Greece, Kalamata: Peloponnese Beer Festival

Greece, Kalamata: Peloponnese Beer Festival

An introduction to Greek microbreweries


This year we spent our summer holiday in the Peloponnese region in Greece. It was hot! With temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius this was not exactly an ‘active’ holiday. To our delight we noticed on Facebook the announcement of a beer festival in Kalamata, an hour’s drive of where we stayed.

Peloponnese Beer Festival

Craft beer in Greece

Around ten years ago there was only maybe a handful of Greek microbreweries, now there are around sixty microbreweries. Apart from the major cities, Greek craft beers are unfortunately still sometimes hard to find in stores around the country. As much as we like a good glass of wine, we are also always on the lookout for tasty craft beer. Last year we tried to find some Greek craft beers during our stay around Messinia in the Peloponnese region, but all the shops we visited only carried well known Greek lager beers like Mythos, Fix, Alfa and the usual foreign suspects. All these macro brewers…  where to find some Greek craft beers? We didn’t find any! By the time we decided to visit the region again this summer, we really had to do some more research before heading for Greece.

Kykao brewery stand at Peloponnese Beer Festival

Peloponnese Beer Festival

Well, our online research paid off as we read something on Facebook about a beer festival in the Peloponnese region. The 1st Peloponnese Beer Festival was held by the sea at West Coast Park in the city of Kalamata. Thirty craft breweries from all over Greece were supposed to attend the festival, but due to the numerous devastating forest fires this summer, unfortunately not all of them were able to make it. The small festival that took place under a brownish, smoke filled sky not only offered brewery stands that poured tasty beers but also a food truck and live music. All the necessary ingredients to have an evening well spent!

Siris Microbrewery stand at Peloponnese Beer Festival

Greek microbreweries 

The only two Greek microbreweries we were familiar with until recently were Septem and Siris Microbrewery. The last one was present at the festival with a stand, offering beers of their two brands, Voreia and Happy Brewers. If you check our Instagram account you will find several of their beers that we (recently) tasted. Siris Microbrewery is located in Serres, to the north east of Thessaloniki.

Happy Brewers East Coast IPA

We also discovered another gem from this region: Standard Microbrewery of Thessaloniki, better known for their Sknipa and Salonikia beers. Sknipa’s Imperial Stout is an absolute winner, but due to the extremely high temperatures on this festival day not the right beer at the right time. Luckily we managed to bring a bottle back home to The Netherlands, so when the temperatures start to drop in fall, this Imperial Stout will be on the menu!

Sknipa beers at Peloponnese Beer Festival

Still further east from Thessaloniki is Kavala’s Microbrewery that produces Marmita beer. We only tasted the unpasteurized and unfiltered Red Ale that was quite tasty. Why didn’t we taste more of Marmita? Choices, choices…

Marmita Red Ale at Peloponnese Beer Festival

Darkness falls over Peloponnese Beer Festival

Another pleasant discovery was Patraiki Brewery, producer of ORA beers and located in Patras. Not really a brewery with wild beerstyles but a decent core range with a Pilsner and IPA, a Stout and a Weiss. We were able to taste a few of their beers and overall the quality really stood out.

ORA beers from Patraiki Brewery at Peloponnese Beer Festival

Also from Patras is Kykao, a brewery that focuses on using local ingredients and cooperating with local farmers. Their Sour Berliner Weisse with raspberry and pomegranate notes was a real fruit bomb and the right beer to pair with a heatwave!

Berliner Weisse from Kykao Brewery at Peloponnese Beer Festival

Too hot to handle

It was just impossible to taste too many beers in those extreme temperatures but we are making plans already to visit (beer)capitol Athens on our next trip to Greece. For sure to taste some more beers from Noctua Brewery, Anastasiou Brewery and Strange Brew, but also from breweries we missed or were not present at the festival.

Noctua Brewery logo in flag at Peloponnese Ber Festival

Anastasiou beers at Peloponnese Beer Festival

As we appreciate wine as much as beer a visit to Nemea wine region might be a good idea as well for a next trip, also because it ’s not just about wine in this region. At the festival we tasted some nice beers from microbrewery Karma in Nemea.

Karma beers at Peloponnese Beer Festival

This is one of the reasons we love Greece: it’s just as much about beer nowadays as it is about wine. And olive oil, great food, friendly people, beautiful landscapes… and so much more!

Author: Johan de Ligt | Picture credits: Tasty Tales