Zywiec Beer | Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

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Zywiec BeerZywiec Beer

Brewed by:
Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 10-08-2001

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Ratings: 931 |  Reviews: 394
Photo of Ralphs66
3.53/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent lager....accompanied an excellent Hunter's Stew at a local Polish restaurant. Crisp bite, nice combination of malt and hops; but would have liked it to be a bit hoppier. Fruity undertones, fairly strong carbonation. Nice dry finish. Hazy gold with a fluffy white head that held on for a good bit. Probably served a bit too cold, so I let it sit for a while. Easy drinking and complimented the hearty stew nicely. If I'm back at this place, I'll have another. I may, however, ask them to serve it in something other than a Stella glass...

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Photo of metter98
3.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is crystal clear straw yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that faded away and left only a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: The nose has sweet aromas of malts.
T: There is a light to moderate amount of sweetness in the taste, which has notes of corn and grainy malt flavors. A bit of bitterness is noticeable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink but there’s nothing interesting enough in this that would make me want to try this again.

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Photo of thehyperduck
2.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

500 mL single bottle, with label that claims the brand to be Poland's "#1 Premium Beer". #1 in sales? Quality? I have no idea, but if it's #1 I obviously can't go wrong. Also, the label says it is 5.5% rather than the 5.7 listed here.

Pours the familiar translucent gold characteristic of most euro pales with a half-centimetre of white, soapy head on top. Retention is poor as this head vanishes within a minute or two, but some lacing remains behind. Some bubbles stream to the top but not an overwhelming quantity. Smell is grassy with a disheartening twinge of corn adjunct.

Taste is mellow and mostly smooth; and not really what I was expecting. Yeast and some grain malts with a surprisingly sweet undertone. Not much bitterness to speak of, but a floral hop presence is evident. Clean finish. Mouthfeel is light and watery with the high carbonation level expected of the style.

This is quite drinkable, but I'm still left to wonder why I would seek it out over things that are easier to find like Carlsberg, Grolsch, Heineken, etc. It's serviceable, but why bother going out of your way for that level of quality? If you're in the mood for any old euro lager, just grab what's readily available because they all have about the same to offer. If you're a lager fan and Zywiec is staring at you from the shelves, there's no reason not to give it a shot (it is super-cheap, after all), but don't expect much.

[Updated Dec. 13 2013]

Another bottle, this time compared side-by-side with Lech, Lezajsk and Zubr in a cheap Polish lager showdown. I was probably a little harsh on this one last time - it's a passable Euro lager, and although it claims the only ingredients are barley, hops and water, it sure tastes like they forgot to include 'corn' in that list. Not the worst imported lager I've ever had, but I would not place it in the upper half of that broad category, either.

Final Grade: 2.95, a C.

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Photo of Justin23060
3.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker side of golden with a stiff off white head. Smells sweet with some soapy leather. Taste is a lot higher quality than smell. Although taste is light and refreshing its a bit more flavorful than your average adjunct. I would have liked just a little bit more bitter hop to balance the cereal sweetness. A little more enjoyable after the leather burned off. Really enjoyed this one with a steak fajita. I'll get it again. Na zdrowie (Pronounced "Nasdrovia" - to your health in Polish).

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear, gold color with half-inch head and some lacing throughout. The aroma is citrusy with hints of honey and bread dough. It's flavor is well balanced beginning with honey followed by lemon. It has a medium mouthfeel and just the right amount of carbonation. Zywiec Beer is a very good brew, very refreshing and drinkable. Recommended!

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Photo of sixerofelixir
2.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle. Fresh-by date and coldness indicator on back label.

Pours a clear, super-lite, yellow. A white head disappears soon. Smell is fragrant biscuit, grasses, and a bit of mineral. Taste has a predominate bitterness that I can describe as "green bottle-like." Very grassy, litely citrusy hops and some malty lagerness. Finishes very dry, and with some simple sugar, and with some heat. Interesting beer, but may be a bit too bitter for my tastes.

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Photo of paxkey
1.83/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

this is my second in beers of eastern europe score at the lcbo. so far so bad.

pours light yellow with a smal white head. sweet malt. fizzy carbonate. chalky powdery sweetness. like fundip candy.

a tiny bitter bump at the end is instantly washed away in fizzy sweetness. like those peach fuzz candies. not nice.

terrible aftertaste lingers on and on.
must pour out.

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Photo of mrgrinch
3.06/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1. Appearance - short head, golden, clear, very carbonated

2. Smell - tangy almost skunky smell, typical of the style

3. Taste - "shark teeth" --Julian

4. Mouthfeel - thin, but refreshing

5. Drinkability - a good refreshing lager with that European taste. $6.50/six-pack is a good value.

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Photo of biegaman
3.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This glaringly gold beer is so shiny and sparkling that I almost don't want my girlfriend to see it, it'd be sure to put ideas of expensive jewelry in her head! It puts the thought of easy, carefree drinking in mine. Although its foam apparently had somewhere better to be, the bubbles stay for the long haul and even partially succeed in their rebuilding efforts.

