A Guide to Greek Beer

17/11/2014

Ask anybody including parents, who has visited Greece what the best part of their holiday was and you are sure to hear people tell you about how laid back and friendly Greek people are and how relaxing the sunset can be after a long day of sightseeing. People in Greece love to live life to the full and enjoy everything in moderation, including alcohol. The Greek god of wine, Dionysus began a long period of love for wine amongst the Greeks but there is a new kid on the block in the shape of beer.

Award Winning: Greek the small Island of Tinos

Craft beer is taking off around the world, Greece included. Recently Cyclades Microbrewery of Tinos was the Silver Award Winner, European Beer Star Awards 2014, with their celebrated Nissos beer. Tinos, a small island between Athens and Mykonos, is one of the most beautiful Greek Islands that is often visited by pilgrims looking to visit holy shrines.

Nissosflag

Source: Nissos Beer website

Breweries are offering everything from a traditional lager, such as the classic ’Fix’, through to the premium strength ‘Vergina’ plus new varieties of pale ale, amber ales and bitters. With so many small breweries popping up, there are plenty of imaginative names on the market, making a beer crawl a fun way to spend a weekend, as you go in search of ‘Santorini Crazy Donkey‘ (a splendid pale ale) or a ‘Beeri-Beeri‘ (a pale lager). Another significant small beer is‘ Brink’s Beer (or Rethymnian” Beer), a sweet aromatic beer that is brewed organically in Rethymno, Crete.

A Beer for every occasion

If craft beer is not your thing, you may want a lager which is more familiar. Mythos has long been a favourite for locals and tourists, particularly on the Greek Islands. Pale in colour with light notes of hops and grass, Mythos is great to drink with lunch or simply on its own as you watch the world go by on the beautiful harbour at Chania, or any other island town. If you are wanting drink beer with your evening meal, it is best to stick the lighter lagers, such as Alpha, that will not overpower your food or lay too heavy. Another notable lager, Hillas, brewed in Komotini but found across the whole of Greece.

Beer for family occasions

As we said earlier, Greeks love all things good in moderation, unlike some other European countries who can indulge a little too much. You will often find families sitting together in Greek tavernas and souvlaki restaurants, with glasses of beer for the adults and freshly squeezed orange juice for the children. 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.

Nice Vegetarian food on a table

Beer was one of the first drinks to be consumed in Ancient Greek times, by both the higher classes and the everyday workers, making it a drink that brings people together. With a long lasting love of both beer and celebrations, there has been a rise in the number of beer festivals in Greece, most notably the Corfu Beer Festival every October. Corfu is a popular holiday spot and is a great place to head to for beer lovers. Leading the way in terms of microbreweries, you can find great smoked beers on the island, as well as a great pale ale from the Piraiki brewery.

Next time you visit Greece, be sure to put down the ouzo and pick up a cold beer or two, to cool you down on a hot summers day.

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