Greek beer is not one of the most popular in the international market, but its amazing local and craft beer varieties may pleasantly surprise you.
Though Greek beer has a lot of informal mention during ancient times, it has only been commercially brewed since the early 1800s.
Continue reading as our team showcases the best Greek beer you can get your hands on!
The Best Greek Beer
Beer is one of the oldest drinks in the world, and Greece is one of the oldest civilizations. The connection between the two is age-old but has not found enough limelight in popular media. Unsurprisingly, the craft beer industry in Greece is doing wonders with its varieties.
– The Crazy Donkey by Santorini Brewing Company
Type – India Pale Ale
ABV – 6 percent
The Crazy Donkey was the first India Pale Ale introduced in the Greek market. This beer is made with a classic combination of Cascade and Nelson Sauvin hops and adds a good amount of bitterness. The bitterness is further balanced by the barley malts.
This beer has no extra sweetness; instead, it has a very dry finish. It is produced on the Greek island of Sartonini but is still popular in Greece and Europe. This beer is unpasteurized and has no preservatives, hence the raw flavors of the ingredients are sensational. The overall taste is very malty and bitter with sour citrus taste notes from the hops. The carbonation is medium, but the hazy texture makes it hard to see the bubbles.
It is amber-orange, which can range to a light red. None of the tastes are very aggressive or too bold, so it forms a great balance between themselves. This beer almost has the taste of a classic amber ale.
There are also some other Donkey beer options available in the market. They were popularised later on after the Crazy Donkey became a rage in the central Greece area. They now have popular versions such as the Yellow Donkey and the Red Donkey.
– Bios 5 by The Athenian Brewery
Type – Adjunct Lager
ABV – 5 percent
This beer is probably one of the first beers in the world which uses two different types of cereals to brew. They use barley, rye, wheat, corn, rice, and some of the best local hops. They wanted this to signify the top 5 Greek gods and pay tribute to them.
The Bois 5 beer is dark golden and nearly resembles the color of the sky during a sunset. It is said to speak a lot about the famous greek sunsets from the beaches. The word Bios means a way of life. The sunsets are one of the most innate parts of Greece, hence the name.
The use of the five grains makes this beer quite a sweet one, but the bitterness of the hops forms a great equation. This is why this beer is one of the best classic Greek lager beer options.
When poured, it also forms a soft foamy head which does not have great retention. The lacing is also not very significant. The carbonation level is medium, giving rise to many fizzes. The mouthfeel is light with an overall sweet finish, and the overall taste is very fresh, crisp, and clean.
– All Day Organic Lager by The Nissos Brewery
Type – European-style lager
ABV – 4.5 percent
This beer is full of natural ingredients, with no added color or artificial flavors. That is why this beer is one of the best selling products of this brewery. It is a 100 percent organic brew, a great find for all health-conscious beer lovers.
This beer put the Nissos Brewery on the craft beer market of Greece, and since then, it has had many takers. This beer smells and tastes of natural freshness. The hops, malts, water, and yeast are all freshly sourced from local organic farmers and help create this exclusive brew. This beer is bright yellow and has a fresh, rejuvenating taste, mild spiciness, and a crisp finish. None of the tastes are too pronounced or mellow, creating the perfect drinking experience.
The spicy herbal taste of this beer is its best feature. The mellow flavors of the other ingredients get a little more enhanced because of the spicy effects. There is also a mild sweetness from the malts, which adds a bread-like taste. The taste of the alcohol is nearly impossible to detect, so it is very easy to consume this beer. It also has taste notes of tropical fruits like apples and sour lemons and a woody and leafy essence from the hops.
– 56 Isles Pilsner by The Microbrewery of Paros
Type – Pilsner
ABV – 5.2 percent
The 56 Isles Pilsner is a fairly new beer launched only in 2016. Even though it has a small market and is yet to make a global name, it is said to be one of the most underrated and rising stars in the Greek beer market.
This beer is solely made from exclusive barley grown on a Paros farm, which is the main secret to their taste. This is one of the lightest pilsners with a burst of flavors, making it a big hit.
It flows a pure, bright yellow liquid that is almost golden. It also has a stiff head of white foam that leaves no lacing behind. The aroma features overtones of grains. The flavor is complex yet very well-balanced and simple to consume, with a noticeable grain flavor.
The grains also have a sweetness that helps enhance the overall taste. The taste had decent carbonation and is lightweight in mouthfeel. It is an easy-drinking beer since the alcohol content is quite low.
The beer also has a strong taste of yeast, fragrant hops, and an overall earthen flavor profile. The 56 Isles also has one more beer by the same name, the Aegean Wit. This is a witbier that has a close similarity to classic Belgian Witbiers.
– The Corfu Amorosa Weiss by The Corfu Brewery
Type – Berliner Weisse
ABV – 5.6 percent
The Corfu Amorosa Weiss is a Berliner Weisse beer that uses a mix of multiple grainy malts to form the delicate confluence of tastes and smells. They also use fruity yeasts, bringing a refreshing tropical essence to this brew. The beer tastes like bananas, but the beer-drinking experience is smooth and light.
The other tastes in this beer are spicy and aromatic cloves, freshness from the water, and sweetness from the malts used. The sweetness of the brew can be a little overpowering for some people. But for people who love their beer sweeter than dry, this is the perfect fit for them. The beer also has hints of sourness from the citrus hops, which balances some of the sweetness and makes the beer very pleasant.
