Brewed in Argos, Greece by young entrepreneurs, ZEOS Beer will make its official Midwest debut at Kouzina 2016 at National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.
ZEOS Beer now available in the Midwest
Brewed in Greece, ZEOS Beer is the brainchild of young Greek entrepreneurs. They’ve melded their love for Greece and quality beer, with techniques of German- and Polish-trained brewmasters, to create a unique new offering infused with the essence of Greece. It’s available in select areas of the U.S., and for the first time in the Chicagoland area through exclusive importer/distributor Casa Potosi.
A longing for home spurs an idea
Like many young Greeks, Christos Papadimas and his family moved to Canada with the hopes of finding more opportunities for the future. Christos missed Greece more than he imagined. He felt homesick for his village, Prosimny near Argos. He knew he couldn’t stay away long.
Christos loves beer. In Canada, he discovered some fine beers. It gave him an idea. What if he could create a high-quality beer made with the finest ingredients, in his country of birth?
Greek entrepreneurial spirit
The well-received idea led to a partnership with renowned Vancouver brewmaster, David Wood, and brewery tech wizard Barry Murray. The trio collaborated on not just a new beer, but also the opening of ZEOS Brewery in Argos in 1998.
ZEOS Beer: infusing the essence of Greece
ZEOS set out to use the world’s finest grains and hops, but didn’t want to use just any water. They sought something that would infuse the beer with the very essence of Greece. The answer: sweet artesian water from the Peloponnese. Artesian water is naturally-filtered, and is free of contact with the air or other pollutants. This was the perfect ingredient to complete the creation of a 5-star quality bar.
ZEOS Beer soon became available on tap in bars and tavernas in resort areas and on the islands of Greece. Christos said it grew quickly in popularity.
“It wasn’t long before people were asking us to bottle it, so they could enjoy it at home, too.”
Brewing a growing business
With demand increasing exponentially, ZEOS had to grow. Christos tapped young Greek brewmaster Loukas Papaharalampous, fresh from brewmaster education by the finest crafters in Germany and Poland. They’ve been successful at home, and now ZEOS set its sights on international distribution.
They now brew and sell several products: ZEOS pilsner and Blue Mak lager (also known as Makedoniki Synthaghy). Their newest brew, Black Mak, is a unique beer for lovers of black weiss. ZEOS is making Greeks proud with its very own national beer.
Already capturing attention outside of Greece, ZEOS’ quality has been recognized in international competitions.
Fate steps in
Joseph Neblosky de Ochoa of Casa Potosi, a Chicago-based importer and distributor of fine wine and spirits, happened to be in Greece a few summers ago, with his Greek-American wife and family. There, he discovered ZEOS Beer. Call it serendipity, call it fate.
“It was a standout; I was so impressed with the overall quality of the product and how unique it was, from the packaging, to the flavors. I loved it, and had to know more about this beer. I’d never heard of it before, and I knew right then I wanted to be the one to bring it to the States.”
It took about 1-½ years, but Casa Potosi has brought ZEOS Beer to the Midwest region. Right now he’s concentrating on the Midwest, though the beer also has distribution in California and Virginia.
“This is a microbeer, with limited quantity. It makes this beer even more special.”
Starting with Greek communities and then expanding from there, Casa Potosi is introducing ZEOS, and will soon be bringing it to bars and restaurants near you.
“ZEOS presents a unique opportunity to teach people about Greece and how beer is brewed there. It’s a great way to fuse different cultures, in getting other communities to try it. We see all the time how food is crossing borders and boundaries. Why not Greek beer?”
Blue Mak is first
In keeping with ZEOS’ strategy for controlled growth to maintain quality standards, Casa Potosi will concentrate on Blue Mak, and then eventually bring in the others.
“Blue Mak is made with the stringent brewing standards of German-style lager. It’s the taste of Blue Mak that has familiarity — it reminds you of Greece. It’s a taste of Greece, a reminder of the beer you had at the beach. The taste is really superior to other Greek beers. Those that know lager will attest to it.”
‘From Our Casa to Your Kouzina’
Joseph and Casa Potosi will be serving up cold Blue Mak at Kouzina, on November 3, 2016 at National Hellenic Museum in Chicago. Be among the 1st to taste Greece’s national beer, the product of the young entrepreneurial spirit we see flourishing in Greece right now.
WindyCity Greek is a media sponsor for Kouzina 2016
Updated: This event took place November 3, 2016