It's the season when beer bottles take up a permanent position in the refrigerator door. We love beer. Come summer it's the one thing that brings us closer together. It’s perfect with everything: nights on balconies, watching football, at an open air cinema, on long boat trips. We drink it straight out of the can at concerts, down in one on summer terraces around the city. Every year beer it makes its mark in newspaper spreads, island tavernas, and we taste it in our first summer kisses. What would August taste like without it?
Nutritional value of beer
Since it is produced by 4 main natural ingredients (water, barley, hops and yeast), it contains natural antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and trace elements like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, selenium, traces of calcium and vitamin B complex. It also contains easily digestible carbohydrates and therefore makes an excellent energy source.
Bottle or glass?
Experts say that each beer's flavour and aromas come out better in a glass, when you can control the foam and enjoy the colour. Do not put the glass in the freezer before serving because crystallization will dull the foam. It is better to run your glass under icy cold water to get your glass the same temperature as the beer.
Beer first appeared in Mesopotamia and reigned for ages in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean. It is popularly believed that it took its name from the Romans (from the latin verb “bibere” meaning “drink”), who later spread it to the peoples of Northern Europe.
So you know what you are drinking
Lager Represents about 90% of worldwide production. They are low temperature brewed beers, usually blond and sometimes dark or red. A full mouth and hops aroma are typical of these beers.
Pils They are blonder also products of low temperature brewing, with a slightly bitter taste and a dry finish.
Bock Strong dark and bitter made of roasted barley and 7% alcohol.
Ale High temperature brewed beer, fruity and spicy taste
Stout Very dark, high temperature brewed beer, made of roasted barley, with soft, dry taste.
Weiss Predominantly wheat taste, cloudy appearance, fruity and slightly bitter.
Draught Served from the keg
Small but important tips
• Keep your beer in a clean, dry, odorless and dark place to avoid spoiling colour and taste.
• Metal cap bottles should be kept upright. Bottles with corks should be kept on their side.
• The fresher the beer the better it tastes. Lager and Pilsner beers should be consumed within 12 months. Only some trappistes can last up to two years.
How to serve beer properly
There is a right way and it is as follows: We hold the bottle at a 45° angle and we lean the bottle neck on the edge of the glass filling it slowly until a narrow ring of foam is formed on the top. For richer foam we do the exact same thing only faster.
If you marinate veal or pork in a red Irish ale you will be amazed by the taste once cooked. Chicken and turkey are better with a dark trappiste.
Coffee - Beer Restaurant
One of the best beer houses in Athens, a classic meeting point in Nea Philadelphia. A very well decorated neoclassical building, with great terraces overlooking the square. This beer paradise features more than 110 imported labels and a selection from small Greek producers. You can enjoy your beer together with a meat and sausage platter or pasta, risotti and salads. The menu is constantly renewed, prices are affordable while quality and hospitality are of the highest level. En Aithria is an all day place, with nice coffees and power breakfasts in the morning and excellent beer and music from all around the world at night. Vryoulon 4, Pl. Patriarchou, 1st floor, 210 2582751, fb: En Aithria
Tar is Greece's first beer house opened in 1988, and is housed in a 1930s two storey mansion which is beautiful and fresh with a pet friendly front yard. Their menu consists of excellent ethnic cuisine which you can pair with one of their dozens of beer labels (over 70). The owner, Vangelis, places much emphasis on small Greek breweries. Tar is now established as an artist's hangout, featuring many music events, art and photography exhibitions which keep the place alive, creative and restless. You are sure to catch sight of the mirror by Alekos Fassianos on the inside wall. Tip: try their grilled mushrooms, pork tenderloin mediteranneo and the scrumptious pork knuckle! Leoforos Irakleiou 34, Ano Patissia, 210 2237717, Fb: TAR Beer Restaurant
This story begins in 1956 and is fuelled by a great love for films. Cinecitta is among the oldest establishments in the area. In the morning it is a traditional coffee shop, at noon it becomes a home cooked meals taverna and in the evening surfaces the whimsical side of the place. In the place of traditional dishes now appear burgers (a hit being the “Cinecitta” burger with tomato, lettuce, cheddar, bacon, egg, onion rings) and beer… lots of beer! You may therefore enjoy 3 types of draft beers and 40 bottle labels while listening to rock, punk, folk (maybe even metal) music. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday they feature live dj sets ranging from the 50s to psychedelic rock! Pindou 50, Ano Pefki, 210 8028332, Fb: localpubcinecitta
