These photos are from my visit to the Lech Brewery in Poznan back in 2016, although I’m disappointed to see that they have now been permanently discontinued.
I managed to arrive a few minutes late due to circumstances beyond my control (I got a bit lost) and was rather nervous that I had kept around 50 people waiting when I saw the assembled crowd. It transpired that this group was for the Polish tour, whereas the tour English had just me and two Irishmen on it. They seemed to drink a lot of Guinness.
There was a walk across the brewery site to start with and the tour guide was enthusiastic and keen. He didn’t actually work for the brewery and was instead trained by them to offer the tours, but he was very engaged with the whole thing, so it was a good choice. However, he admitted that the brewery had told him that real ale wasn’t really going to take off in mainland Europe and it was becoming less popular in the UK. I suspect that was more wishful thinking from the brewery management, and I’m not sure that Lech has made much progress in the direction of real ale or craft beer at all.
My knowledge of the brewing process is limited, primarily as I seem to fail to be able to grasp anything scientific. I think I just like looking round factories and then having a drink, but I remember it was sufficiently interesting.
A model of the site.
At the end of the tour there was a drink provided at the brewery’s own bar.
This is a very poor photo, especially as I must have forgotten to take one when the glass was full (and that’s how it started off). I was also given a Lech bottle opener which I still have and is one of my favourite bottle openers (insomuch that I have favourites….)
Anyway, the tour was cheap to go on, the guide was engaging (and spoke English fluently), everything look sparklingly clean everywhere and the beer was as good as Lech gets. Since I visited the company has been taken over by Asahi Breweries and it’s disappointing they’ve chosen to stop tours entirely. I can’t confess to being a huge fan of Lech beer (and their reviews on Untappd are painful to look at) but I was impressed at the professionalism that was visible at the brewery itself.