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Żywiec beer (Polish pronunciation: [ʑiviɛts]) is a Polish medium-light bodied pilsner beer that is popular in Poland and gaining popularity in the United States and all over the world.


Żywiec beer has been brewed in the village of Żywiec, Poland for almost 150 years at the Żywiec Brewery. Żywiec Brewery began exporting its products in 1913. They began exporting and extended its distribution to other towns of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which include Budapest, Ostrava and Cieszyn.

Żywiec beer spread all over the world when Polish residents traveled and immigrated to other countries and brought Żywiec beer along with them. It spread to such countries as France and Great Britain mostly due to WWII. Żywiec is by far the most popular beer in Poland, and has had good success in other countries and continents, and is quite popular in heavily Polish populated cities in the United States such as Chicago and Buffalo, NY.

In the 1990s, the brewery was acquired by Heineken International and was also thoroughly modernized. It is currently considered to be one of the most modern breweries in the world. Żywiec Beer has become a symbol of Polish pride and Polish recognition for many Poles.

Bottle and packaging

The Żywiec logo includes all of the most important historical symbols of the brewery and Poland itself. Żywiec Beer’s prominent front label displays a dancing man and woman. This dancing couple is dressed in classic Krakow dancing clothes. Krakow’s coat of arms is represented with the crown in the middle of the couple. The coat of arms is also represented by the three Spruce trees displayed on the bottom of the label and the year 1856 on top underneath the crown. The name Żywiec is placed on the red sash across the middle of the label with the golden trimming. The Żywiec logo is the most famous mark and brand of beer in Poland and the trademark of the entire brewery.

Żywiec Beer is sold by the 1pt. can, 1pt. bottles and by the keg. In the United States, it also is sold by 12-pack and 6-pack bottles (12 oz.). It is still brewed by means of traditional methods using all-natural ingredients and mountain spring water.


Żywiec Pilsner beer is a light pilsner beer that is 5.6% ABV. It is made as naturally as possible using Poland’s mountain spring water. The taste is quite unique, yet simple.

Żywiec pours with a pale yellow color with a good sized head leaving a lace behind and is very clear. Streams of carbonation rise from the bottom of the glass to the top.

Its aroma consists of clover, honey, hops and malt, backed by a spicy noble hop, and finishes with just a note of sweetness. While drinking, the “mouth feel” is thin and lightly carbonated, crisp while medium-light bodied.

The taste is lightly hopped (Saaz detected) and a balance of maltiness. There is some light crispness in the middle, and finishes with the sweetness increasing exponentially and leaves quite a fruity trace behind it along with a trace of alcohol. Clean, crisp and a fairly narrow flavor profile as would come from a good Lager.

Żywiec come is three varieties: Żywiec Full a pilsner, Żywiec Full Light a light pilsner, Żywiec Porter is a dark porter and brewed in Cieszyn Brewery.

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