I’ve returned from our vacation in Greece and am now sufficiently recovered from jetlag to write a bit about the beer there. While in Greece I learned that hobbies of Greek people include yelling at each other, smoking, and driving their vehicles wherever they might fit. I also learned that Greeks drink macro lager. Everywhere in Greece that sells beer, and there are a lot of places in Greece that sell beer, offers Amstel, Heineken, and Mythos in bottles and cans. Literally everywhere, no matter where we were, we could count on picking up a 500ml bottle of one of these three for a euro or so. We did encounter a few different varieties of lager for sale here and there, including Alfa (the other big Greek brand) and Lowenbrau, but always lager. But as they say, when in Greece do as the Greeks do. We did enjoy some of these brews (mostly because they were cheap) while sitting on patios or watching sunsets and we did find them refreshing in the Greek heat. We also noticed that some establishments in Athens had Craft Lager on tap, Craft being the name of the brewery.
We ventured to visit the aptly named Craft Microbrewery, the only microbrewery in Athens. I expected great things of Craft based on the glowing Beer Advocate reviews of the place, but left a bit disappointed. They certainly put the effort on presentation with shiny vats and tap handles glistening at their location, but we found their “pub” reminiscent of every other Athens cafe we’d visited. They did not manage to put forth the homey brewpub atmosphere I’d hoped for. I was impressed to be presented with a complimentary taster of their six brews upon arrival. The beers themselves consisted of a lager, a pilsner, a dark lager, a red ale, a wheat beer, and a smoked lager. I found all of the beers to be very light and hollow tasting, merely average, and was not particularly impressed. Still, I am glad I visited the only microbrewery and brewpub in all of Greece.
As suspected, it turns out that Greece is not much of a beer country, some great wine though. We did come across a few specialty bars and restaurants serving some interesting Belgian and German beers where I enjoyed a very expensive Paulaner Hefeweizen (could have had eight Mythos!). Other than the odd case, it was just the big three everywhere. I do have fond memories of enjoying Mythos or Amstel in some fine locations, but I think it may have had more to do with the locations. The Greek islands were lovely, but the wife has already agreed to my beer tour of central Europe for our next trip!