Greece’s New Tourist Attraction: Beer

As the number of microbreweries grows and Greek craft beer appears to be here to stay, can "brewery tourism" become the new oenotourism?


Greece is seeking to promote its burgeoning artisanal beer industry with the introduction of the “Brewery Open to the Public” label and organized tours of such facilities.

The initiative, which sets out specific parameters for breweries to be eligible for the label, was presented in Athens on Wednesday by the Tourism Ministry and the Brewers’ Association. These parameters include the production of a high-quality product and a program of tours and tasting events.

 

“This new label brings together the world of domestic beer – from the grain processing to the brewing process to the production of Greek beer – with that of hospitality,” Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki said, adding that the initiative is part of a broader effort to expand the Greek tourism product.

Brewers’ Association President Sofoklis Panagiotou stressed the potential benefits of the new initiative for small, artisanal brewers in many parts of the country, but the islands in particular, by attracting beer enthusiasts from all over the world.

“Brewery tourism, as an activity of a broader culinary experience for the visitor, will strengthen businesses operating in remoter areas and in tourism destinations, strengthening the development path of our sector,” he said.

Panagiotou also heralded the creation of Beer Routes, fashioned along similar lines as the already successful Wine Routes of the country’s wineries.

The ministry, meanwhile, is planning a similar labeling system for olive and cheese production facilities that can be made open to the public.

This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.



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