Time to dive into yet another cheap “Eurotrash” brew. Now, I borrow the term “Eurotrash” from the co-owner of my shop, who routinely dismisses what has honestly been one of our more popular beers. Perhaps by virtue of it being the only Polish beer we have on hand, Okocim O.K. Beer is pretty standard that when someone comes in asking for Polish brews, they usually mean this one.
However as is required, I will attempt to review this beer on its own merits and according to what I’m presented with. To start out with, it pours pretty much exactly as you might imagine. Pale, golden and transparent, it arrives in its glass looking exactly as it ought to. As though it were an avatar for the standard expectation of what a beer ought to be.
The head produced is of a tame and fizzy character, not lasting long and soon fizzling out into a simple lily pad formation of residual bubbles. Smelling rather standard, little jumps out to the nose short of the slight traces of what seem to be lager yeast and malt. In truth, even these scents are themselves tame and rather subdued.
At a sip, it is again exactly what you might expect, with the slightly skunky off flavor of a mass produced lager which in its own right comes across as something akin to a slightly improved Heineken. Beneath the initial lagery sort of lightness, a gentle sort of malt profile swims about, rising up just a bit in a lightly bitter fashion just before the finish, which is itself sort of fusel and acerbic. This acerbic note comes in as slightly surprising given the beers humble 5.6% ABV and altogether pale character.
A brewery with 171 years under their belt, I am led to believe by way of conversations with friends of mine from Poland, that this is sort of Okocim’s standard basic release, with other more flavorful brews from them on the market throughout Poland and parts of Europe. As this is itself the only Polish import I have thus far had the chance to try, I will regard it as the dime store export offering sent to cater to what have traditionally been American tastes for watery, uncomplicated yellow fizzy beer. Suppose we can’t really blame them in this case.
Now for what it is worth, as unimpressed with this brew as I am, I would still likely take such over the standard American fare offered by the multinational mega breweries such as Bud, Miller or Coors. Still ranking it somewhere close to such brews, it does maintain enough dynamic flavor to deserve some distinction. Additionally, as such fits with previous efforts to review beers which are both considered alternative brews for American drinkers which still remain within budgetary constrictions, this 16 oz. can retailing in New Hampshire for roughly $2.15 rather fits the bill.
Though not blown away, I am also not entirely let down, instead finding this inspiring a shrug and sense of “well, it’s not too bad I suppose.” For this then, I’ll offer to Okocim, to the craft brewers of Poland (wherever they are) and you, my standard salute upon review and say quite simply…
While the brand may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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