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Greek Beer - A Tradition Since Ancient Times

Greece is quite well known for its alcoholic beverages including wine, ouzo and raki, but what's been brewing in recent years is a very strong Greek beer culture (and rightfully so). With a fairly long tradition of beer brewing in Greece, here's a run down of the history from ancient to modern, as well as some great Greek beers that you should try... if you haven't yet!


Beer In Ancient Greece
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, considered beer to have valuable medicinal qualities. Homer provides a vivid description of how Alkinoos, king of the Phaeacians, kept gold and silver kraters in his palace filled with wine made of barley. Zythos, the Greek word for beer, is also found in texts of the ancient Greek geographer Strabo, as well as mentions by the ancient Greek historian Diodorus (from Sicily). The word 'zythos' comes from the verb 'zeo' which means to boil; zythos was also the name of an Egyptian drink made of barley.

The Birth Of Modern Greek Beer
When Otto, the first king of Greece, settled in the country in 1833, he brought with him scientists and beer specialists from Bavaria – his native land, with a view to boosting the domestic beer industry. According to reliable sources, the first manually operated brewery was set up in Greece in 1840 in order to cater to the needs of the Bavarian officials and military men who were stationed in the country at the time.

It is not quite clear who among Melcher, Fischer, Waweck and Seel was the first to run this particular brewery, as they had all opened up beer businesses during the 1840’s in Athens. Ioannis Fix (Fuchs) came to Greece in 1850; he stayed and worked as an apprentice in Melcher’s brewery which he bought from his heirs in 1866. Fuchs is the founder of one of the most well-known and oldest Greek beers (FIX). The factory he built in 1893 was later enlarged by his son Karl. On the site of the old installations a newer building has was constructed which still stands on present-day Syngrou Ave. Works are currently under way to house the National Museum of Contemporary Art in the exact premises.

Here Are A Few Of Our Favourite Greek Beers:

Septem Microbrewery

Septem Microbrewery is located in Orologio in the municipality of Kimi-Aliveri on the island of Evia. It was founded by the chemist and oenologist Sophocles Panagiotou and the economist Georgios Panagiotou and began distributing its first batch of fresh unpasteurised beer in June of 2009.

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Volcan Beer
Santorini is volcanic and unique. This spectacular island receives little rainfall, so what grows is intense in flavour and aromas and limited in quantity.
In brewing Volkan, the company brings together, lava rock filtered mineral water and the best of local ingredients; rare Santorini grape honey and ancient citrus medica essence from Naxos.

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Voreia Beer

Our love for gastronomy, our family tradition in creating flavors and products and the endless hours of testing and experimenting led us to create a microbrewery which is located in Serres, but is addressed to all Greece.

Enforced by the love of friends and associates home brewers and with the support of a state-of-the-art technological equipment, applied for the first time in a microbrewery, we offer flavors full of essences, freshness and long-lasting aftertaste, made here in the North for all beer lovers in Greece and beyond.

Our goal is to contribute somehow to the Greek gastronomy map by adding new, differentiated recipes of non-pasteurized, high quality and rich-flavored beer. We will be delighted to travel together in this great world of flavors and aromas, along with our beers that are here to stay.

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Flaros Beer

We black out our cauldrons like the Cycladic lanterns to make beers full of flavor and aroma. Beers made with the taste of the eco brewer and the culture of microbrewing. For us a brewer means light.
Otto Theophanous is the brewer and inspirer of Flaros beer.

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56 Isles

In the first months of 2016 the final stage of production was completed and from April the first beer, a light pilsner, "56isles" was released to the highly anticipating Paros market.
The microclimate of the area and the use of barley grown on the island gives a special flavour to the beer. The saltiness of the sea, the sunshine and the quality of the raw materials used add to the taste, highlighting the specific taste characteristics whilst the use of quality hop varieties from different countries and malt with highly aromatic and tasty character reveal the individual components of the recipe.

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With info from xpatathens.com

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