Hi everyone! Sorry we have been MIA, we’ve had a super busy June. We are officially back from our big Greece trip and have updated our brewery lists. When B and I first started this blog we wanted to not only focus on beer but our travels as well!
Earlier this month, Bailey and I went on a cruise with my whole family, my aunt Vicky, cousin Mina and my Yia Yia. We had an absolute blast. This is my fourth time visiting Greece and I was excited to bring Bailey to see where my dad’s side of the family is from! We have the best Yia Yia in the world and are so lucky to get to experience her heritage.
We flew first into Athens, Greece and got onto the ship. We had a super nice dinner on the pool deck as we pulled away towards our first island, Crete, Greece! In Crete, Bailey and I went on a 4x4 tour and had a beautiful panoramic drive of the island and a tour of the National Forest. We stopped after to grab some lunch at a local taverna.
We had a lot of local wine during our trip since it’s pretty customary to serve house red and white with meals! After the excursion was over, we walked around the city of Agios Nikoloas and stumbled upon a “microbrewery” overlooking a natural spring in the city. While they didn’t brew their own beer, they had a ton of Greek brews! Bailey had the Jasmine IPA from Strange Brew (which we hit later in the trip!) and I had a delicious Proto Pilsner from Dedalos Craft Beer. I really enjoyed mine and I think it was one of Bailey’s favorite beers of the trip as well. One thing we loved about most places we stopped to grab beer is that even if you’re just drinking, they often give complimentary snacks of chips, pretzels, nuts etc so you can snack while you relax.
Our second stop of the cruise was the island of Patmos, Greece. Most of my family went on a tour of the monastery where St. John wrote the book of Revelations while Bailey and I opted to wander around the town and explore! Patmos had a lot of little shops of hand crafted pottery, jewelry, leather bags and shoes. We wandered around for a while and tried to rent a moped so we could tour the island but unfortunately, you have to have an international
license. Maybe next trip.
We stopped at a taverna in the town square and ordered a Siris Voreia Pilsner for me and a Pikri IPA for B. I don’t remember this one standing out to me as much as the Proto. After the rest of my family returned from their trip, we walked over to a beautiful local beach with some of the clearest water you’ll ever see. We hung out for a while before getting aboard the ship to set off for our next destination!
Our next stop was Kusadasi, Turkey! We went on a local village tour of Sirince followed by a wine tour and tasting at Seven Sages Vineyard. Sirince was beautiful, nestled into the hills of the countryside and had local shops, hookah lounges and restaurants. We walked around a little bit and did some shopping before heading to the vineyard! There we were able to try a selection of their house wines ranging from white to dark red. It was all really tasty and we even grabbed a bottle of their Lasos Rose to take home (Thanks Aunt Vicki!).
After the vineyard, we traveled back to the main city of Kusadasi where we saw a demonstration on how Turkish rugs are made. They are intricately hand tied by women who can make absolutely beautiful designs and colors. They’re pretty pricey but last a lifetime. After this the boys went off for a famous Turkish shave and Bailey and I went to find a beach! Our goal was to try and swim at every location, just to say we did. We found a rocky locals beach down near the port and probably looked like tourists. The beach was so rocky that B and I were falling all over the place trying to get in the water, but of course it was refreshing and we can say we did it. After our day in Turkey, there was a complimentary evening tour of Ephesus. Once a very important port city of Greece, the ruins are still very much intact and a very popular place to visit. Its stunning, and unbelievable architecture, made for the perfect place for a classical music concert. Bailey, the boys, and I, were a little out of our league but really enjoyed watching the sun set over the ruins.
The next day we stopped in Çesme, Turkey. We had a walking tour of the quiet port city and a beautiful restored historic castle. Inside they have a museum with TONS of treasures including coins, jewelry, cannons - you name it.
The bay where Çesme is located is home to ship wrecks where they get a lot of the stuff for the museums. We walked further into the town where we had Turkish tea and treats, Bailey and I both had the apple tea and it was SO. GOOD. There was also mulberry tea which was delicious as well. We continued through the town and visited an old church which is used for concerts and got to grab some Turkish gum ice cream. It wasn’t gum-flavored but gum is one of the ingredients and it makes it super sticky. It wasn’t our favorite. After the tour, Bailey and I found a restaurant overlooking the water where we grabbed a beer and some snacks! We both had an Efes beer, the Özel Seri and the Pilsener! Efes is a staple Turkish brewery and we were definitely a fan! Both were light and easy drinking which paired well with the ocean breeze.