The aroma has an unpleasant amount of adjunct character that I don't ever recall noting the numerous times I enjoyed the beer on-tap in Poland. This is far from the first time, however, that I've come across it here in the bottle. The crisp, toasty malts that loosely resemble warm bread suffocate in this stank of canned cream corn-like must.

Freshness is an indispensable attribute. The lager they call Zywiec in Poland was (and is still to this day) one of my most relished beer drinking experiences. It was everything a lager could be: consistent, clean, refreshing, flavourful, affordable and dangerously drinkable. The bottle, exported version still shows flashes of that, but not the whole picture.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, my initial review - which was written in Poland whilst sampling the beer extensively on-tap - was very favorable, and tried to show a side of the beer that, unfortunately, North American drinkers won't ever know unless they buy a plane ticket. But I think I've made that point already. Moving on.

Zywiec is not a bad tasting beer, and despite the inkling of corn adjuncts and/or preservatives, manages to land a fairly refreshing and clean bready maltiness. That being said, there's nothing that gives it a leg up on its European competitors and could easily be substituted for any number of the nearly identical industrial lagers on the shelf.

If you're the type who likes simple, conventional pale lagers - or if you're in the mood for one - you could do a lot worse than Zywiec. Even with the pasteurization, preservatives and (suspected) adjuncts, these Polish lagers aren't too far a cry from the more esteemed beers of Germany or the Czech Republic. If that's your scene, why not give it a try?

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Photo of Knapp85
1.68/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Had this at Blue Mountain Beer Fest last year for the first time. Poured out into a small cup that was given out upon entry. The beer poured out as a pale yellow, nothing overly exciting there. The aroma was a little skunky, Flavor was on the bitter side also a little light. Nothing made a major impact on me from this beer. I probably won't be seeking this one out anytime soon.

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Photo of rsdaugherty
2.81/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

500ml can into pint glass
A - Crystal clear, golden yellow with a 2+ finger white head that dissipated quickly, appears quite carbonated 3.5
S -Sweet over-ripe fruit, yeast and hay notes as well 2.5
T - yeast, biscuit, sweet malts, grains, finishes crisply, a slight floral hop 3
M - For the extreme clarity I was surprised by what is almost a medium body/mouth feel 3
O - A foreign BMC. Not a bad drink, but not something I would seek. Easy to consume but no great flavors. Noticeable odd bitterness after warming 2.5

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Photo of steven9000
2.9/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance- Clear as night golden lager color with an egg shell color head that dissipates in about 1 minute.

smell- Smells like an adjunct lager. All grain and just a touch of alcohol even though its only 5.5%

taste. Medium carbonation with some bready notes. The best part about this beer is the taste but im still not impressed. You basically get an adjunct lager with a bready note to it. Nothing off putting but simply just boring. When i drink beer i want something new or something thats unique from all the rest.

mouthfeel is light to medium. More on the medium side though. medium carbonation.

drinkability is high because there is not that much going on here. Even for summer i rather have a nice APA since there is WAY more flavor in a beer like alpha king but im a hop head so what do you expect. This beer is simply boring and just like any other boring macro lager but more expensive.

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Photo of foogerd
2.36/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Clear yellow small white head leaves over decent lacing.

S- Light malty corn smell, really not much here.

T- Some lightly bitter hops and light biscuity malts, definitely nothing offensive but nothing tasty.

M- Highly carbonated, pretty refreshing.

D- Very sessionable just not much taste here, I wouldnt pick this up if i saw it. Stick with Sam Smith if youre looking for a good Euro Lager.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured in ale glass at friend's house

A: yellow, very clear, great head (but dissipates quickly), nice lacing; inert carbonation
S: bright, sweet aroma
T: salty, nonsweet flavor; not complex, and rather forgettable
M: nothing remarkable

Overall, a non-offensive, but unmemorable beer.

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Photo of gatornation
3.63/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from a 500ml bottle

A-pours a clear light golden color with a 1 finger fresh white head

S- smell is bready malt with some grassy floral hops and a grainy lager taste

T- is grain and malt mixed with some floral wet grassy hops it has a funky malt aftertaste

M- is crisp and well carbonated pure tasting with very little alcohol

D- was high its pretty tasty and crisp easy to drink the 500 ml will buy this again

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear golden colour with a brief white head. Aroma is grainy and grassy with subtle citrus. Flavour is similar with hints of straw and light malt. Light bodied with lots of carbonation and a fairly short finish. Overall a decent lager which is very easy to drink but doesn't have a whole lot to it. You could do worse. Wanted to try a Polish beer.