The carbonation is medium to high; hence, the fast-rising bubbles are distinctly visible. There is a distinct fizz in the beer, which adds an extra layer of punch to the taste. When poured, it also forms a thick head, which has good retention and stays for quite some time. There is low to no lacing around the rims of the glass. It has a pale golden yellow color, bringing a rich visual effect.
– Mythos by The Mythos Brewery
Type – Pilsner
ABV – 5 percent
Mythos is a classic Greek pilsner-style beer known for its crisp, refreshing taste. It is brewed by the Mythos Brewery located in Thessaloniki, Greece. Mythos is a popular choice at bars and tavernas in Greece and is also exported to many countries around the world.
The beer is made with a blend of premium malt and hops, with an alcohol content of 5 percent by volume. It is a light, easy-drinking beer that is well-suited for warm weather and casual socializing. Mythos beer tastes light and refreshing, with a balanced flavor profile that includes hints of malt and hops.
In addition to Mythos, the brewery also produces a range of other beers including Helios, a light lager, and Athanatos, a dark lager. The Mythos Brewery is committed to producing high-quality beers using the finest ingredients and traditional brewing techniques.
– Voreia Stout by Siris Brewery
Type – Stout
ABV – 6 percent
This beer is one of their most-sold beers and has a dark, chocolaty, and roasted taste. They use six different types of malts, one more than the Bois 5. But their main selling point is that they only use local Greek malts and ingredients to keep the flavors true to their land.
This beer is handcrafted by expert brewers, and hence it is one of the best and most coveted craft beer varieties in Greece. With their local ingredients, they also use a mix of classic American hops to get a great mix of malty sweetness and mild bitterness. The beer also has a good taste of roasted coffee and caramel malts, making a rich flavor profile. The overall mouthfeel is very creamy, rich, and heavy, with a velvety smoothness.
When poured, it has a light coffee or mocha-colored head, which has great retention for quite some time. It also has a good amount of lacing. The beer also has good carbonation, but due to the dark brown color of the beer, the bubbles are not visible.
There is a great deal of chocolate-flavored smokiness, which makes the beer quite luxurious. Since this beer is hand-crafted, it is available in small batches and you may have to personally visit their site to get a bottle.
– Fix Hellas by Olympic Brewery
Type – European Pale Lager
ABV – 5 percent
Greek beer Fix Hellas was first brewed in the early 1850s, but they became commercially popular only at the end of the 1990s. By 2003, they were officially back in business, and Fix Hellas became one of the most celebrated beers in the Greek and European market. In 2012, they also started exporting their beers across the world, and this is one of the most popularly found Greek beers in the USA.
Fix Hellas is one of the most premium and widely sold lager beers. This beer is very soft and subtle in taste. None of the tastes or smells are very strong. The earthen taste of the yeast balances the bitterness of the hops, and the sweetness of the malt grains forms a good base for all the other flavors.
There are also tropical fruit taste notes of banana and apple and a mild sourness from the hops. The alcohol level is very low; hence the taste of alcohol is not at all pronounced. The beer is light pale yellow and has no extra glaze.
This beer is very crisp and light in taste, with a little burst of tropical goodness. The overall beer-drinking experience is very smooth. Beer lovers also insist that the experience of this beer is better with classic Greek food options like seafood, roasted meat, cheese, and more. There are also two other versions of the Fix beer, the Dark Fix and the Fix Aney beers, which are also well-acclaimed in the country.
– Volkan Santorini Blonde by Volkan
Type – Blonde European Pale Lager
ABV – 5 percent
The Volkan is another classic European Pale lager with a Greek twist. This beer was born on the Greek island of Santorini but has become very popular in Greece since then. They use lava rock filtered water to get the tasty goodness of this beer and some of the best hand-picked local ingredients.
From the malted grains to the Santorini grape honey, everything is local. This beer is also said to use an exclusive ancient citrus medica essence from Naxos, which is one of their main selling points and adds character to the beer.
This beer is dark golden to light amber in color and has a royal richness to its appearance. You can also see effervescent bubbles rising from this clear textured beer, which leaves a fizzy effect. You can clearly taste fruits like plums, which is balanced with the spicy taste of fresh ginger. This beer is not too acidic or alcoholic and has a very smooth and balanced finish. When poured, it also has a foamy head with medium retention and minimal lacing.
In this comprehensive list of beers from Greek islands, we tried to figure out the best options and why. Before you try out a few options from the list we provided, here is a quick recap of everything we covered in this article.
- Greek beer has a long history of brewing. It is believed to have been brewed from the beginning of ancient times, but commercial brewing in this country started in the early 1800s.
- Greek beer is quite underrated in the international market due to a lack of proper marketing.
- Some of the most popular Greek beer options in Greece are The Fix Hellas, The Bios 5, 56 Isles Beers, Voreia Stout, and more. Most of these beers love to mix multiple different grains to get different layers of flavor.
- The main influence on Greek beer is the sea, the hot summer sun, and tropical flavors. Their beers best suit beach settings and grilled seafood to help enhance the beer-drinking experience.
- Over the years, they have also expanded their craft beer scene, and there are many small taprooms and local breweries in the country. These are quite popular due to their diverse tastes and experimental beer options.
Where to buy Greek beer? If you are traveling to Greece soon, we suggest you purchase some of the best beers we mentioned from their local liquor stores and pubs to get the true feeling of their beer and understand this country a little better.