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Festival Birofilia 2010 (June 18-20, 2010 - Żywiec, Poland)

On June 17, 2010, 8 Lithuanians met in Marijampolė, where they started a trip to breweriana collectors market in Zywiec which was celebrating its 15th birthday. Treated with pudding, which was made by Remis, we packed our exchange funds, got in the bus, accepted the fact, that we were not going to see a part of the world football championship and moved towards the border. All the trips to the markets are similar but different at the same time. This trip was different because collectors knew a lot of jokes, which was more than enough to make our trip very entertaining. So we were in a very good mood.

We left home in the evening so on the next morning we stopped to rest in one of the many roadside taverns. To add variety, we ate cold beet soup, which was perfect with French fries, which we bought from McDonald's. 

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We had a plan to visit small polish breweries in Zywiec. First one in our route was Czenstochovia brewery-restaurant (www.czenstochovia.pl). Unfortunately, we were too early, and nobody opened the door, no matter how hard we have knocked. The brewery itself was opened in the end of 2009 and as we walked around, we saw that manager’s ambitions were and still are very big but at this time, everything is slowed down.

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Further followed the Gab brewery. In here also no one wanted to let us in. But in the nearby shop, we were able to find some beer from this brewery. Piwo Zlote 5.5% and Super Mocne 7.8% didn't even cost 2 zloty. Other brands are more expensive,that's Dragon’s Blood 5% and Dragon’s Eye 5%. 

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Third attempt to see something was successful. Browar Na Jurze welcomed us with all its outer beauty. Right away we rushed to the bartender, which told us that she pours out light 6,4% and dark 6,2% beer and it is possible to purchase Boner Pils 4% and Boner Mocne 6,6% beer. Near the entrance stands a huge barrel, which served us as a background and pedestal for the memorable photographs. 

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As we entered Zywiec, firs of all we decided to find a hotel, where we were supposed to stay in. But that wasn't so easy, because polish road builders had a great sense of humor not putting the right road signs for the roundabout way, when part of the road was being fixed. And we drove around in circles, believing and trusting all the wrong the road signs. However, we found the hotel. Because of the already mentioned road works, same as last year, we were late for the evening market. But in fact, we could say that we came in full swing. As we were walking around the territory, it became clear that this time market changed a lot. There was a new pavilion in the area of last year main collector's tents. Small brewers, which were settled in it, introduced their beer, let us taste it. There was also a voting for the best beer. Nearby the main tent there was a set of white tents, marked with logos of Zywiec beer. You could taste the main beer type’s samples there. Among wheaten beers, there was an option for Lithuanian beer "Švyturio baltas".This year there was an area with food, beer and also a huge stage, where you could watch rock and heavy music concert, which was not only for the market participants, but also for the local citizens.

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In the morning, market welcomed us with rain and closed gates, where a group of collectors were gathering. As we found out later, we have arrived too early, because gates were supposed to open only after half an hour. Well, but rain didn't wash away our good mood and the time passed very quickly. As soon as the gates opened, we had to run so that we could take better places. Club members split up to find what they wanted. As soon as all the places were taken, exchanges, negotiations, buying and selling consisted to a one big racket, which you can probably only see in anthill. Collectors were attracted by a foreign collector’s beer attributes, citizens were attracted by pretty beer cups, bottles or other eye-catching things. All day variety of attractions and contests were taking place on the small stage. Club members were also taking part in some of the contests. When the market was over, we gathered in the hotel, threw an after party and on the early morning we moved towards Lithuania. 

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