I try to plan my travels as well as I can. Most of my trips are, believe it or not, not arranged for beer purposes, but are either business trips or holidays with my family. It is then a matter of organizing thins in a way that allows for beer drinking and beer shopping – how to spot the loopholes in the programme and how to go for the most promising spots.
One advantage of being active in the online beer community is that you have a network of beer hounds all over the globe. When my travel arrangements for Athens were finalized I got in touch with Alex, who is also active on ratebeer. He offered to come by my hotel with some hard to find bottled Greek beers, while I picked a few Norwegian bottles to bring along. Clearly a win-win situation. In addition, I stumbled across a few bottles myself in a Plaka shop while waiting for my group to arrive.
So, how are the beers?
I have not tried them all yet, but generally they stay on the safe side and brew lagers that have nothing extreme about them. Two beers from the Rethymnian brewery were fresh and unpasteurized, a blonde and a dunkel. They were decent, but did not have much of a body. The same goes for the Genesis beers – they are playing it too safe. The bottle of Piraiki Pale Ale from Pireus survived the trip back home, and has not been opened yet.
And Alex brought some lovely pistachio nuts from Aegina as well, and even a few rare imported beers. Thanks a lot!