Youth enjoying frozen beer

Greek beer rise to the top

Something good is brewing
By Deborah Kolb
Something good is brewing
As long as it takes to eat a slice of watermelon

Ouzo, raki, mastiha, tsipouro, wine, homemade liqueur... Now you can add beer to the list of the most popular beverages and liqueurs in Greece. It has its own long history – the first beer factory was founded in 1864! Today, microbreweries throughout Greek produce their own distinctive, unpasteurized, unfiltered beer. New flavours and new experiences, with their own Greek stamp of authenticity!

The history of beer in Greece

The history of beer in Greece begins in the late 19th century, with the famous brewery of Ioannis Fix. Its flagship factory on Syngrou Avenue is a monument to industrial architecture in Athens, and will soon be opening its doors again as the new National Museum of Contemporary Art. Greeks love drinking beer – refreshing and enjoyable, during the afternoon or at night, at celebrations of any kind, at parties, cafes, bars or at home.

Greek microbreweries

In recent years, Greece has discovered microbrewing. From Argos, Messinia, Patras and Evia to Crete, Santorini, Tinos, Chios, Corfu, Rhodes and Piraeus, Greek microbreweries are on the rise, creating flavoursome little miracles.

Greek brewers – once professors, pharmacists, chemists, enologists – decided to devote themselves to experimenting with beer. Their allies: the mild Greek climate, the natural freshwater springs, hops and grains, together with other ingredients used to make their beer taste good, such as pure aromatic Greek honey, citrus, spices and flowers. Yes, Greek beer is here to stay and ready to fill all your glasses with special flavours and moments of enjoyment. It’s time to pull out all the stops and give it the attention it deserves.

Beer in Greece: imagination and flavour

In Greece, beer has one motto: quality over quantity.

The result exceeds expectations: imaginative, smooth and original beer, with a designation of origin. As equally imaginative as the flavours are the designs of the bottles and their colourful labels. In fact, we have all-round award winners with gold medals from international competitions, famous not just in Greece but throughout the world.

One of these has even achieved the status of ‘top three best beers in the world’ at the international beer festival in Venice.  

Organic, premium, draft, craft, pilsner; blonde, brown, amber, black; single or dual fermentation. In fact, whatever your preference, the brewers insist it is drunk when freshly poured, to taste the hops and savour the aroma. There’s always time for a beer: in the afternoon, hanging out at the beach with friends; to accompany the evening’s entertainment or to complement a meal. So, raise your glasses to just how wonderful they all are.

Secrets of Greek microbreweries

Beer aficionados, take note: A revolution in taste is taking place… and it’s all hands to the pumps!

The first Greek microbrewery began in 1997. Today, at least 20 more of these brewers are operating in some of the most beautiful destinations in Greece. The brewers that are responsible for this famous and beloved beverage organize beer festivals in the places where it’s produced, as well as in large venues in Athens, that include tastings and seminars. 

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. Take it from a German journalist from ZDF who believes that Greek beer is an absolute triumph. Sublime scenery, sumptuous taste; come to Greece and the pleasure can be all yours! 

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