Greek beer is not famous all over the world compared to greek wine, but that doesn’t mean Greece does not have some of the most refreshing local beers and breweries in Europe. There is archaeological evidence that beer was produced in Greece since 2000 BC, so what happened since then? Greece is definitely famous for its wine since the beginning of time but it’s definitely not famous for its beers. And that is a mistake that needs to be fixed 🍺
It is true, that in the last 10-15 years, the beer brewing industry in Greece is booming with a new microbrewery popping up somewhere in the country every year. These local breweries usually become an integral part of the local economy and in many cases even an attraction for the area or the island, like the wineries in Santorini.
Microbreweries in Greek Islands:
In the following list, I have picked up some of the most well-established greek beer brands but also some local beers from different parts of Greece (Greek islands and mainland Greece).
What is the most popular beer in Greece??
Undoubtedly, the most popular been in Greece is Mythos Beer which is a 4.7% lager that was introduced to the greek market in 1997 and has since grown in popularity.
So…without further ado, let’s see the Best Greek Beers:
1. Mythos Beer
Mythos beer is probably the most recognizable greek beer brand, but it’s really not a very old one. Mythos beer was established back in 1997 and has since become synonymous with the “greek beer”. Mythos is indeed a very refreshing lager that fits perfectly to the greek hot summer. You can find Mythos beer even outside of Greece in many European countries or even in the US as it is exported all over the world. However, Mythos is not produced by any independent artisanal brewery but it is part of the Carlsberg Group since 2008.
2. Fix Beer
Johann Karl Fix founded the first proper Greek brewery, the “Fix brewery” (Φιξ in Greek), in Athens back in 1864. It was his father who had started producing beer in Greece around 30 years before that and he definitely had the know-how. Fix beer was basically the only greek beer for more than 100 years (a monopoly pretty much) as it was the King’s favourite beer. However, the company declared bankruptcy in 1983 and was re-introduced again in 2009 under new ownership but with the same branding which was loved in Greece but also in other countries. Fix beer is a premium lager beer with soft flavors and a light bitterness that leaved a very refreshing taste in the mouth.
3. Alfa Beer
ALFA or ΑΛΦΑ beer is one of Greece’s oldest brands of beer, and the first one to bear a Greek name. It is produced by Athenian Brewery in Greece, obviously in Athens. This is a golden-hued beer with a moderate malt yeast fragrance and a sparkling gold colour. This refreshing brew pairs well with Greek cuisine because of its creamy foam and smooth taste that make it ideal for sipping on a hot greek summer day on a greek island. With a golden colour and a mild malt aroma, this beer has a 5% alcohol level. It’s brewed in Greece using only Greek barley and the same traditional recipe for the last 30 years. ALFA’s flavours are both delicate and well-balanced. Tender meats and seafood, home-cooked Sunday roast dishes and any meal that can be shared by a group of friends all work well with this wine. Alfa beer is usually compared directlly with Mythos as they are very similar eventhough my personal preference is Alfa.
4. Mamos Beer
Mamos Beer is a full-bodied beer with a distinct hop scent, a thick head, and a lingering finish. ABV of 5%. This greek beer is a collaboration between the Athenian Brewery and the Patras-based Mamos family business brewery which resulted in the release of Mamos beer in 2018. At the time, the goals set were restricted to Patras and Western Greece, with the hope that achieving them would open doors for the local brand’s growth. It wasn’t until the first sip that people began to fall in love with the beer and rightly so, as it managed to conjure up memories and resurrect its distinctive flavour through its original recipe, which is loved all over Greece. A growing greek market for small-batch beers with distinctive labels and native characteristics has been stimulated by this debut, according to analysts. Additionally, the company used its distribution network to spread the summertime vibe of Mamos across Greece in 2018 and distributed the product where it needed to be at the right time in the right place. Mamos is considered a macro lager beer with mildly bitter malty taste and thin body which makes it perfect for these hot summers in Greece.
5. Vergina Beer
Vergina is a Greek pale lager from Macedonian Thrace Brewery in Komotini, Greece in northern Greece (also called Macedonia; not to be confused with North Macedonia, the country) . This is a subtle lager with light hoppy flavor and a hint of malt. Vergina is the capital city of the ancient Macedonia, the motherland of Alexander the Great. Was he also enjoying a pint of beer…? Who knows! The fact is though that Vergina is very popular in northern Greece but can be found pretty much anywhere these days. The founder of Vegina Beer Dimitrios Politopoulos set up the Macedonian Thrace Brewery back in the 90’s and the very first bottles of “Vergina” went on sale in 1998. This greek beer has a very crisp initial mouthfeel and overall taste and if you travel to North Greece you have to give it a try.
6. Eza Beer
Eza beer is produced by the Hellenic Brewery of Atalanti which is a town in central Greece. This greek beer is in the market since the late 80s and it is now considered a big player in the Greek market. The brand has evolved a lot in the last few years and is now owned by an international fund. Eza is on of the oldest greek beers and it’s like pommy blonde lager with rich aromas and taste. HBA brewery sits next to the famous Parnassos mountain with its fresh artisanal water that is actually used in the production of Eza beer.
