Beer is a popular and the most preferred alcoholic beverage among consumers around the world. In Poland its annual consumption amounts to nearly 100 litres per capita, thus our country is among the world leaders in this field. The perception of beer has been significantly reoriented over the last twenty years. The beer revolution and the related changes in the brewing industry contributed this beverage to achieve a status of prestigious drink. The market of innovative craft beers develops very dynamically for they are, in terms of flavour and quality, an interesting diversified alternative to mass brands. Among them „beer specials” dominate. This term is usually used to describe all the top and bottom fermentation beers other than traditional lagers and pils. A trend of premiumisation has emerged; the expectations of consumers continue to grow regarding the quality of beer, its composition, sensory properties and healthpromoting potential. On the market there are more and more offers of beers containing bioactive additives, minerals or gluten-free. In this paper there was characterised the current situation on the Polish beer market, including its overall structure and that of the speciality and functional beers. In details were discussed raw material and technological aspects of producing functional beers, such as: non- and low-alcoholic, gluten-free, isotonic, probiotic, xanthohumol-fortified beers and also gruit beers containing herbal additives. According to the literature data analysis, the segment of functional beers clearly stands out and the interest in beers for special nutritional uses continues to grow. Low- and non-alcoholic beers are and presumably will be the fastest growing category on the market.
brewing industry, beer, speciality beers, beer market, functional food