Archive for April 18th, 2008

Customer relations

boakandbailey has an amusing post about  what happens when keen, knowledgeable bar staff cross the line and start correcting people. Maybe it’s best if most of the geeks are on the bar stools instead of serving?

On the other hand, Lars’ classic post underline that a more common problem is barmen without a clue..

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A bit of a back log now, but I won’t be travelling as much over the next few months, at least not abroad.

There was fresh snow on the roofs outside my hotel window in Switzerland, but I just had enough time to get some breakfast before heading back to the airport again. I already checked in, and a glace at the shopping mall after security confirmed my suspicions that the focus was more on watches and chocolate than beer.

The flight went without any more fuzz, and my suitcase even turned up at Athens airport after spending the night somewhere in the bowels of Zurich airport. (This is, presumably, where the gnomes are working nowadays).

Having done my homework, I went straight to the airport, but I did not take it all the way to Syntagma. Instead I went off at Andelokipi.

Early April, but the heat is already radiating from the asphalt and concrete as I step out on busy Alexandros avenue. It is easy to find my destination, right across the street.

I have written about the splendid beers from the Athens Craft brewery before, as I found several of them in the bars and cafes of the Cyclades two years ago. I have never had the chance to visit their home turf, however, so it was very convenient that the brewpub itself was on the way from the airport.

The brewpub is split in two. In the front it is like a conservatory where they probably roll back the rood on balmy summer evenings. In the back it is darker, with the brewing vessels dominating the room.

I orders a plate of grilled vegetables and a pint of their black lager, the only one of their regular beers I haven’t tasted earlier. The beer is dark with a red glow, crowned with a beige head. A whiff of smoke, a little liquorice, a little coffee. A hint of burned toast, too. There elements are by no means extreme, they just add up to a full spectrum of flavour in an easy drinking and refreshing lager.

Greece does not have the climate for barley wines, but rather for lighter beers that can be consumed in quantities, especially during the summer months. This is exactly what the Craft brewery delivers – but they brew them with flavour, which makes them stand out among the rather bland macro lagers you are usually stuck with.

Their smoked ale is off, so I have a pilsner before I, reluctantly, settle the bill and step out on the sidewalk to hail a taxi.

Note: They certainly brew beer on the premises. I am told, however, that they also have another brewery on the outskirts of Athens supplying beer to other bars and restaurants. The range seems to be the same, although many bars tend to have just one or two of the Craft beers.

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