Finally, Mykonos! Our Friday stop was the beautiful Mykonos, Greece. Bailey and I got off the boat with the plan to hit Mykonos Brewing Company. From the port, it was about a mile and a half walk up towards the brewery, away from the more touristy area and into the residential part of Mykonos. We contemplated calling a cab to take us but, there are only about 30 on the whole island and can be pricey.
So, we decided to walk. We started on our journey and after what was about 30 minutes, I pulled out my phone to see how close we were. .8 miles away…. Seemed sus but we kept walking following along in the right direction until we hit a GIANT interstate roundabout. I looked at my phone again to see how far we were, still .8 miles. At that point, there was no way we were going to make it in time and decided to head back down to town. We walked through the back alley ways and weaved our way back to the area of Little Venice, which is a strip of beautiful ocean front bars and restaurants where waves splash against the walls as you enjoy the views. We stopped at a small Italian restaurant which, in my opinion, was the best meal of the trip.
We split a margarita pizza and some garlic butter noodles and I’m drooling thinking about it. Bailey and I both had staple Greek beers, Alfa (Blonde Light Lager) and a Mamos Pilsner. Mamos is the most historic Greek beer dating back to 1876! We split them half-and-half as most beers here come in tall bottles. I could have sat here all afternoon drinking Alfa beer but we had to get back for our Greek night out!
My whole family went into Mykonos for a night out starting at a local restaurant where we had appetizers, Greek salad and delicious house wine. There was a traditional Greek dancing demonstration which led to a family dance party. My Yia Yia LOVES to Greek dance so of course we all had to jump in. After a lot of dancing and a lot of wine, it was time to head back, but not before Bailey, Mina, and I went to a bar down the street with a beautiful view of the water. We all had a cocktail to toast our Yia Yia and nearing the end of our amazing trip.
Our last full day on the boat was in the town Skiathos, which is famous for the movie Mamma Mia being filmed there! We had an excursion where we were supposed to tour smaller islands of Skiathos and private beaches only accessible by boat but the weather was extremely windy making the water choppy for long distances. We ended up visiting other beaches but it wasn't our favorite journey of the trip. It was still a great way to tour the islands by boat and we got to see a lot of beautiful scenery. We also got a lot of swimming time and found our way to a nude beach!
Our last day in Greece was spent in Athens where a group of us went to the Acropolis to see the famous Parthenon. It’s an incredible ancient structure that dates back to 447 BC. It has been home to many Greek rulers and is one of the most notable structures in history.
The Parthenon is dedicated to the Greek goddess, Athena. Then we walked through the town to find two breweries on our list, Strange Brew and Blame the Sun! Just our luck, both were closed at the time and did not open until later in the evening so we stopped at another spot for some beers and a snack. Bailey had a Delphi IPA and I had the Zeos Pilsner which is one of my favorite Greek beers. When we finally got to stop at Blame the Sun, it was worth the wait! They had about 5 beers on tap plus some guest beers. I tried the Puppenhaus Helles Lager and the La Felicita Italian Pilsner. I’d go back and drink another round of both right now if I could. Bailey had the Shock Wave Pale Ale and the Beach Bum IPA. She preferred the Shock Wave! The brewery itself was small, I would classify it more as a tap room as they didn’t brew on location. It was definitely a local's place with seating outside and a small indoor space. After Blame the Sun, we walked to Strange Brew! Strange Brew was also more of a taproom as they are what the bartender explained as a “gypsy brewery” meaning they bum tanks off of other breweries in the area and don’t have their own set brewery.
Bailey got a flight of the Four Horsemen IPA, Marmita Red Ale, Hay Joe Farmhouse Ale, Dr. Haze IPA, and the Jasmine IPA. B loved the Jasmine IPA, it was her favorite from the whole trip. I tried Uncle Jam’s Herbal Lager which was super delicious with floral notes and a full body flavor. I also had the Chloe Unity Lager which ended up being my roadie back to our last dinner with the fam. It was light and crisp, perfect beer to end our brewery tour.
Overall, we had a packed week with lots of exploring, lots of good food, and even better drinks! We were able to expand our wine pallet while also trying some signature Greek and Turkish beers. Bailey’s favorite of the trip was Strange Brew’s Jasmine IPA and mine would have to be Chloe Unity Lager. Strange Brew stood out to us as a favorite of the trip due to the decent size tap list, the local scenery and amazing beertender, plus the absolutely delicious beers. The only thing we felt we missed out on was the brewery in Mykonos but we will save that for our next Greece trip! Ya Mas! - R