Published on October 31, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


Corfu meets England

I happened to have samples of Ouseburn Porter with me on a recent sales trip to international food and drink trade fair FHC Shanghai. On the next-door stand was Craig Butler from The Spirit Beer Company who was coincidentally looking for this particular style for the Corfu Beer Festival. 

The upshot is I had to take myself off to Corfu at the end of August to help brew 1,600 litres of the Porter in readiness for the festival at the end of September – which I also had to attend.

Do you see what I’m getting at? It was hardly arduous stuff.

Three other English breweries were also represented (we all had to brew our recipes at the Corfu Brewery on their plant) – Thornbridge were invited to brew Single Hopped Pale Ale; Titanic brewed American Pale Ale, and Brewed Up North did their Premium Lager. Two Greek brewers were also invited – Macedonia and Thrace Brewery (Belgian Wheat and Pregamod) as well as Konstantinos Gkaitatzis, a Greek brewer who advises breweries all over the world, who brewed his Premium Lager.

The Corfu Brewery itself had five of their own beers at the festival itself, making 11 beers in total in a range through Wheat, Pilsner, IPA, Red and Dark Beers.

The thing to note is that Corfu Brewery only filter through a diatomaceous earth filter (kieselguhr)  from very cold. Earth filters use calcined shells of long-dead sea creatures. There is no pasteurisation or sterile filtering involved but they drink the beer fresh (within three months).

The Corfu Beer Festival has a different theme each year – this was Corfu Meets England, whereas in 2017 it was Corfu Meets Czech and in 2016, Corfu Meets Italy. It’s intended as a collaboration of cultures through food and beer. This year’s festival took place over five days and as well as the beers there was an excellent food hall and live music from Sheffield-based rock band Syteria, among others, as well as renowned Greek musicians which attracted the locals in large numbers.

Our hosts were perfect and we were treated like royalty and even beyond that they were all so genuine, friendly and helpful. The Corfu Brewery is situated in a small town called Arillas in the north west of the island, about 40 minutes drive from the airport, and the festival takes place every year at the end of September. 

Put it in your diary; there are plenty of flights – and if you find yourself on Corfu at any other time of the year, the brewery opens its doors for visitors every Saturday. I fully intend to spend a family holiday there at sometime and would highly recommend this tiny resort.

Yamas (Cheers)

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Alastair Gilmour

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