Phones fail, compasses flounder and people vanish: filled with some of the best booze the city has to offer, good luck surviving Warsaw’s ‘Beer-Muda Triangle’…
Illustration by Maria Mileńko
ul. Chmielna 35
Having promised to never return following an incident with a waiter, we’ve done exactly the opposite… and become regulars! Views of scantily-clad shoppers wiggling down the street are one attraction, though the biggest is the Czech ‘tank’ pouring system. Order the mliko, a beer that’s all creamy froth that you can sink down in seconds.
ul. Chmielna 27/31, chmielcafe.pl
The most sophisticated of this bunch, those harboring suspicions of entering anywhere with the word café in its name have this to consider: 100+ Belgian beers. That means all the big stars right the way down to relative obscurities. In-depth investigation is required, and best conducted while basking on their terrace.
ul. Chmielna 27/31
You’re in good hands here – opened under the patronage of the Pracownia brewery, this small-scale operation goes beyond merely offering the beers of its sponsor. There’s 12 taps in all, a decent fridge (that, unlike some, isn’t hidden from view) and an ace burger – hooray!
Multitap Bla Bla
ul. Nowogrodzka 22, blabla.com.pl
Looking murky and in need of a good scrub (and that’s just the glasses), you feel Bla Bla is simply here to suck up overspill from its more high-profile neighbors. Ten taps here, usually carrying beers you know inside out. But you will find a seat and there’s a kebab shop next door.
ul. Żurawia 32/34 (enter from Parkingowa)
We don’t like: the sweaty toilet, strange smells and queue scrum. We do like: the 24hr opening hours, humongous fridge and 50+ taps. Seen in the light it’s a little depressing, so visit at night when Parkingowa takes on the look of an end-of-term street party.
ul. Nowogrodzka 10, bibenda.pl
You can’t accuse Bibenda of being obsessive hop boffins, but you can trust them to sniff out a good beer. Six taps deal drinks from local market leaders such as Artezan and Widawa, and they’re largely enjoyed by an affable audience that fills the gap between hipster and new money.
ul. Nowogrodzka 12, taproom.pl
Prices go from affordable all the way up to, ‘bloody hell, how much!?’ Find a staggering choice on pump, tap and in the fridges, with the international selection accrued by true aficionados: the beers are brill, and so are some of the beards. We’re still awaiting the promised garden, so in the meantime enjoy an appealingly coarse interior that features original tilework that’s over 100 years old.
Kufle i Kapsle
ul. Nowogrodzka 25, kufleikapsle.pl
All levels of drinkers are catered for in this raw-looking space, from those ready to pay nosebleed prices for beers with spaceships on the label, right the way down to novices taking their first baby steps in the world of craft booze. The toilets are unisex, meaning there’s usually one idiotka putting a spanner in the queue code.
- RONDO DE GAULLE
Cuda Na Kiju
ul. Nowy Świat 6/12
Where it all began. Summer catches Warsaw’s original tap bar at its best, with the courtyard of the former Communist Party HQ now home to an entirely different kind of party: on occasions find food trucks and film screenings, and at all other times just a massive crowd getting sloshed on 15 types of tap beer.