Several tram routes run along this street. The main railway station is about 400 metres away. It has Inter City trains to Poznan, Warszawa and Gdansk. There is a local service to Angermünde in Germany that has connections by Regional Express to Berlin. There is an airport that has flights to many European destinations including London and other UK airports.