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Photo of andrenaline
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a pale golden colour thin layer of head with little retention and some sporadic lacing.

S - Very light grassy hops with a bit of a wheat finish and the classic euro 'skunky' scent.

T - Much like all the other euro lagers, light grassy hops, saltine biscuit malt and some sweet corn on the finish. Nothing spectacular but at the same time, nothing offensive.

M - A lighter bodied ale that comes off a tad thin and finishes with a bitter dryness.

D - Easily drinkable, but a fairly average offering and I wouldn't purchase it again. Oddly enough, I found it to be similar to Heineken, and found it humerous that they were a subsidiary of the aforementioned brewery.

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Photo of tone77
3.74/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz. can. Has a pale yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is somewhat sweet, malts. Taste is good, sweet, malts, bitter at the finish, surprisingly flavorfull. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and is very drinkable. Overall a good quality brew.

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Photo of beerquestman
2.7/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Transparaent golden beer goodness

Smell: Smelt like wheat and yeast, but a bit of a sweetness

Taste: slight bitter finish, tasted like a heavy yeast beer, in fact it tasted like I was chewing on wheat in my mouth

Mouthfeel: pretty good, flowed well in my mouth

Drinkability: Fairly drinkable, bitterness and taste may slow you down a bit

I had it on tap while killing a layover in Wasrsaw, given I was traveling, it was a nice treat. I wouldn't go out of my way for it though, almost any beer would have done nicely on a 5 hour layover in Warsaw.

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Photo of Long813
1.96/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

A: Pale gold body with two fingers of white fluffy head. Retention is poor and leaves little lacing.

S: Aroma is filled with straw and some thing else off.

T: Corn/straw don't know what to call it and something else really disgusting. I would have thought it was a infected beer, but a number of them tasted the same.

M: Light bodied with high carbonation. Some alcohol present and that bad taste lingers for ever.

D: Disgusting beer in my mind, I tried hard to finish one bottle, never will again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.15/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

(Served in an Imperial strange)
A- The crystal clear golden-yellow body has a snow white bubbly head that is soon gone with a strong carbonation of big bubbles popping at the surfaced.
S- The dry clean aroma has some light green sulfur notes and a soft dry cooked corn hint in the finish. There is a dry pale malt with just a hint of sweetness that comes through a bit as the beer opens.
T- The light dry green Noble hops flavor gives way to a big carbonic acid bite in the finish
. M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a big fizzy finish and no alcohol heat.
D- This beer is nice and clean in the aroma with a good hint of grain. The carbonic acid is just to big and bitey but it does scrub away much of the flavor. It would be nice on a very hot day but I would prefer more grain flavor and less fizz to show some of the hops.

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Photo of southsider
3.06/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured ice cold from an 11.2 oz bottle into a pilsner glass.Contrary to other reviewers my bottle has a best before date AND the silly temperature sensitive logo.

A-Poured brilliantly light golden into the glass with a large soapy head. Small bubbles rose constantly from the bottom of the glass.

S-Delicately sweet and musky.

T-Starts sweet and biscuity with a fizzy carbonation.Middle has a light fruity hop bitterness.Finish continues the bitterness with a touch of metal.

M-Light and slightly acidic.

D-Fairly bitter lager tastes great with fresh polish sausage and pierogis. Dziekuje! Let's polka!

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Photo of e11iott
3/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Bottle was 11.2oz Poured straw yellow, 1 fat finger head, small amount of lacing. Label also said 5.6%, label stated awarded prized, odd that it didn't list them.

S: Sweeter than expected, also hint of wheat.

T: Not a large bitter bite as was hoping for.

M: Overall smooth

D: The back of my bottle had a "beer thermometer", when logo appeared making it ideal temperature.Was playing cards at the time, and went back to my beer, thought I had a complete different beer.I prefered it warmer the recommended.

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Photo of kjyost
2.62/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle gifted at Christmas and poured into a large tulip-like glass.

A: Pours a golden clear body with a light white head that lasted better than expected with light lacing.

S: Vegetal aromas dominate. Some light sweet corn comes through.

M/T: Clean beer that finishes dry that has an unfortunate cooked cabbage taste in the middle. Carbonation is biting.

D: OK for style, not something will reach for again.

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Photo of jhtipton
3.22/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a half litre bottle at the Al Campo store for about a buck fitty. Pours a decnt white light foamy head. Has that tradition Euro Lager skunky smell which I personally don't mind. Taste is a bit better than the other macro euro lagers although somewhat sweeter than normal. Mouthfeel is lightbodied and carbonated. Drinkability is slightly above average although I would prefer something a tad more bitter on a warm spring day.

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Zywiec Beer from Zywiec Breweries PLC (Heineken)
3.07 out of 5 based on 931 ratings.
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