The beer that's poles apart from our own

I REMEMBER reading a story about John Fitzgerald Kennedy when he was running for office early in his career as a politician.

JFK was in the Polish part of some city and the speakers who preceded him had done a fantastic job of absolutely butchering the difficult Polish surnames.

Things had got so bad the crowd was starting to boo and jeer each mispronunciation.

JFK got up and said every name with its plethora of Zs and Ys and Ws and Ks perfectly - and the crowd roared its approval.

He had gone to the trouble to learn how to say them properly, and it was worth every tongue-tying moment.

I was reminded of this last weekend when Hugh the Neighbour and I sat down to try a couple of beers from the Zywiec brewery in Poland.

Even after listening to Google telling us how to pronounce it, neither of us had much success in getting it right.

This, fortunately, did not interfere with our enjoyment of the Original Beer and the porter that were available at our local Chapel of St Dan's.

A friend of HTN's recommended the beers, and I have to admit the Original Beer was something of a revelation.

A 5.6% ABV pale lager, it is a lovely golden colour in the glass with a crisp taste that is more complex than other beers of the region.

We thought it would make a reappearance in the fridge come summer.

The porter was a bit different.

At 9.5% ABV, it is neither a drink for the faint-hearted nor one to take to a session.

It has heaps of caramel malty flavours and a pleasant nose. It pours with a full creamy head that lasts for the duration.

As Hugh pointed out though, the James Squire Jack of Spades tasted more rounded and was a fair bit cheaper into the bargain.

But if you want something to take to a special event, and are not too afraid of making a fist of it when asked to say the name of what you are drinking, give either of them a go.


Zywiec Original Beer, 330ml bottles, 5.5% ABV, $23 per six pack.

Zywiec Polish Porter, 330ml bottles, 9.6% ABV, $24 per six pack.

Topics:  beer jfk my shout with simon irwin opinion

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