Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Visit to the Santorini Brewing Company

Yiannis from Gai'a, as it turned out, is also a partner in the Santorini Brewing Company, whose beer I had tried earlier in Oia.

Yiannis took us over to the brewery and introduced us to the whole crew there. It was pretty clear from the start that they like to have a good time. Here Yiannis and Boban Krunic joked around outside. Boban is the Head Brewer at the facility.

The beer is unfiltered, and as the name of the place indicates, local to Santorini.

The equipment is on a small scale. A few of these here...

...a few of those there...

...some place for the finished product to go...

...and that was pretty much the story. All in, a handful of workers look after the whole operation. This is no Mega Brewery, and the beer they produce here tastes like beer with character.

They make three different brews.

There is the Yellow Donkey, which is mellow, lighter, and somewhat citrus toned.

There is the Red Donkey, which is a bit deeper and darker.

And then there is the limited production Crazy Donkey, which is apparently Greece's first and only IPA  style beer.

They bottle Crazy Donkey only in the 750ml size. I tasted it from one of those bottles, and it was pretty darn good. I think my preference overall is for the Red Donkey, though.

The distinguishing character of the Crazy Donkey is the hops, of which it has a lot. I am not good with hop measurements, in terms of what a certain amount of hops might mean for a brew, but every time Yiannis talked about the level of hops in the Crazy Donkey he delivered a kind of "Can you believe that?" subtext. So I imagine that the Crazy Donkey has a large amount of hops.

Yiannis, as I've mentioned before, is an articulate fellow. Knowing this to be the case, I asked him about the difference between winemaking and brewing, as he is involved with both. In the video above, you can see his answer ("Brewing is liberty").

It had been a good visit, and I hope to play again with the beers at some point.

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