As a rule, I don’t write about things I don’t know. Since I’m not a beer drinker I perhaps shouldn’t be putting this blog post together. But, on my travels, I noticed that many places have local beers and the breweries make good visits on my things-to-do lists.
For beer aficionados anyway. Plus it’s good to support and promote local brands. [Editing to add that the day after I wrote this Greece announced a new beer tourism initiative. They’re developing a “Brewery Open to the Public” seal that breweries can use if they meet specific criteria.]
Even though I don’t appreciate the drinks myself, I’ve found some of the stories behind the local breweries and their products quite intriguing. As I told you in What is Greek Mountain Tea? I’m also interested in all sorts of natural remedies and the power of plants.
So when I was in Tinos, my curiosity was piqued by the NISSOS Apocolypse Beer. It had just been awarded the highest mark possible in the European AFQ certification showing that the beer is actually beneficial to our well-being. As if you needed an excuse to try it!
Anyway, let’s get your taste buds tingling with this Greek beers list and start it off with the NISSOS brand.
If you’re into food and drink then see also the Best Olive Oil in Greece: World-Class Greek Oils and this post about Famous Foods From Greece.
What I like about NISSOS is that its products have 100% natural ingredients. They’re the first beers in the world to be certified for their high content of bioactive compounds with antioxidant activity
From the island of Tinos Nissos Pilsner was the first Greek Pilsner beer to receive the silver European Beer Star just a few months after its inception. Since then, it’s gone on to win several other top accolades in European and International competitions.
The Apocolypse Beer that I mentioned above is also multi-award-winning, including Best Greek Beer at the World Beer Awards. It’s “a modern interpretation of a historic, 19th-century European beer style” and teeming with beneficial polyphenols and other antioxidants.
To discover their range of beers you can do a one-hour tasting at their facility between 15th of June and 15th of September with optional local cuisine. For a really special experience book their candlelight tasting the in the cellar at St Francis’ monastery.
Mikònu Craft Beer
Another of the Greek islands is up next. Mikònu means “of Mykonos” which is, of course, where the Mykonos Brewing Company is located. What started as two home brewers is now a team of five local Mykonians who “strive to modernize artisanal produce in the traditional Cycladic way of living”.
They have 7 core beers and then a barrel-aged series plus collaborations. In their core series are beers with some unique flavors.
Like Fragos’ko from prickly pears, Blonde Saison, a blonde lager of Belgian origin, Bohemian Pilsner made with Greek barley, Fresh Lager that’s made in small quantities and distributed solely on Mykonos, Sorachi Ace Saison brewed exclusively with a Japanese hop and lastly, the India Pale Ale.
Back to the islands and Chios Island produces Chios Beer. Again this brewery was founded by two friends and has grown from there.
Of course, their range includes the Chios Beer Wheat made from mastic that is exclusive on the island. Alongside it, they have the Smoked Robust Porter (their black), BBQ (their smoker), India Pale Ale, Fresh Ale and Alos Ale.
The brewery is located just outside of Chios town and they do run tours.
Volkan basically puts Santorini in a bottle (four, actually). Their flagship beer is the Santorini Blond and it’s accompanied by Santorini Black, Grey and White. I have to be honest, these beers sound really tasty. They use lava rock-filtered mineral water plus Santorini grape honey and Kitron from Naxos.
Read about which aspects of the island each of the brews evokes on the Violkan website I also like that they’ve been involved in the maintenance and rubbish removal on some of Santorini’s traditional paths.
Donkey Beers from Santorini Brewing Company
Another Santorini company and this one’s all about the donkeys! Santorini Brewing Company produce fresh, unfiltered “lagered ales”. The range of drinks includes:
- Yellow Donkey
- Red Donkey
- Crazy Donkey (the first Indian Pale Ale produced in Greece)
- White Donkey
- Slow Donkey
- Lazy Ass (a collaboration with Flecks Microbrewery in Austria) and
- Blue Donkey
Personally, I think they deserve an award (or at least a visit) for those names alone! If you do want to have a look around, brewery tours are free. You can book one here.
56 Isles is one of the Greek craft beers to know about. They’re also known as Paros Microbrewery, Paros being one of the 56 Cycladic islands of the brand’s name.
The first beer, Blue Bottle Pilsner, was released in 2016. The next year it won the Great Taste Award. The pilsner’s been joined since by The Aegean Wit which uses local products, Session India Pale Ale and Pariani Lager.
While I was on the island in 2022 they opened their taproom where you can drop in from Monday to Saturday.
Obviously based on the island of Corfu, home of the Corfu Beer Festival is Corfu Beer. They’re another brand that’s mindful of local traditions and culture while making their products. Something quite unique about them is that all the beers are fresh. You can see not only the use-by date on the bottles but also the date the drinks were made.
The brewery has the classic Corfu Beer series and also the Royal Ionian Pilsner brand. If you’re a beer fan and want to visit while you’re on the island then get in touch with them via their website.
If I asked you to name famous Greek beers this would probably be at the top of your list. It’s one of the most popular Greek drinks and the Mythos brewery /brand is owned by the Carlsberg Group. They describe the beer as “the contemporary Greek lager with rich foam, shiny blonde color and pleasant refreshing taste”.
Zeos Greek Beer
Zeos Brewery says “from the land of Gods comes beer of the Gods”. They’ve mixed the old and the new to create their line of award-winning beers. They include Zeos Gold Pilsner, Zeos Black Weiss and Zeos Blue Lager.
This beer is made by Macedonian Thrace Brewery and the Thracian malt is at its heart. What’s good about this brand is that they acknowledge their environmental impact. Their process involves using mountain spring water and they’ve reduced their consumption of water all the way along the production line. And they have a comprehensive recycling programme too.
The beers to discover here are Lager, Red, Weiss, Porfyra, Black and Alcohol-free.
Fix Beer is one of the oldest brands of beer to be made in Greece and another of the large Greek breweries. The Fix brewery was named after the founder and his Athenian Brewery was established in 1850. Their premium lager is described as “soft and full flavor, balanced bitterness and a rounded long-lasting aftertaste”.
Alfa is another long-standing Greek brand. The beer is made entirely in Greece, with 100% Greek barley. The core Alfa beer is still made with the original lager recipe and is now joined by Alfa Weiss, Alfa Strong and Alfa Alcohol-Free.
Now You Know About the Best Beer in Greece
If you are interested in beer then do consider a brewery tour around some of the locations you visit. It’s an activity that works if the weather’s not too good, especially on some of the windier islands.
If Greek Wine is more your tipple then check out this post on Wineries in Santorini.
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