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Why We Love Craft Beer: My Love Story

Updated: Mar 7

If your Beer Journey is anything like mine,

it began with a bland liquid to cheaply get drunk at parties. (Cue the keg stand).

Before bringing a humble dose of Canadian craft beer mojo & co-founding the first ever craft beer tours in Greece with Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours, I admit that my early beer days tasted like a sweaty locker room & old bread. Truth be told, I was solely interested in beer's inebriating effects - in other words, having good times.

Thank goodness, that all changed & here is how my love story with craft beer began...

Flashback to being 18 years old in my hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. My older brother, a full-fledged beer geek himself, began to show me a thing or two about bars. One night, he took me to a local tap-room. This is where my beer life changed forever.

It was a frigid winter evening, one like Montrealers know all too well. Yet the pub's windows were fogged up from its jolly patrons. I entered the cozy room and the rest is history. I had met my little slice of heaven: la Brasserie Dieu Du Ciel! (who recently celebrated their 25th anniversary!) was to become my standard watering hole and remains to this day among my top favourite bar.

As though guided by a greater force, I intuitively selected a beer from the hand-written chalkboard beer list: Péché Mortel, Imperial Coffee Stout at a fierce 9,5% ABV. I was lured in by this name, which is French for “Mortal Sin”. I had met my first craft beer.

With one sip, my tastes buds came ALIVE, as though they had been in slumber for centuries. Full technicolor. Studio 54 vibes. Utterly divine.

Péché Mortel is a fierce, dark brunette served only in glasses for moderation and enjoyment; no pints allowed for this bold 9.5% brew. The eruption of roasted coffee, healthy bitterness, full-bodied sugary malt, thick foam and rich aromas was ... irresistible.

russian imperial stout story catherine the great

The Imperial Stout Style, dark, velvety, dare I say seductive, was originally brewed exclusively for the Russian court of Catherine The Great in the late 1700's. The last Empress of Russia deemed it the richest, most exquisite beverage and had it exclusively brewed in London for her and her Courtisans' enjoyment.

After my first of many encounters with this bold stout, there was no going back to the character-less beers I had known before. That fateful night, I sat in wonder, with a new definition of BEER. A whole exciting world had opened before me, the world of craft beer. and this chalkboard menu with diverse fresh brews was my gateway into it.

In the months and years that followed, that same ever-changing chalkboard menu at Dieu Du Ciel! kept my taste buds discovering the boundless world of great beer. I would order whichever beer peaked my curiosity, with words like plum, spice, ale, Belgian, Weiss, Session IPA, Czech pilsner, abbey-style, special bitter, triple hop, and many more.

What I didn't see coming...

Not only did I find beverages I enjoyed thoroughly, as I stepped into the brewpub, I was entering a vibrant community of beer lovers, friendly neighbours and a kind place to socialize, loosen up & celebrate daily life. I became a small part of this network of people who understand the power of beer, which takes the edge off the tribulations of human existence and quench our thirst for amazing flavours & wholesome moments. Community is an essential part of what craft beer is at the core.

french canadian expat in greece

In 2017, I moved to Greece to live by the sea, with my suitcase and open soul.

Little did I know, my big love for beer would be part of pioneering the craft beer movement in Crete and Greece. That year turned out to be a major turning point in local, independent, small-scale brewing in this mountainous Mediterranean country.

Along with home-brewing increasing in popularity the thirst for better beer from locals was joined by international travellers seeking out local brews, as they do back home.

In 2021, the beer opportunity presented itself and I co-founded the Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours Travel Agency, which launched the very first craft beer tours in the whole country!! We are thrilled to be a ground-breaking part of this movement in Greece.

We are proud to say that in 2022, its second season running, Bonnie & Clyde won the Travel and Hospitality Award for Best Learning Experience in Crete! In 2023, we won the award for Innovative Tour Company of the year!

On our beer tours, we share beer appreciation with people from across the globe, with the idea that each beer we drink is a new love story. Just as the love of beer found me on a cold winter night at the local brewpub, we set the stage for Greek's emerging craft scene to take front stage. Our beer-tasting tours bring senses in to play and allow for moments of total wonder, allowed by great beer.

Without question, Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours is an expression of my passion for great beer and its community, which was born on that night in Montreal, many moons ago.

Whether you crack a beer at home, grab a pint at the pub, or come along for a beer tour in Crete, let your own love of craft beer continue it's delicious story.

Love & Beer !

- Bonnie

non-touristy walking tours chania crete greece

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Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours
Bonnie and Clyde Urban Tours
Apr 13, 2023

Cheers to that!!!


Apr 12, 2023

What a nice article to read, I relate to the beer journey. I've done my share of keg stands too (!). When I was younger, I would drink PBR because I thought it was so cool and looked old-school. Now, I can't drink that stuff anymore! It's good to embrace each part of beer drinking experience, one step at a time, to develop our taste buds and I love beer so much more than I ever have now.

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