How Beer can solve the Greek financial crisis

So very Yellow - It's Keo

We are all about fiscal responsibility at this here blog, we are also firmly of the belief that all economic (and possible just all) problems can be fixed with beer.

Now we all know that Greece is up the proverbial creek of shit and are lacking some implements that could be used for propelling their boat forward. All of a sudden I have a feeling that this is the blog equivalent of one of those really lazy political cartoons in the Herald-Sun where they  draw a boat in the effluent sodden creek, but then they feel their readers are a little too dumb to get that so they label the boat the HMS Greek Economy.

Anyway point is if we all drink Greek beer then the economy can be saved. Of course the beer has to be worthwhile.

I started my Greek rafting trip with a craft beer from Athens and in the style of the lazy cartoonist they have called it Craft Athens Lager. On pouring this didn’t really look promising, it was pale yellow, clear as a bell (or are least as clear as a bell made out of yellow glass), it was all topped off with a detergenty white head.  In summary it looked like a commercial lager – not promising.

The taste was better than your typical Euro-swill. It was nowhere near as fizzy, which was a plus for me, but unfortunately the body lacked something, it was all a bit thin and uninteresting. It was an okay beer, better than the commercial brews, but I was left with that familiar feeling yet again of ‘Why did they bother shipping this beer half way around the world?” Schooner.


For our second beer we are heading over to Cyprus, or as I like to call it Greece Lite. (All of my Turkish readers are welcome to send the death threats care of the email address below). The beer in question  is Keo, which comes in a very summery bright yellow can. It too is very commercial looking, pale piss yellow with that bubbly head. And the taste is exactly what you would expect from a Euro lager from a very hot climate – it’s entirely forgettable. I’m sure it tastes amazing in the baking hot heat on a Cypriot beach, but it has no real place in Melbourne – Pot. 


So there we have it, much like Germany I tried to bail out our Greek friends (in my own special way) but I have to admit it was all a little unpleasant and I don’t think I’d bother trying it again.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Prologue: Much like Brewdog and Stone & Wood this is another one of those breweries that people bang on about constantly.

I fact I’ve heard plenty of people claim that ‘Sierra Nevada’ changed the face of the American brewing. The US  had a reputation for bland tasteless commercial brews, but microbrewers like Sierra Nevada changed all that.

So I was quite excited when I saw this brew in Cloud Wine

I was a little less excited once I’d read this on Brew News 

  • Sierra Nevada (US)
    “We don’t have any distribution to Australia at this time so any Sierra Nevada beer you’ve seen is in fact “grey market” product sold internationally through third party distributors. We as a company are against the practice of grey market beer. We’ve asked our distributor partners to stop shipping unauthorized beer into the marketplace but it continues to happen against our will. In the end, we oppose this practice due to the lack of any insurance of proper handling in how it gets to its final destination.

It seems the brewery don’t want me drinking their brew. It also seemed that my brew had been imported into Australia via the UK so it had been on quite a journey. My hope was that it was treated well on the way.   

I had already bought it so what was I to do? I had to drink it. I promise however to not drink anymore unless I’m in the States.

First impression: Don’t you love that moment when you open a beer and the mist just sits in the neck of the bottle? The anticipation, the gentleness of the mist, amazing.

Appearance: I poured this beer into a stemmed glass. It was a mess of bubbles and frothy swirls. As it settled it cleared to a beautiful honey golden colour with a creamy head.      

Packaging:  I would never have selected this beer if I didn’t know their reputation. Put  simply I hate the label. It’s looks like the product of two hippy stoners. The pale green is terrible and their insistence in showing hops on the label is frustrating. I understand the importance of hops in generating taste but they are an ugly plant that should never be seen.  

Taste: This is a very smooth beer, it is thick with flavour, with low carbonation and some bitterness in the back of my throat. It was very refreshing and easy to drink.

 Food suggestion: I want to say a BBQ cook-out.   

6 degrees of Norm:

1.    Sierra Nevada is named after the mountain range in California

2.    It is in this mountain range that Disney’s “Homeward Bound” was set

3.    Which starred Robert Hays,

4.    Who was in a TV series called ‘Kelly Kelly’

5.    Which was Woody’s girlfriend’s name in Cheers.

6.    And Woody served beers to Norm.  

Ranking:  I’ll have a Pint Thanks

The ‘Long Bow’ YouTube clip:  Kelly by Woody from Cheers

White Rabbit Dark Ale

Prologue:  It had been a hard morning of doing, well, nothing. Lunchtime was upon us. It was a Wednesday, so it was obviously time to head to the pub. So I set off (assistant in tow) along the route I used to take home in my youth (okay last year) until we reached O’Connell’s.  

As I walked in and made my way between tables of businessmen eating steaks I looked over to the bar. I saw taps for Fat Yak (which I promise I will review at some point, the problem is I drink this so often it’s become like Carlton Draught to me) and White Rabbit.

When the attentive waitress popped up at my shoulder seconds after I sat down demanding that I order a drink I was armed with my order – White Rabbit.

First impression: Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I thought I’d had white rabbit before (although thinking back that might have been Red Duck) and in my mind it was a light ale. It was thus quite a surprise when a pot containing a dark ale was placed on the table   

Appearance: As mentioned it was dark brown, through the glass it looked thick, almost creamy. There was a lovely tea coloured head, as I drunk it left delicate lacing on the glass.

Taste: So smooth. It was full of flavour, but not in an overpowering way. I’d consider it a relaxed brew, refreshing and easy to drink. White Rabbit is open fermented, a method that is claimed to increase flavour. It seems to have worked.

The only time I’ve seen open fermentation in practice was in Prague at a microbrewery called Pivovarsky dum.(If you go to Prague go there, it’s amazing). It’s a weird concept that looks like it shouldn’t work, but the beers that night told me it did and White Rabbit seems to have proved it again.  


Me, and a tasting wheel in Prague (yes that is green beer)


Packaging: I had it in a pot, but the tap looked nice, and the bottle looks cool in an Alice in a drunken wonderland type of way.

Food suggestion: The burger I had it with worked, but I would think any meat would be good.  

Possible Slogans: I’d like to get lost in your rabbit hole.  

6 degrees of Norm: Where we link every beer back to Norm from Cheers (George Wendt) in 6 easy steps.
1. This beer has a Alice in Wonderland vibe  
2. Alice in Wonderland starred the lovely Anne Hathaway as the White Queen 
3. Who apparently gets her kit off in Love and Other Drugs to be released shortly, which also stars Hank Azaria
4. Who voices Chief Wiggum in Simpsons,  
5. Who would have arrested Sideshow Bob, who was voiced by Kelsey Grammer
6. Who played Frasier Crane Cheers, and drunk with Norm.

Or if you wanted to do it in one step – George Wendt played Tweedledee in the 1999 telemovie of Alice in wonderland.   

Ranking: A Jug Please