How do Greeks drink their beer, especially when one has in mind that this is the country of ouzo, tsipouro, Cretan raki, excellent Greek wines, Chios masticha?
For the Greek, drinking beer is a summer pre-drinking activity. It’s a must at open-air panegyria (festivals). Always chosen to accompany meat and souvlaki dishes. Is the preferred drink of the younger crowds, mostly due to the price but also because it’s just convenient? And Greeks love a beer and some popcorn while watching a movie at an outdoor “therino” cinema.
You will notice that Greeks prefer to keep their finished beers on the table… part of the Greek teenage competitive spirit still alive in many older “adolescents” in their 50s and 60s no less motivated by mid-20th century folk song “99 Bottles of Beer”.
Cold Beer it is for the Greeks
Drinking beer in Greece differs greatly from the US or Germany – home to avid beer drinkers – for instance. You will rarely find a Greek getting drunk with beer. Instead, it’s more of a refreshment. That’s why a warm beer (as served in the UK) is an absolute bummer for a Greek. So much so that when ordering a beer, many Greeks will just ask the waiter to bring the coldest beer in the fridge whatever the brand.
Greeks also rarely drink beer at home unless they’re having a barbeque or friends over to eat pizza and watch a soccer match on TV. More than 83 percent of spending on beer is at restaurants and bars.
As of late, many Greek consumers prefer to buy Greek-made products in a show of support for local businesses. It should be noted however, that as of late and with the eruption of small or microbreweries, there is a growing number of beer enthusiasts in Greece who are very knowledgeable about all things related to beer. Learn more about Greek craft beers here.