Everything I Ever Needed to Know About YANNI I Learned From Beer


Because I want to be made fun of

There was a question asked of me recently… if you could only have three beers for the rest of your life, what would they be?  Someone followed that up asking if I only had three band catalogs to listen to for the rest of my life, who would they be.  I picked Yanni as my #4 honorable mention, but might reconsider; here’s why:

  • Yanni, like beer, is relaxing.
  • Yanni and beer will always be criticized – they are kindred spirits.
  • Yanni, like beer, is open to interpretation.
  • Yanni and beer are always evolving.  The first sound, like your first sip of beer, will always be different than the last note and the last sip.
  • There are no words in Yanni’s music; you appreciate by listening.  No words can describe beer as well as tasting.
  • Beer is under appreciated by society compared to other drink (such as wine) and considered inferior.  Many feel the same about Yanni compared to other music genres. 
  • Yanni brings together a fusion of sounds – beer is a fusion of flavors.

“If celebrating or mourning, relaxing or feeling invigorated, concentrating or flaking out, having no thought or needing deep thought, I can think of no other drink to satisfy than beer and no other sound than Yanni.” – Chad Pilbeam, Beer Logic

(Note: The number 2 best selling live album of all time is Yanni Live at the Acropolis only behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller Live.  Go ahead… make fun of it.)


Chance are you’ve never had a Greek beer in your life.  There are no Greek beer dinners or Greek tap takeovers or Greek beer festivals so why do we care?  The answer is because “Beer is global and we don’t want to just write about US craft beer, Oktoberfest in Germany, or the monks of Belgium.”  So here are some fun facts where you can win a bar bet if you can get someone to talk to you about Greece without making fun of Yanni (who is Greek).
  • It is believed that it was the Egyptians who introduced beer to the Greeks in 5000 BC
  • Beer was popular with the Greeks, but not as popular as wine and was considered a “low-brow” beverage for those who couldn’t afford wine.
  • The first Greek breweries didn’t exist until the late 1800’s.
  • Demeter, the ancient Greek Goddess of the Harvest was celebrated each year with a festival of imported blonde ale.
  • There are about 50 craft breweries in Greece today.
  • One of the most popular Greek beer (which is available in the United States) is Marathon, an “American-style adjunct lager.  It’s basically the Budweiser of Greece.


While many associate the Toga with the Romans, its origins are actually Greek.  A true toga is in fact Roman, but it is based on the Greco garment called a Himation.  And you will never use this fun fact ever again in your life, but it has something to do with Greece and beer so just go with it.  We needed something in this space.  Seriously, you’ll never use this fact ever.

You’re welcome.

To listen to fun facts way better than this, tune in to What’s on Tap Radio where every week Beer Logic’s Chad Pilbeam shares with you an “amazing” fun fact about the world of beer. 


THURSDAY (4-7pm):
Not-yet-famous “Beer with Mark and Chad”
Great beer with great beer people

TUESDAY (All Day):
Taco Tuesday Means 1/2 Price Draft Beer
“The Greatest Taco Tuesday in the History of Ever” – Chad Pilbeam

Holiday Beer Dinner

Hosted by Chad Pilbeam – Certified Cicerone®
Details Coming Soon


“Don’t take my word for it, drink it yourself”
Chad Pilbeam, Certified Cicerone® and Host of What’s on Tap Radio

(a.k.a. G’Knight)

You thought all red IPA’s were dead, didn’t you?  A style that is often overlooked (like Yanni) just so happens to be one of my favorite.  A blend of intense crystal (caramel) malts and resinous bittering hops, red IPAs are an example of a true love em’ or hate em’ beer style (like Yanni).  I’ll try not to let my bias come through in the assessment of this beer, but it will be tough.  First, a story…

Gordon Knight was a firefighting helicopter pilot who died when his helicopter crashed.  He loved beer and helped open three Colorado breweries.  To honor him, Oskar Blues made this beer with his name until Gordon Biersch Brewery forced Oskar Blues to say “G’Knight” to the name saying they had the trademark on the use of “Gordon” with beer.  [Insert booing here]

 I’ll always call it Gordon.

As for the beer, I meant what I said.  People love or hate red IPAs and Gordon is no exception.  At 8.7% ABV and a flavor profile that shows no restraint, it’s basically a Junior Barley Wine.  A complex grain and hop build that is nothing short of aggressive on your palate, Gordon found an amazing balance between bitter and malty.  Few beers match the exceptional quality for this style and despite the lack of appreciation (just like Yanni) for red IPAs, Gordon remains a year-round staple.  If you can handle the boozy, sticky, intensely dry-hopped Gordon, you’ll understand why it’s rated a 99 out of 100 on RateBeer.com.  


There is none above this in the style.  And even if you don’t like it you have to appreciate the sentimental story and tribute behind the man who inspired this beer.  Stories make beer taste better.  Crack one open and play some Yanni.