Amstel beer from Greece!
Brewed by Athenian Brewery (Heineken)
Style: Euro Pale Lager
Athenian Brewery SA is one of the leading companies producing and marketing beer in Greece . Founded in 1963 by a group of Greek entrepreneurs, based in Athens, and now a member of the Heineken Group, hence why it sells their own version of that famous Dutch master, Amstel.
Yes Amstel, but this Greek version is no direct copy as it has been in Greece for more than 40 years, albeit they use the original recipe from the Dutch masters.
Not without problems it has to be said, as Heineken, or more like their Greek subsidiary, Athenian Brewery, were fined £25 million by the Hellenic Competition Commission (HCC), for abuse of the market by squeezing out competitors through exclusivity agreements and aggressive practices of domination, over a 15-year period. The company was found to be in breach of Greek and EU competition law. Macedonian Thrace Brewery who initiated the lawsuit are also seeking damages from the parent company, as a small Greek brewery they felt stepped on by the large multinational and its aggressive behaviour in distorting the local market. It is said that Athenian Brewery had used “exclusivity agreements” to force publicans to stock Heineken brands, and by offering wholesalers “significant economic motives” to promote their own specific brands while at the same time to refrain from introducing competing products. Well all is fair in love and war I guess!
The brewery also produce the iconic Greek beer ALFA, their own versions of Amstel and Heineken beers, using Greek barley provided by 3000 Greek farmers through its local sourcing programme and malted at its two own malteries in Thessaloniki and Patras. Exporting its Greek brands to over 30 countries all over the world and the number one beer exporter in Greece. The Amstel and Heineken versions are for local markets only, naturally!
Review: 375ml bottle of Amstel beer: 5% vol.
Got on my holidays in Corfu.
Looks exactly like what you would find in Amsterdam, more or less same design, nice brown bottle with the big bright red Amstel logo that we all know and love so well!
On pour we get a clear golden yellow coloured beer with a very small whitish head. Doesn’t look great at all, very disappointing.
Some lacing, but overall not a looker at all.
Aroma is of sweet malts, but overall it is quite light on the nose.
Bit of an off taste to this, slight but enough of it for me to go “urgh”.
But otherwise it is ok, grows on me over the session. Bit tasty, especially as it is poured nice and cold straight from the fridge.
Taste is strong enough to sip. Standard taste of barley and light malts, grains, hops and corn.
One to sip and enjoy cold.
Taste is malty, overall not bad but a bit dull. Not as good as the original master but will do all the same. Not worth buying again though.