Is Crazy Donkey IPA The Best Greek Beer Ever

When we think of Greek beer the ones that come to mind are Mythos, Fix and Alfa. A bit gassy, a bit bland and a bit lager. But hang on, these Greek standard beers have competition from a Donkey, a crazy craft beer donkey. So is Crazy Donkey IPA the best Greek Beer ever?

This delightful IPA is one of a range of donkey beers from the Santorini Brewing Company. A small craft brewery helping to change the face of beer in Greece.

Is Crazy Donkey IPA The Best Greek Beer Ever?

In a word yes, Crazy Donkey IPA is a superb beer, well balanced with a little kick too. It pours a deep hazy gold with a kick ass two finger creamy top. On the nose it slaps you with hops and citrus fruity tropical notes. It smells like it means business. Take a sip and the hops burst around the mouth carrying a citrus zing and tropical fruits of grapefruit and tangerine. The big kick of bitterness on the finish is the icing on the beer. A great IPA that gets a rate my beer score of 4.7 – 5.0.

It may be a crazy donkey, but it is a fine IPA.

Santorini Brewing Company

Santorini brewing company is a small brewery set in Mesa Gonia, which is between Kamari and Fira on the wonderful Greek Island of Santorini.

Set up by four people with backgrounds in the drinks industry. They are Boban Krunic, Majda Anderson, Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and Steve Daniel.

The idea was born in 2011 and the goal to bring good beer to Santorini instead of the rather boring lager drinks that were the only choice.

Well in my mind they have achieved the goal because the Donkey range of beers are great. It might only be a small brewery, but they are making waves not only in Santorini but across Greece and other countries too.

The Best Greek Beer Ever

I have been to many of the Greek Islands over the years, and in my experience the most common beer on tap is Mythos. This is closely followed by Fix and Alfa.

While these beers are great thirst quenchers in the Greek heat. They are also pretty bland lagers and somewhat hard to stomach over a week or two.

So it is great news to see that Greece are hitting the craft beer scene hard. There are now a number of breweries across Greece turning out some great alternative beers.

I hope to try all these Greek offerings, however I am only going to concentrate on one today.

A recent trip to Santorini saw me seek out nine different Greek beers which will all feature soon. While is Santorini it would have been rude to ignore the Donkey Beers.

So I didn’t, and visited the Brewery. Unfortunately they don’t do brewery tours at the moment, which is a shame. However in the shop they have a bar and two lovely ladies, Barbara and Danai who know all about the Donkey Beer.

Myself and Lou were able to taste the range of Donkey beers and talk about them with Barbara and Danai. Of course then it was time to enjoy a few on the balcony overlooking the distant sea on one side and a mountain backdrop on the other.

My favourite is the Crazy Donkey IPA, which uses US Cascade and New Zealand Nelson Sauvin hops, it could well be the best Greek beer ever.

Crazy Donkey IPA

Is Crazy Donkey IPA The Best Greek Beer Ever

Sitting in a dumpy little 330ml brown bottle with black and silver label, this beer packs an IPA punch.

It pours a satisfying deep hazy gold with a generous two finger off white head. This does fade down to a cover and leaves some nice lacing around the donkey glass.

On the nose it is lively, hoppy and fruity with tropical citrus notes.

Although the malt is detectable in the taste, it is all about the hops which burst forward and grab all the attention

They thrash around citrus and tropical fruits of grapefruit and tangerine which give it a nice zesty body. A medium carbonation and a good meaty body give this beer a nice mouthfeel.

But the highlight is the bitterness that lurks around the edges threatening to explode at any time. Then it does and leaves a satisfying dry bitter aftertaste that pulls you back in for more.

At 6.5% Vol it is not a session beer, but it is a very good beer. It gets a rate my beer score 4.7 – 5.0. M’Lady wasn’t quite as keen and preferred the Yellow Donkey. Lou says “a little too hoppy and bitter for my liking.” Lou scores it a straight 4.0 – 5.0.

The Donkey Beer Range

Is Crazy Donkey IPA The Best Greek Beer Ever

So what else has Santorini Brewery got up its brewing sleeve? A small core range make up the donkey beers, but more are creeping through and expect more to join in the future.

We have Red Donkey an amber ale. Yellow Donkey a pale ale. Crazy Donkey of course and White Donkey which is a Weiss beer. But lets not forget the Lazy Ass Lager too.

Slow Donkey is a barrel aged ale and very very limited, so hard to get. And the new addition is Blue Monkey a Blonde Saison.

Here are a few of them to think about.

Yellow Donkey

Yellow Donkey as I said is a pale ale and is brewed using quite a mixture of hops from Slovenia, US and New Zealand.

It is a zesty little number that lends more to sweetness rather than bitterness. At 5.0% Vol it sits on the session fence, so more than one is fine, but proceed with caution.

Both myself and Lou like this cheeky pale ale and a full review will follow.

Red Donkey

Red Donkey is a straight up no nonsense amber ale. Malts play a big part in this beer, but then so do the mixture of hops too. However a Belgian style yeast gives it a fruity but full body flavour.

Again both myself and Lou took it for a test run or two, and it is a rich malty amber ale with a hoppy fruity edge.

A review will follow soon.

Lazy Ass Lager

Lazy Ass Lager is described as a refreshing fruity and spicy lager. It is the result of a collaboration between Santorini Brewing Co and Flecks Brewery in Austria.

It uses Mandarina Bavarian hops from Germany which give it a the essence of mandarin orange flavours with a little bitter edge.

Again it runs at 5.0% Vol so more than one is okay, but don’t go mad.

A review will follow soon.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to Santorini Brewing Company and other Greek Craft brewers there is more on offer than just the bland macro lagers of yesterday.

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to visit the brewery while in Santorini and I have to say the brew some great beers.

Yellow Donkey is a cracking go to pale ale, and although Lou is not the biggest fan of Crazy Donkey, I love it. A good solid IPA with a hoppy front and a nice bitter edge.

If you have come across the Donkey beers then do share your thoughts. How did they stand up for you, let me know below in the comments section.

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