7. 56 Isles (Paros island)
56 Isles beer is produced by the “Microbrewery of Paros” on the greek island of Paros in the Cyclades group of islands. Back in 2014 two friends founded this microbrewery in Paros and the rest is history and wanted to pay homage to the beauty of Cyclades region that actually has 56 islands, thus the name of the beer “56 Isles”. The beer was an instant success in the local market of Paros and it was loved by visitors of the island. The beer itself has a unique taste and its founders call it the “Aegean Wit” pretty close to Belgian Wit in character, but with a greek heart. The microbrewery produces a Pilsener version as well, which is rich in foam and is produced by Parian barley that grows under the Aegean sun. 56 Isles is a beer that is now internationally recognised and loved by many beer enthusiasts.
8. Ammousa (Patras)
Ammousa beer is another success story by the city of Patras in western Greece. This is a very new and artisanal greek beer that was introduced to the market in 2016 after its founder Georgios Ntanos decided to produce his home-brewed beer in larger quantities in a proper microbrewery. He was literally testing and learning the whole process at the basement of his house! Ammousa has now been awarded lots of prestigious awards from all over the world but it is not a beer that you can find easily even in Greece. You would only be able to find it in very selected restaurants and delis in Greece and that’s exactly how its founder wanted it to be: a truly artisanal beer for the very curious beer lovers. The beer itself is an English IPA with fruity flavours and hoppy bitterness at the end. if you are lucky enough to find this greek beer, give it a try!
9. Chios Beer (Chios island)
Chios Beer comes from the lovely island of Chios which is on the eastern side of Greece, close to the sea borders with Turkey, in the Aegean sea. Chios beer has been produced by a local microbrewery on the island since 2012 and it’s a greek beer with lots of varieties. Chios beer is producing a fresh blonde lager, a black stout, a smoked BBQ Beer and a Wheat Mastic beer (the only one in the world with real mastic) and a new IPA. The Chios microbrewery has recently expanded into a larger area as the demand for the beer has grown significantly.
10. Corfu Beer (Corfu island)
11. Donkey Beer (Santorini)
12. Delphi Beer (Delphi)
Delphi beer is another greek microbrewery success story from the island of Evia, close to the city of Chalkida. Elixi microbrewery is the producer of this awarded beer that is run by a family who really loves what they are doing. Delphi beer is an artisanal unpasteurised pilsener beer with Meditteranean character and flavours, that accompanies perfectly the Greek cuisine. The microbrewery produces Marea beer as well, which is a more everyday pale ale and blonde with a fruity taste and finishes of white peach and bergamot.
13. Flaros (Athens)
Flaros is an incredible microbrewery coming purely from the passion of one individual: its owner Othonas Theofanous, from the beautiful island of Sifnos. This is a very unique and… “homey” beer that you cannot find easily. Usually it’s found in artisanal delis and restaurants mostly in Athens and of course in Sifnos island but go give it a try wherever you find it because it’s a rare find! The microbrewery is mostly using nomadic brewing not having an established microbrewery yet but its plans is to expand as much as possible because sales are booming. Flaros greek beer is now producing a Session Ale, an IPA, a Wheat, an Amber Ale and even a new Porter (black) beer.
14. Fonias Beer (Samothraki island)
Fonias beer is coming from the beautiful Samothraki island in northern Aegean sea by the family-run Samothraki Microbrewery. Fonias in greek (Φονιάς) literally means “killer” but it’s also the name of the island’s famous waterfall with its clean and high-quality waters that is famous all over Greece. The flagship beer of the microbrewery is Fonias Pale Ale which is an unpasteurized beer with peachy aromas and a full body. The barley comes from the surrounding north Greece valley of Komotini and the waters of the waterfall. History books say that the first production of beer in ancient Greece was actually on the island of Samothraki so there is definitely some historical connection here. This is a beer that you can usually find in northern Greece and in Athens. This is also the first greek beer with its name engraved in Braille system at the back of its bottle!
15. Ikariotissa Beer (Ikaria island)
16. Nissos Beer (Tinos island)
17. Zeos Beer (Argos)
18. Volkan Beer (Santorini)
19. Lafkas Beer (Crete)
20. Kirki beer (Peiraus)
21. Samos Beer (Samos island)
22. SEPTEM Beer (Evia island)
23. NOCTUA Beer (Athens)
24. NOTOS Beer (Crete)
Having a greek beer in the middle of the hot summer on a Greek island is definitely an experience not to be missed. There are lots of microbreweries in Greece that produce excellent beers with very unique aromas and flavors and there is no shortage of variety, so there will definitely be a greek beer for you. By combining these unique beers with an epic greek meal you will be achieving an excellent gastronomical level of pleasure and greek-ness. Ya Mas ! (Cheers! in greek)
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