In the Name of Pheidippides

Brewery and Country of Origin: Athenian Brewery of 102 Kifissou Avenue, Athens, 12241, Greece

Date Reviewed: 10-04-12

Roughly two and a half millenia ago, the heavily outnumbered soldiers of Marathon, a town in Greece defeated the Persians in a historical battle, ending with a legacy that would live on in the form of sport. Between Marathon and Athens were the plains of Attica, the site of the world's first alleged marathon run. Though technically inaccurate according to history, a courier named Pheidippides was sent on a run from Athens to Sparta, requesting soldiers to fight against the invading Persians (there is an annual footrace that takes place on the same route today). According to legend, he ran 153 miles in two days. After the Greeks braved the invasion, Pheidippides was sent back to Athens from Marathon, a distance of about 22-25 miles to tell government Magistrates about news of the victory. The distance of an official marathon as we know it today originated from the 1908 London Olympics, where a course from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium (with a finishing lap on the running track) was laid out at a distance of exactly 26 miles and 385 yards (26.2 miles). Ever since then officially recognized marathons have all been the same distance, regardless of elevation changes. Today, roughly 500 official marathon races are held each year, with millions of participants running from all over the globe. In the United States just over half a million people (about 0.16% of the total population) compete and finish in marathons each year. Each and every marathon run today is set up to challenge a participant's physical and mental endurance, and for a wide variety of reasons, many people don't finish. People have even died while competing in marathon races. Sadly once his message was delivered, Pheidippides famously collapsed and died instantly, with his last words being, "Joy, we win! Joy..."
Date Sampled: 9-13-12 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, 02134, USA
Beer Style: Greek Adjunct Lager
Alcohol by Volume: 5.00%
Serving Type: 330 ml Bottle, 16 oz Stange Glass
Rating: 2.69


The Marathon pours slightly choppy with an average amount of carbonation action, which gives this beer a short lived, thin, weaker foam head. This beer has a clear and filtered appearance, which shines light pale golden when held to the light. This beer has a below average amount of lacing.


This beer has a stronger (than most lagers) grainy/grassy dominated aroma with a small amount of hops detectable among an extremely faint field of pale/crystal malt. This weaker smell can be attributed to a weak foam head.


As you would expect, this is a very light bodied brew with a nice hot weather crisp and non-lingering, very dry finish. This beer has a low viscosity, a low weight, and a medium amount of carbonation. Crisp and refreshing overall.


This beer starts slightly semi-sweet with a pale/crystal malt flavor which is almost instantly dominated by a very grainy overall character. The lager finishes with a dry and somewhat bitter/hoppy aftertaste which does not linger.

Our Take

Interestingly enough, this would be a great beer to have after the completion of a marathon. We have already reviewed a beer brewed specifically for marathon runners, but this one is different. This is a lager that was never aimed at a runner's market. This is simply a Euro Lager which pays an homage to Pheidippides and his historic runs. A great recovery bev, this lager is light and refreshing with a forgiving dry finish, somewhat malty character, and an aroma more pleasant than most in this category. Sure, this is not ever going to be our favorite lager, and it is highly unlikely you'll ever see it in the United States on tap, but don't let that prevent you from going out of your way to try a couple of beers from abroad every once in a while. Unfortunately, there aren't many beers from Greece that make their way over here, and based on this example, it's also unlikely that we'll come across anything much better. And if we're honest, the country's current financial situation isn't going to help bring new business to the industry any time soon. All we can hope is that the Greek brewing industry won't collapse and die before all of this economic turmoil is over.