Perhaps beer may not be the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of a Greek beverage. But, it is actually an important part of the culture in the sunny land. The history of beer in Greece goes a long way back, however, we could not say the same about local brewing, which is relatively recent. The beverage was widely consumed in Ancient Greece, although not brewed domestically. As time went by, beer consumption increased and various breweries opened throughout the country.
The first ones were founded around the end of the 19th century. However, the multinational giants still play an important role in the economy of Greek beer. Heineken and Carlsberg bought out the national beers Fix and Mythos and possess a big chunk of control in the sphere. One of the most popular Greek bear brands and among the best beer in Greece. It is worth mentioning that Fix and Mythos are still widely consumed and served in most of the cafes and restaurants. Nevertheless, the Greeks are developing a taste for home-grown varieties as they discover more and more unique flavours that the emerging independent breweries offer.
Before we explore the current beer affairs in Greece, let’s take a closer look at its history. According to some sources and archaeological finds, Thrace was one of the very first locations in Europe where beer fermentation took place.
King Otto, the first king of Greece, settled in the country in 1833 and brought his personal brewmaster with him, Herr Fuchs, a Bavarian who stayed in Greece after Otto’s departure and introduced Greece to beer, under the label Fix. It is evident, therefore, that beer is a crucial member of the Greek community.
Now that we know a little bit about its history, let’s look at some of them as we explore everything related to Greek beer culture!
- 1 Some Of The Top Greek Beers To Try In Greece – (There Are Definitely more Than On This List!)
- 2 Beer culture In Greece
- 3 Beer-related events
- 4 Beer-related tours you can go on in Greece
Some Of The Top Greek Beers To Try In Greece – (There Are Definitely more Than On This List!)
Always keen to sample local drinks in addition to the food. Within the post are a few shots sampling Mythos while chilling by the pool and before sampling a few more the best beers in Greece while checking off all the cool things to do in Athens at night that I talked about in one of my posts. Below is a Greek beers list, also note that depending on where you are in the world you can even have them delivered to you!
Vergina (Lager, 5.0%)
The first “Vergina” was bottled in as early as 1998. It instantly began attracting an ever-growing number of devoted fans. In fact, it was the first & remains the favourite truly Greek lager! An authentic premium lager beer brewed in accordance to the strictest specifications stipulated by the German beer purity law. It has a characteristically light, smooth & full flavour. As a classic lager, it pairs well with a wide range of dishes, including grilled meat or any type of barbecue, pizza, cheeses & deli meats, & is the ideal beverage to accompany most traditional Greek recipes.
Septem 8th day (IPA, 7.0%)
Brewed in Evia. Fresh, unpasteurized, unfiltered beer. Characterized by the impressive aromas of tangerine, citrus, lychee, mango and peach.
Red Donkey (Ale, 5.5%)
Unfiltered amber ale from Santorini. Awakened by an alternative type of Belgian-style yeast, the result is fruity, full-bodied and richly colored.
Nissos Pilsner (5.0%)
A Bohemian Pilsner style beer brewed by Cyclades Microbrewery in a slow, traditional, perfectly natural way that lasts over a month, in Tinos Island. Nissos beers have a rich taste, aroma and body as they are products of carefully picked raw ingredients. Nissos Pilsner prides itself with the European Silver Star award in the pilsner category among hundreds of others.
Hazelnut Moctezuma Imperial Stout (13.0%)
A truly unique and powerful roasted hazelnut flavors from naturally roasted nuts. It is truly a liquid chocolate hazelnut praline delicacy that you won’t find in many places. So if you do see it, It is worth purchasing one for yourself or as a gift for a beer devotee.
The makers of Solo describe each type of Solo beer as “a craft beer with soul”. The Cretan microbrewery operates between Heraklion and the small village of Alagni, and their delightful motto is “Good beer is a human right”. If you are a Pilsner kind of person, make sure to try the Jikiun Triple Decoction Imperial Pilsner.
However, definitely do not limit yourself to these few types, if you get a chance, explore as many flavours as you possibly can, and if you’re not sure what to go for, simply ask the locals!
Beer culture In Greece
Is shifting. The new generation was not satisfied with the lack of unique flavours in the country and started taking the matter into their own hands, fueled by their passion for beer. After all, isn’t it time to pair that marvelous cuisine with some fresh local beverage to surprise those taste buds? A strong Greek patriotism is a contributing factor to the surging demand for a local taste, with many people seeking to purchase stuff that is brewed on Greek soil. All in all, even though the craft beer scene constitutes a small portion of the nation’s total consumption, the future of craft beer seems bright in Greece, with hopefully many more novelties to come and yet to be discovered!
According to the experts, fresh Greek beer contains all the nutritional value of the grains: “the beer that we produce contains only malt from barley, hops, yeast and water.” It’s produced using traditional methods: it’s fermented and aged in specially-refrigerated tanks, fermentation happens at 15 degrees and the maturing process lasts from one to four weeks.
In general, the Greeks drink beer to be social and relax, rather than to get drunk so it is not frowned upon for parents to drink in front of their children and the beverage normally comes in 0.5L bottles or smaller, 0.33L cans or bottles, and contain around 5% alc. volume.
Corfu beer festival
According to the festival’s official website, “it is more than a beer festival”. It is a big meeting among people, cultures and products. Since 2013, the festival has been taking place annually to provide a space where all those in whose lives beer has a special place can embark on a beer-related adventure, in a way. The festival lasts for 5 days, during which visitors are welcome to attend various events and observe many local producers present their products, as well as purchase them. Given the direct communication between buyers and sellers, it is a great opportunity to learn about the brewing process as well as all other beer-related things.
In addition, the attendees can also explore local cuisine, traditional dishes and buy local products during the event while also enjoying live entertainment and even free Wi-Fi in the area.
In 2020, the Festival is going to take place between 23rd – 27th of September in Arillas, Corfu.
The Alco-all Tour
This Tour is perfect for all those who want to taste the traditional wine, beer, and ouzo products of Santorini. Begin your Tour at Art Space where Wine meets Modern Art. Get to know how wine is produced and feast your eyes on the works of Art inside the winery. Afterward, visit Santorini Brewery and taste the famous Donkey Beer. The Tour wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Canava Santorini Distillery where you will travel back in time and of course taste their local ouzo. The Tour will end by visiting one of Santorini’s famous Highlights. Read more about The Alcol-all Tour here.
Cellar Tour & Beer Tasting at Mykonos Brewing Company
It is easy to find a cold beer in sunny Mykonos, but if you’re passionate about beer and want to find out more about the local brews, a tour and tasting at Mykonos Brewing Company is a must. Take a 30-minute tour, and sample six small-batch beers.
The brewery is only 30 minutes from the town center on foot, meaning you can indulge without worrying about transport. Take a guided tour of Mykonos’ only brewery Learn about the brewing process and see where it happens. Discover your favorite during a tasting that includes six different beers. Buy limited-edition craft beers available only at the brewery. Read more about Cellar Tour & Beer Tasting at Mykonos Brewing Company here.
Athens Beer Tour
You can purchase a tour which includes a private drive to one of the best beer restaurants in downtown Athens to explore the tastes of various specialty brews. Take 4 shots of unique beers while you indulge in a leisurely 3-course meal. You can find out more about it at here.
Heading To Greece? Also Read:
- The Best Athens, Mykonos And Santorini Itinerary
- Where To Stay In Athens
- Best Beaches In Athens
- What To Pack For Santorini
- Cheap Hotels In Santorini With Views
- Things To Do At Night In Santorini
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