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Let’s start by mentioning that Chios is well-known worldwide for the wide range of distinctive spirits made there. In our Chios Spirits Guide, we pinpoint the local beverages and where to locate them!
First honorable mention on the Chios Spirits Guide: Chios Beer
Chios Beer is a locally owned artisan microbrewery. Around ten distinct beers, including the famous Smoked Robust Porter and the house Blonde Ale, is produced by Chios Beer. We suggest trying all their labels to get a better understanding of Chios spirits.
Fun fact: Chios Beer was established in the Kampos neighborhood in 2011 and continues to be based there.
In 2012, Fresh Chios Beer’s commercial production and bottling began. The microbrewery takes up around 100 square meters of space. Additionally, the makers are bottling the unpasteurized and unfiltered to preserve the beer’s full flavor and character.
Additionally, it’s essential to know that Chios Beer welcomes guests. The staff is kind and accommodating, so don’t pass up the chance to stop by and discover how this distinctive craft beer is brewed!
Chios wines are an essential part of Chios’ history. The finding of Chian amphorae in ancient sites in the Greek capital, Athens, demonstrates that the Chians have been producing wine from at least the 5th Century BC. Ancient Greece and beyond were both familiar with the fame of Chios wine. It was shipped throughout the Mediterranean by the Chian ships. This place the local wine among the oldest Chios spirits.
Ariousios Winery and Kefalas Winery are the only wineries in Chios nowadays that produce wine. Both are situated in the Northwestern region of the island, in the Amani region.
The vineyards at the Ariousios winery were planted in 1998, and winemaking operations began in August. The establishment of the Ariousios winery greatly aided the rebirth of winemaking in Chios. Currently, the business makes and bottles 150 000 bottles of wine annually. A sizable portion of the wines is shipped to the US and Europe.
The Kefalas winery has been producing wine since 2004 and has a 30-ton capacity. The 30-acre vineyards grow the native Savatiano, Roditis, Athiri, Assyrtiko, Mandilaria, Fokiano, Chian krasero, and Agiannitiko types. Red and white wines are both made in Kefalas. Visitors can also visit the Kefalas winery’s small tasting room and wine shop.
It wouldn’t be a Chios spirit guide if we missed the most crucial spirit… Ouzo! Greek tradition calls for ouzo, as it is one of the most famous Chios spirits! And as many of you are already aware, Chios is the birthplace of spices and scents. Anise is one of the standard components, along with fennel, cilantro, and other fragrant herbs. It naturally results in a unique sort of gentle and smooth ouzo.
The Chian ouzo has been produced for a very long time, and like many other traditional drinks, it plays a unique role in the island’s social life. Every distillery is still a family-run enterprise passed down through the generations. The distilleries’ founders’ grandchildren or great-grandchildren, who also inherited the family business, are the current owners:
Many people still use it in mixed beverages and cocktails nowadays, as well as as an aperitif. The Chian ouzo is the ideal beverage to appreciate the clear, deep blue sea or the enveloping starry sky, whether during the day or at night. It pairs well with mezedes like ktapodaki (octopus), atherina (whitebait), throumba elia (a particular type of olive), toursia (pickles), and tyri (cheese).
Culinary speaking, its typical pairing with dried fish wish is rich in flavor.
Next on the Chios Spirits Guide: Chios Souma
A classic beverage called souma is prepared from figs. In August, the growers gather the figs and lay them out to dry. They are, after that, placed in sizable barrels with water and yeast and let to ferment. After that, the figs are boiled in a distiller to produce the 45% alcohol souma beverage. Souma tastes a lot like raki and ouzo.
There are no businesses making souma and no factories. Some people succeed, though. If they want to sell some, they will be in unmarked bottles. Additionally, a lot of establishments also provide homemade souma. Souma is a unique and a must-try Chios spirit!
Let’s wrap your comprehensive tour to Chios spirits with something special. Chios Island is well known for its talent for transforming any substance into a delectable liquor! It is hardly unexpected that Chiotes produces a wide range of citrus and mastic liqueurs, given that these are the island’s most well-known exports. Among the citruses are tangerine, kumquat, orange, lemon, and bergamot liqueurs. Mastic liqueur is unquestionably another island spirit that must be experienced.