Unfamiliar with the Greek craft scene and unsure of exactly what I’d find to drink in Crete, I decommissioned my taste buds and set about doing what the typical Brit abroad does; tune into some lager and start accumulating the most horrendous sunburn ever.
Sat poolside soaking up the rays or casually looking out to sea, a simple cold lager is refreshing. But that simplicity only satisfies for so long and after a few days, with the tone of my skin akin to an angry Mitchell brothers bonce, we headed into Heraklion.
With beautiful historical architecture and a more relaxed vibe than our last sunny holiday to Turkey, the cosmopolitan Heraklion offers everything you need to strut your Cretan stuff.
After wandering around the Saturday market we headed back into the centre of Heraklion for some liquid refreshment.
Our first port of call offered up a local pilsner, which, whilst being light and as crisp as an autumn leaf, my complex complexion was craving a little more complexity.
With some assistance from RateBeer, we discovered we were just one street away from a bar called Beer O’Clock. The online reviews indicated that this was the best beer establishment in Heraklion. I usually take online reviews with a pinch of salt, preferring to find out for myself, although in this case I think they were absolutely right.
With an extensive beer list and a food menu to match, I picked out a locally brewed IPA, which was brought to our table along with a plate of complimentary nachos.
As Laura began to polish off the snack, I rushed my taste buds through a rapid recommissioning procedure and got acquainted with the Greek hop juice.
Although, juicy it was not. Preferring to opt for an accelerated bitterness, the beer was incredibly dry at first glance. It lay seeds of an American pine forest throughout my mouth, followed up by the most glorious display of citrus fruits, similar to those found earlier in the Saturday market.
Realising that I required more of the above, I reached for the beer list and set about choosing some suitcase fillers.
With a whole page devoted to the Cretan craft brewery Solo, I make my choices; A Saison, Pale, IPA and a whopping 10% Imperial IPA.
The barman quizzed me on my pouring technique, satisfied with my response, he handed me a branded glass to aid my consumption.
Feeling like I’d just won a challenge in the Crystal Maze, we thank the staff and make our way back to the bus station via some further refreshment in the form of these incredible ice creams.
Part 2 to follow….