Santorini has a very unique, almost waterless agricultural system and what the local farmers produce is very intense in flavour and aromas but very limited in quantity. In developing Volkan, the best ingredients for brewing were needed. To create an exquisite tasting Greek beer we brought together key raw materials from Santorini and nearby Naxos Island. The first and most important ingredient is the rare Santorini honey and then the ancient citrus medica essence from Naxos.
Due to the island’s dry climate and volcanic soil, wildflowers bloom only briefly in winter and spring, so the bees of Santorini mainly feed on crops like fava beans, grapevines and pistachio trees, as well as wild thyme and oregano.
However, at the end of the summer, the bees of Santorini feast on a very special crop. Courtesy of the makers of the island’s sweet wine (vinsanto), tons of wine grapes are left out in the sun to mature, letting the bees indulge on their sucrose. This grape honey, with its uniquely and intensely local flavour is added near the end of the brewing process, to ensure that its flavour is fully preserved.
Today, only a handful of families still engage in beekeeping. VOLKAN is now working with the island’s honey producers to develop new hives on local pistachio farms. We aim to use our beer to stimulate honey demand and revitalize this ancient trade.
The water with which a beer is brewed lends a lot to the taste of the beer itself. However, Santorini ground water is scarce and no longer suitable for brewing, due to its high salinity. Thus, in order to create authentic Santorini style water, we have taken basalt from the eruption of 1600 BC, rich in native minerals and created a special filter, developed exclusively for Volkan, through which all of our brew water is passed. The aim was to create water that simulates the ancient Santorini spring water and what it may have tasted like some 3000 years ago.