Perła Chmielowa

Amongst the many random things that I do, I spend about a week each spring predominantly underground. This isn’t part of my love of spelunking (as a child I bribed outdoor instructors to not make me go into caves. I am only slightly better now), a bear-like tendency to hibernate or due to being a vampire, but instead because I help out at the Sci-Fi-London film festival. From the Wednesday before the May Day bank holiday weekend until the Tuesday after I schlepp over to the Apollo Piccadilly Circus each day and herd punters between film screens. One of my favourite bits of the festival is the yearly pub quiz (that isn’t in a pub), during which I flash back to my barman days as I plunge my bare hands/arms into a bucket of ice to pull out, open and distribute beer to an increasingly drunk bunch of sci-fi fans – the numbness and chilblains take me back to the 2000 World Cup and serving endless cans of Carling to frowning England fans as Romania scored goals against us.

Anyways, one of the important parts of the pub quiz, and a quietly important part of the festival (for me, at least) is our beer sponsor. This year, to tie in with the Focus on Poland programme stream, we have BDD as sponsor who have given us a stack of Perła Chmielowa.


According to the label on the back it’s from Lublin in Poland and uses the local Lublin hops, “valued for their quality and unique taste the world over”. I’m not too sure about that, but this is not a bad beer by any stretch. Quite lively, it tried to escape the bottle when I cracked mine, it calms down in the glass to a closely bubbled medium gold lager, keeping some of the head after pouring. There’s not a lot on the nose, with a touch of cereals and a bit of malt, but it tastes a lot more – malty sweetness, a slight bitterness and a nice finish. Not as crisp as I like my pilseners, but a nice all-rounder that should fuel the pub quiz and Arthur C Clarke awards nicely.

Perła Chmielowa
5% Premium Polish Pils beer
Some availability from Polish speciality shops, or at Sci-fi-london – if you come along let me know and I’ll try and blag you a bottle or two. Come along to the pub quiz and you get to drink it and watch me get chilblains.

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