Wine & Spirits

Hoppy Hour: Greece Will Offer Beer Tourism, Brewery Visits

ATHENS – Greece’s push to get tourists to do something other than come in the summer and go to islands and beaches, and make it a year-round destination, will now offer them a taste of one of its best, and lesser-known products: craft beer.

While the country has a number of big brands, most operated by multi-national conglomerates that have taken over traditional Greek labels, smaller craft breweries are touted as having the best and some will open their doors.


The Greek Tourism Ministry and the Hellenic Association of Brewers said it wants to make beer tourism an attraction through the launch of the Visitable Brewery Label, reported GTP Headlines.

That came at a news conference in the capital which revealed that the label will be given to breweries that meet specific standards (high quality facilities) and offer services (tours, tasting events) and can welcome beer lovers.

Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki said, “This new label comes to bring together the world of domestic beer – from the grain processing to the brewing process to the production of Greek beer – with that of hospitality.”

She added: “Our ambition is for this union to introduce both worlds to new opportunities for creation and extroversion, so that we can promote every productive force that our country has.”

Greek wines that have long been vastly underrated have gained in world popularity with better marketing but Greek craft beers remain under the radar and lure those who love the taste and labels: Noctua Night Vision, Cargo Ale, Septem, Strange Brew, Seven Island, Delphi, Chios, Corfu, Yellow Donkey, Canal Dive, Voreia, Nissos, and Solo among them.

The main goal of the label is to offer beer enthusiasts a comprehensive experience, an in-depth look into a brewery’s facilities and beer production process with guided tours, the report said.

Visitors can, of course, also taste the wares which is probably why most would want to go, the sampling a way of introducing them to a product that the local brewers hope they will buy, although many of the brands are hard to find on supermarket shelves and are markedly more expensive and sold singly.

Breweries of all categories can apply to their local tourism offices to receive the new Visitable Brewery Label but will have to meet requirements that include a designated area for guests to sample its beers, as well as access for people with special needs, reduced mobility and disabilities.

The Tourism Ministry said it would help assist breweries seek subsidies through EU funds (NSRF) to cover the costs for the creation of accessibility facilities and allow more to qualify.

Hellenic Association of Brewers President Sofoklis Panagiotou said that many breweries mainly on the islands and in regional Greece could be part of this initiative and that it would create Beer Routes similar to established Wine Routes.

“Brewery tourism, as an activity of a broader culinary experience for the visitor, will strengthen businesses operating in the region and in tourism destinations, strengthening the development path of our sector,” Panagiotou said. Greece has some 60 breweries in operation, 18 of which are members of the Hellenic Association of Brewers, the report also said.

Breweries that are part of the Visitable Brewery Label network will be included on an online map that will be widely circulated in both Greece and abroad, and also have access to a branding and marketing program funds too.




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