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TOP 5 MUST TRY ICELANDIC BEERS

There is no secret that the local beer culture has been absolutely skyrocketing for the past few years!

For those who don’t know...

Beer used to be illegal in Iceland for 74 years or from 1915 until 1989 (shocking right?).

It wasn’t until 2006 when our very first “microbrewery” opened their doors and it’s safe to say that it opened with a BOOM!

… We do feel like we have got some catching up to do after that prohibition!

I’m not going to dig deep into the local beer history in this article but instead, share with you some of my personal absolute favorite beers.

If you are a total beer lover, I think you should try some of these outs just to have the experience during your stay in Iceland!

Egill Fannar
Egill Fannar
Last updated: January 15, 2020

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 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.

GARÚN NO.19

Now for a 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 taste buds! … Interesting?

This beer is made in the 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.

SKYRGOSI

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 downtown Reykjavik. Please note that the taps at Micro Bar change constantly so that it is not guaranteed to be found there at all times.

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KALDI BLACK IPA

Personally, I have never been much of an IPA person – Even though the hoppy beers have been by far the most trendy beers in Reykjavik for the past 1-2 years.

The Black IPA from Kaldi brewery in the north has to be an exception in this matter as I believe this beer is just wonderful. It is dark and a roasted Indian Pale ale that has been a big hit lately.

You can find this beer at beer bars and in the larger liquor stores in Reykjavik.

FJALAR

Here we have an exceptionally exciting seasonal beer from the summer of 2016 that is very unlike most other beers I have tried! I remember when I tried it first with a beautiful meal 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.

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And finally, a bonus beer suggestions for those who can’t get enough!

VIKING GYLLTUR (VIKING GOLD)

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 traveler 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.

CONCLUSION

I hope that my post has been helpful and maybe inspired you on your Icelandic 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 with us directly – Or shoot me a comment below and I will personally make sure to get back to you asap!