It is the first, and the only, solely Greek beer house in the country (I am guessing also in the world), as it has only Greek beers and in fact... all of the Greek beers! More than 80 labels and 6 types of draft beer covering all of Greece from Crete to Komotini. The food they serve is created only with local products. Yohades from Kilkis, chicken apaki from Rethymno, Macedonian kavourma, prosciutto from Evritania, cheeses from all around Greece and even the sausages are hand made on the premises. There is also the “Keg of the month”, which presents every new Greek beer (this month it's the Cretan Solo), while the best part is that you can buy and take home all bottled beers at special prices. Try them, it’s well worth it. Μeg. Alexandrou 63, Peristeri, 210 5720291, www.thinkbeer.gr, Fb: Thinkbeer
A small paradise at Palaia Pendeli, with a dreamy yard, large, green and cool, with mulberry trees and flowers which will make you think you are in the middle of the countryside. At this truly charming place you may try excellent dishes at affordable prices always made with high quality local products. The highlights are: crunchy suckling pig, people come from all over Athens for this dish. Alternatively, you can choose from a great variety of meats, a truly standard raising burger, pizzas, pasta, fresh salads. All of these go wonderfully with one of their chilled beers, imported or Greek. If you decide to sit inside the place is as equally special. It resembles a classic American beer house, with wooden ceilings and floors and has a great big bar in the middle. It is an excellent all day restaurant. How you will wish that there was one in your neighbourhood! Vassileos Georgiou Β1, Palaia Pendeli, 210 8101350, www.groundbar.gr, fb: The Grounds
This trip into the world of beer starts with boarding the most mysterious train of all times. The Orient Express was never a train like the others, the same with this English pub named after it. In its “wagons” with great big wooden tables and in the large bar you may find 3 types of draft beer and 25 more labels. Enjoy your beer with a fine side dish of German sausages, salad, pizzas and other appetizing platters, while trying your hand at a game of darts. And as with all self respecting pubs they have their own darts team, and a special place reserved for this exciting game. Tip: Saturday 25/6 don't miss their second anniversary party. There will be rock and lots of beer. L. Dekeleias 92, Ν. Philadelphia, 210 2584760, Fb: orientexpressgr
A warm and welcoming place just a few steps away from the Dafni metro station, open from 8 in the morning for fine 100% Arabica coffees, until late at night for food and drinks. Everything in Abacus is very well taken care of, fresh and hand made and their kitchen makes a combination of American and Greek dishes. Their burgers are juicy and delicious, the Beef Abacus with a large 180 gr. beef burger, cheese, tomato, caramelized onions and bacon is truly spectacular, like their Greek meat dishes, skewered mixed meats, steaks, all great with their freshly cut French fries. All the above go very well with a cold beer which you can choose from their selection of 26 Greek and imported labels. Follow them on fb for their live music events and remember that you can watch all major sporting events here. Striggari 3, Agios Dimitrios (Dafni metro station), 213 0289328, fb: Abacus
One of the better informed beer houses in the city, with more than 230 beers of which 90 come from small Greek breweries and 17 types of draft beer coming from the special cooler at the bar. Until the beers arrive take a seat on their wooden chairs and barrels and if you get hungry you will be pleasantly surprised by their special dishes! Fresh filled mushrooms from Evia island, Cretan cheese platters, traditional sausage platters, the BC Burger, they all go unforgettably well with your beer. Tip: do not miss their Sunday ExBEERience, where until the 26th of June brewers from all over Greece will come and present their products together with local delicacies. Κοlokotroni 6, 210 3230445. Fb: Barley Cargo
Mpampas is very close to the metro station (Syggrou – Fix), one of the city's liveliest areas. It is cool, cheery and relaxed and has the best beer stories to tell. They put their emphasis on small Greek breweries and you can choose from 20 different labels together with the necessary chasers (perfect burgers, snacks, salads and appetizing platters). Enjoy your beer outside listening to rock, indie and soul music, but also come in the morning for a nice cup of coffee. Opens at 10.00 a.m. Tip: Every now and then there is a guest draft beer. Around this time they serve the Ipiros Bitter Ale. Falirou 53, Κoukaki, 215 5505565, Fb: Ο MPAMPAS coffee-bar