For beer lovers from all around the world, it is no secret that beer culture has been absolutely skyrocketing for the past few years. And Iceland is definitely no exception. For those who don’t know, beer used to be illegal in Iceland for 74 years or from 1915 until 1989 (crazy, right?). And it wasn’t until 2006 that our very first “micro brewery” opened their doors and it’s safe to say that it opened with a BANG!
… We do feel like we have got some catching up to do after that prohibition!
When Kaldi micro brewery opened up in 2006 that changed the game forever. For the first time, someone stood up and offered something new and creative – At the cost of the few large breweries. In the next few years, more and more breweries started to pop up and today, 10 years later, we enjoy amazing selection of seasonal beers from more than 10 different micro breweries from all around Iceland.
But I’m not going to dig too deep in the local beer history here – Although if you are interested, you can read all about it in this blog I wrote on Wake Up Reykjavik, that is about Everything you need to know on Icelandic beer! In this blog, I’m going to list up a few of my personal absolute favourite beers – That I feel like you as a beer lover wether you are from Iceland or not – just have to experience for yourself!
Before I start, first things first; If you are a true beer enthusiast, of course you should look into joining our super fun & delicious Reykjavik Beer Tour.
MY PERSONAL TOP 5 LIST OF MUST TRY ICELANDIC BEERS:
EINSTÖK WHITE ALE
For me personally, it would be absolutely crazy not to put Einstök White Ale on the top of this list! For the past few years, it is without a doubt the one beer that I have enjoyed the most and once you try, I am sure you will understand why.
A super refreshing, easy to drink wheat beer with a hint of coriander & orange. How delicious does that sound?
The Einstök brewery is located in my hometown, Akureyri. One of the Northernmost towns in Iceland.
You will find it at most bars in Reykjavik, in every liquor shop and in the Duty Free at Keflavik airport.
Now for just a little more POWERful beer …
This big and strong Icelandic stout is no more and no less than 11,5% alc/vol. but it might just be one of the best beers you will ever try. Personally, I wouldn’t choose to have a six-pack of Garún but as a delicious treat to sip on it is everything you can ask for.
Garún no.19 is heavy but soft and you will find a fun mix of Chocolate, licorice and coffee dance with your tastebuds! … Interesting?
This beer is made in a micro brewery called BORG which is actually situated right inside one of the largest and oldest local breweries called Egils Ölgerð.
You will find Garún at multiple beer bars in Reykjavik and in fine dining restaurants as well. Some Liquor stores sell it and occasionally it is available in the duty free shop at Keflavik airport.
So, one question before I start … have you tried or even just heard about Skyr?
For those who don’t know, Skyr is one of our absolute most traditional Icelandic cuisines that we have enjoyed for more than 1000 years – Technically it is cheese but it’s served in a similar style as a super low fat Yoghurt that is very high in protein. Basically, what you have to know is that it tastes sour. Very sour.
And what a few crazy birds thought of in late 2015, was combining beer … and Skyr!? The result, Skyrgosi! And it is so incredibly unlike anything I have tasted before that I think I love it.
Skyrgosi is a collaboration project between three Danish breweries, one from the US and Gæðingur micro brewery in the East of Iceland. And to be honest with you … it does taste very much like Skyr – And that means sour. But please, give it a chance! You might not regret it …
You can find Skyrgosi at the Micro Bar in down town Reykjavik. Please note that the taps at Micro Bar change constantly so that it is not guaranteed to be found there at all times.
KALDI BLACK IPA
Personally, I have never been much of a IPA person – Even though the hoppy beers have been by far the most trendy beers in Reykjavik for the past 1-2 years.
However, the Black IPA from Kaldi brewery in the north has to be one of the exceptions as I think this beer is just simply wonderful. It is dark and a roasted Indian Pale ale.
You can find this beer at beer bars and in the larger liquor stores in Reykjavik.
Here we have an exceptionally exciting seasonal beer published for the summer of 2016 and is very unlike most other beers I have ever tried! I remember when I tried it first with a beautiful meal at Kopar restaurant in the beginning of last summer and I immediately fell in love.
In short, it is 100% the opposite of the Black IPA above and if I had to compare it to anything I would put it next to a good glass of Champagne! It’s clear, bubbly and sweet but has a hint of vanilla and mint! The Alc/vol. is 9,6% and is served in a Champagne glass.
You can find this beer at some beer bars, fine dining restaurants and in the larger liquor shops. I haven’t seen it at the Keflavik airport yet.
VIKING GYLLTUR (Viking Gold).
Mainly if there are any travellers reading, I just can’t skip the Viking …
If I would be listing up only the most interesting and unique beers of the world, I am afraid that the Viking Gylltur would not make it to the list. However, if you are a traveller visiting Iceland – I think you simply have to try the Viking as it is without a doubt the most Classic Icelandic beer there is.
Viking is a simple golden lager beer with 5,6 alc/vol. It will not change your life but it is a quality beer that has for a good reason been the most popular beer in Iceland since 1989!
You can find this beer at literally 90% of all the bars and restaurants in Iceland, in every liquor store and at Keflavik airport.
I hope that my post has been helpful and maybe inspired you on your beer adventure! If however, you have any questions regarding these beers or any other – Or simply on any topic that I might be able to help you with. Please don’t hesitate to Get in Touch – Or shoot me a comment below and I will make sure to get back to you asap!