A few weeks ago, on February 15th, 2023, in a press conference held at the Barley Cargo beer bar at the center of the city of Athens, the Hellenic Association of Brewers and the Ministry of Tourism announced the “Breweries Open to the Public” Badge, which aims to connect the Greek beer production with hospitality, through an organized, institutional framework. The inclusion of beer tourism in the national actions to promote the tourist product is expected to increase the number of visitors and the extroversion of the breweries, while promoting the beer culture in Greece.
As stated by the President of the Hellenic Association of Brewers, Mr. Sofoklis Panagiotou: “Taking into consideration the experience of the long-term operation of Wineries open to the public and launching with great success the initiative of the Hellenic Association of Βrewers, “Open Breweries” since 2018, we took the initiative to ask the Ministry of Tourism for the introduction of a specific Badge for Breweries open to the public. The increasing public interest for the beer products and the rapid development of microbrewing in the last decade, led us to submit the specific proposal. The response of the Ministry of Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministries of Finance and Development, to the sector’s specific request and the substantial consultation that followed, are an example for the adoption of reforms that contribute to the fair and sustainable development of the Greek businesses. We hope and wish, that also other very serious and long-standing demands of our industry will be dealt with accordingly. Beer tourism, as part of a wider gastronomic experience of the visitor, will enhance businesses that operate in the region and in tourist areas, strengthening the development of the industry.”
The Deputy Minister of Tourism, Ms. Sophia Zacharaki, was also present at the event. According to her statement: “After a lot of work during the last few months and the substantial support from the professionals of the industry, the Ministry of Tourism designed and can present today the first “Breweries Open to the Public” badge. This is yet another important initiative, integrated in the set of innovative policies that we implement. We seek the responsible development of the Greek tourist product, in terms of sustainability and its further differentiation through the promotion of special forms of tourism and the creation of new complex tourist packages, emphasizing on the quality and the intensity of the experience offered. The “Breweries Open to the Public” connect the world of domestic beer, as a whole, starting from the raw materials, their processing in the brewing facilities and the production of Greek beer, with the world of hospitality. This is how we strengthen the Greek businesses, encouraging them to look for new ways of development.”
It is worth mentioning that the breweries are already receiving a large number of requests, both from individuals and organized agencies and companies in the tourism sector, for brewery visits, as well as for beer tastings. “Breweries open to the public” will give a boost to a number of breweries, across the country, to become visitors’ attractions, highlighting their facilities and their products.
About the Hellenic Association of Brewers
The Hellenic Association of Brewers was founded in 2004 and today consists of 18 members who equally represent both large and small breweries. The Hellenic Association of Brewers’ mission is the support of breweries operating in Greece, so that they can produce and distribute beer freely, competitively, responsibly and legally, with respect for the consumer, the society and the environment.
The goal of the Association is the development of a business model that strengthens competitiveness, spreads the culture of beer and informs about the safety of the product and the positive contribution of mild consumption to the modern diet model, promotes reforms and modernization of existing legislation, supports extroversion and the domestic production and contributes substantially to the further development of the sector and the economic development of the country.