Greece, Zakynthos: Levante Brewery

Greece, Zakynthos: Levante Brewery

Zakynthos craft beer


Last year we spent our summer holiday on the beautiful isle of Zakynthos, or Zante as the locals call it. It was not too hard to find good and affordable wines, but besides mainstream pilsners like Mythos, Alfa and Fix, it was not easy to get a hold of some decent Greek craft beers. But you know what? To our surprise we found a charming small microbrewery on the island! 

Levante brewery interior

Levante Zakynthos Beer

The small brewery is located near Xigia (or Xygia) in the north-east of the island and after writing an email we were immediately welcome to come and visit. The name of the brewery refers to the Levant, a historical geographical term for the area that covers the eastern mediterranean coastline. The Venetians who occupied Zakynthos, the most southern island in the Ionic sea, in the early 1900’s used to call it “La Flor de Levante” (The Flower of the Levant). The microbrewery started off in the summer of 2017 after the necessary preparation by Tasos, Steven and Marion. For the three friends it was a dream come true.

The northeastern coast line of Zakynthos

Beer styles

Brewmaster Klaus is originally from the German state Bavaria and that explains the choice of beer styles brewed by Levante Brewery. After a search for old recipes the friends chose to brew a Lager (4,8% ABV, unfiltered) and a Weiss (wheat) beer (5,0% ABV), following two centuries old Bavarian recipes. The core range was completed with two more beers: San Petros (5,8% ABV), a Bock beer named after the church next to the brewery and the strongest in the range. The other one, Bruno Dark Lager (4,8% ABV, unfiltered), was named after a good friend. No extreme flavors in these beers, but all well balanced.

Bottle line of Levante brewery

Xigia Pils, an unfiltered pilsner was added later and we didn’t have the chance to taste this one. At 3,5% ABV this cannot be anything else than a refreshing beer that will quench your thirst during those hot summer days in Zakynthos!

The core range of Levante brewery

Visiting Levante microbrewery

Just the drive along the coast road to the north-east of the island is worthwhile, with pretty views over the Mediterranean. The brewery itself is small but charming. During our visit the bottles were being filled by hand to a maximum of four at the time. A little hand operated labelling machine was used for the finishing touch. Quite a labour intensive operation but it also clearly showed that everyone here was really enjoying their job in the brewing process. Upstairs construction was underway for a brand new tasting room.

Tasting room of Levante brewery

Combining a brewery visit with a visit to nearby towns Alykes or Agios Nikolaos might be  a good idea, but after tasting some beers you might prefer to take a little nap at picturesque Xygia Beach. A dive into the water will leave your skin soft for several days because it is rich in sulphur. A beautiful but slightly smelly natural spa! 

Zakynthos craft beers ready for delivery

Where to buy Levante beers?

The beers of Levante brewery are available all over the island, we’ve mostly noticed them in bars, restaurants, hotels and apartment complexes. You won’t have too much trouble finding this Zakynthos craft beer. On the brewery website is a list of venues that serve Levante beers. We know for sure that Paliokaliva Apartments and Villas near Tsilivi serves Levante beers as we stayed in one of their eighteen traditional stone apartments. If we might recommend a place to stay during your holidays in Zakynthos, this is it!

Paliokaliva Apartments and Villas

Author: Johan de Ligt