7 years and 6 moths... – this is the time during the 1000 year old history of Gdansk, when no beer was brewed. It was the time from February 2001 when the brewery in Wrzeszcz sas been closed, until July 2008 when this dry season ended with the opening of Brovarnia Gdańsk.
Europeans always divided into those drinking wine – in the south – and the ones who prefer beer – in the northern part of the continent. Archeological studies of the oldest settling layers of Gdansk, in the meander of Motlava river, conducted after the last world war, have shown that 1000 years ago its inhabitants also drank beer. It was made out of oat, sometimes out of barley, and ts bitterness and durability was the result of adding hop, just like nowadays.
Since the establishment of first local monisteries in the XIIth century, beer was in their daily menu. It was produced on site, at the begining just for internal needs, later also for takeaway. It was in the monisteries, where the first breweries developed. The oldest one was the Olivian Cysterians Brewery, existing until 1833.
Beer was also delivered to the prince's court and to knight's courts in the vicinity. After Gdansk received municipal rights in the XIIIth century, a new numerous group of beer consumers occured – townspeople. The industrial production starts, and a new profession comes into existence – brewers. Barley defeats oat in the beer production process and yeast also becomes part of it.
The Teutonic Knights continued to control the beer production. Surviving registers say, that they have kept 37 tons of hop. This shows, that there was a brewey at the castle, which is also proven in one of the listings. In the rich Gdansk references from times before the partitions of Poland, one may find a great variety of beers.
Many kinds were brewed here: “gdańskie” (Gdansk beer), “stołowe” (table beer), “krolling”, “jopejskie”, “okrętowe” (shipborne beer), “gorzkie” (bitter beer), “białe” (white beer), “czarne” (black beer) etc. The best and most expensive was “Jopejskie” beer, produced in Gdansk since the Teutonic Order times, from which the name of Jopejska Street derrived (Piwna Street today), and which was exported to other cities and to the countryside in great quantities.