Wednesday 7 November 2012

Santorini Dreaming with Yellow Donkey

This weather is shit. It’s cold. It’s either grey or night time. My Converse have got holes in them so I get wet feet in the puddles. It sucks.

I want a beer but I don’t want a stout. Drinking stout feels like I’m embracing the weather, welcoming it in. But mourning it feels more appropriate. Mourning the blackness with a black beer that tastes like a bonfire which got extinguished by the rain.

So I need something far cheerier to drink and make me think of sunshine. I need a Yellow Donkey.

SantoriniBrewing Company, in Santorini, Greece, was started by a Greek, a Serbian, an American and an Englishman. I know the Englishman. I like him because he brings me bottles of Yellow Donkey beer. His name is Steve Daniel. He’s a wine buyer and also likes beer. He likes it so much he’s started two breweries.

Yellow Donkey is their main product and it’s nothing like the best-known Greek beer, Mythos (which I bloody love and won’t hear a bad word said against it, alright). Yellow Donkey is hopped with Aurora, Styrian Goldings, Cascade and Motueka, it’s 5% ABV, unfiltered and unpasteurised. And it’s great on a hot, sunny day, or a day you want to pretend is hot and sunny. Just think about how good a soft-bodied, smooth, clean pale ale would taste, one with a delicate peppery hop background and a fragrant juicy, pithy, peach and passion fruit aroma. This is new Greek beer and it’s seriously good. It makes me wish I was watching the beautiful sunset.

Photo from here
They make other beers, too. There’s a Red Donkey which uses similar hops but spikes them with a poky Belgian yeast. And Crazy Donkey is an IPA, big and bold, something to share.

Drinking the beer now, I close my eyes and I feel the sun – something about that combination of hops and the soft body evokes summer and freshness. But if you can’t get any Yellow Donkey (and you need to go to Santorini to get it) then don’t worry too much. Like I said, Steve has opened a second brewery and that one’s in London. Look out for Rocky Head. They make a very good new world pale ale that’s bursting with hop freshness.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a beer that can take you places. Especially warm, sunny places. Now I want to go and drink it fresh from the brewery... 


  1. Wow, Santorini now literally has everything.

  2. Mythos is shit. It's just not as shit as the other mainstream Greek eurolagers.

    1. Come on now Martyn, I said I wouldn't hear a bad word against it. I've got an on-going holiday romance with Mythos which is re-ignited every year. Though now a Yellow Donkey might sway me away...

  3. Went to the Rocky Head launch, an excellent pale ale they got there. Are these Donkeys available over here at all?

  4. Went to the Rocky Head launch, an excellent pale ale they got there. Are these Donkeys available over here at all?

  5. Hi mate. Strangely I read about these guys a few months back in a CAMRA newsletter - and been wanting to try 'em out for a while! Sounds interesting, and one to try and seek out. ps. with you on Mythos....!