So, what do Greeks drink? Wine might have been a staple for ancient Greeks, but it seems the modern Greeks have acquired quite a penchant for a liquor more commonly linked to northern Europeans, beer.

According to Eurostat – the European Union’s Statistical Authority, Greeks drink beer and wine, as the production of beer in Greece reached 565.34 million liters in 2022, up from 400.22 million liters in 2021, marking a nearly 41% rise, a trend that continued in 2023.

Brewing companies estimate that last year beer sales volume reached 4 million hectoliters in the domestic market, a figure boosted by a rise in tourism.

Interestingly, however, this rise is also attributed to the fact that a liquor once considered seasonal was now consumed by Greeks all year round, with per capita consumption in the nation exceeding 35 liters per year, according to data from the Union of Greek Brewers.

The data showed that besides wine, beer had also become a favorite drink for Greeks, both at home and outside, as more than one in two Greeks prefer the two drinks to other alcoholic beverages, with most even stating that they are willing to pay more money to buy a good wine or a special beer.

As wine and beer markets have expanded in recent years in Greece, with an increasing variety of products hitting the shelves, Greek consumers are becoming more and more knowledgeable about the two beverages.

Wine and Beer Consumption Up for Greeks

Wine consumption has also picked up, with per capita annual consumption amounting to about 27 liters, with Greeks slowly but steadily seeking trademarked and bottled wines, abandoning bulk wine that for decades held the top spot in their preferences.

Greek consumers prefer “wine” and “beer” to other alcoholic beverages, and prefer to drink more when going out than at home, as shown by the “Opinions, Habits and Attitudes” survey (February 2024) through the continuous Panhellenic Survey YouGov Profiles conducted in Greece by Focus Bari, which among other things also addresses the role of alcohol in dietary habits.

Greece’s Alcoholic Drinks Market Grew 8-15% in 2023

The survey, conducted on a nationwide sample of 9,565 individuals, showed that 46% prefer beer or wine compared to other alcoholic beverages, with one in two consumers (55%) stating that it is worth paying more for a good quality beer or wine. Consumers aged 35 and over are the ones who prefer to consume wine and beer, with the ratio of men and women being about the same (one in two), while in the ages up to 24 years old other alcoholic beverages are preferred with a percentage of 37%.