September and a chocolatey hell

Tuesday, 8 October 2019

A new couple, still in the throes of love, would call it a halfyear or a six-month anniversary. We’ve been in business of half a year!  In all honesty, it raced past just as fast as the leaves fell from the trees, because this year autumn showed her true face like rarely before.

There was Częstochowa (the 6th Częstochowa Festival of Beer), there was Kraków (the Festival of Beer, Wine and Cider), and finally an event modelled on the real Oktoberfest! It could not have been better. And that’s because we finally saw the premier of our Hellżbieta, a beer styled after a rye stout. This is the fifth beer from Pilica Brewery, made as a Brewers Collaboration, that is a collaboration between professional brewmasters. And at this point, I’d like to give a shout out to Seweryn Pająk from ReCraft Brewery for undertaking a collaboration with us and for taking part in the truly amazing adventure of creating the first dark beer at Pilica. Along the way, I had the opportunity to learn about many new issues related to brewing from a more experienced colleague.  
A word of introduction, the name of the beer. The Queen of Poland, the third wife of Władysław Jagiełło, that is Elżbieta Granowska of Pilcz (as Pilica was originally known). In Old Polish, the name was written with a silent ‘H’ at the beginning, which was the inspiration for Hellżbieta. There’s a solid portion of the soul of Pilica in this name, born in the infernal depths.
The truth lies of course in the taste of the beer, hellishly chocolatey, with coffee notes, full of a light bitterness and contrasting sweetness – see for yourself what it’s like!  
But getting back to Elżbieta. After the death of her father, she received a sizeable inheritance, Pilica and Łańcut with all of their lands. She did not come from a royal family, which is why the milieu in which she found herself sought to discredit her with the most varied and probably false rumours. It was believed among other things that she cast a spell on old Jagiełło to sway him towards thoughts of marriage. This may have been true, as whoever has ever been in love knows that it’s a kind of magic. And a man does not become a hen-pecked husband for no reason. What would we men do without our beloved “witches”. After Elżbieta’s death, her body was interred at Wawel Castle in the Mansjonarska Chapel, yet a mere 12 years later she was forced to make way for the body of Stefan Batory. Since then, all trace of her remains has been lost. I am fully convinced that even today, she can be encountered in Pilica. A body which has once been laid to rest should not be disturbed from its eternal slumbers, but if this does happen, the spirit will know no peace and wander endlessly through the land. Let the brave among you find out. Pilcza – Smoleń castle, a full moon at midnight, and All Souls’ Day just for good measure.
And who now is weak in the knees from fright !?:)
To the Queen of Pilica! To your health!

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