Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Scandinavia Going to Iceland

Discussion in 'Europe' started by luwak, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. luwak

    luwak Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    So i'll be in Iceland for about two weeks in July.
    I guess this isi just the usual post inquiring about beers, bars, breweries etc...

    I read this with some interest as beer was apparently banned in iceland until 1989 ...


    Any tips or info or even any familiarity with any Icelandic beers from elsewhere would be appreciated

    UPDATE: i found this:


    maybe i'll try to read it

  2. Pundarquartis

    Pundarquartis Mar 13, 2010 Denmark

    I can really recommend Ölvisholt Brugghús. Probably the best, of the few, craft breweries on Iceland. Definitely worth tasting.

    Einstök should also be making good beers, from what I've heard, but I haven't tasted any of them. The same goes for Viking Ölgerds stout, should be good, but haven't tasted it.
    EmperorBevis likes this.
  3. Bassidog

    Bassidog Nov 10, 2008 Iceland

    Go to the Icelandic Bar in downtown Reykjavik. They should have every Icelandic beer available.
    If you are doing some traveling, then Bjorsetrid (beermansion) up north is absolutely the best beer place in the country.
  4. Ruds

    Ruds Sep 15, 2008 United Kingdom (England)

    Spent 5 days in Iceland in Summer 09

    Wasn't with a particularly beery group if you know what I mean - so no real research/inroads made into good beer

    Aside from the bland local lagers - Gull etc, the only beer of merit I came across (in 1 bar in Akureyri - we drank them out in 1 hour) was Islenkur Urvals Viking Olgerd - Stout (as mentioned above)
  5. bylerteck

    bylerteck May 17, 2009 Ontario (Canada)
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    Ölvisholt Brugghús has a solid lineup. Drink everything you can by them.

    Iceland is a land of piss poor lagers above all. Viking Stout is also worth a look.

    As was mentioned earlier Islanki Barren is the place to go.

    Have a good time. Iceland is rad.
  6. luwak

    luwak Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Okay thanks. These replies do help. Im sure i'll spend more timing hiking then drinking but Ive got some time for urban campaigning too and Ive read great things about bars and restaurants in Reykjavik so if there was beer to be had i didn't want to miss it.
    The little origination story on the Icelandic bar webpage is crazy! ive read about the changing fortunes of Iceland in recent years with their conversion to the financial industry leading to boom then bust. What times we live in, indeed:

    I will also drive the island so maybe i can make it up to Bjorsetrid.

    I'll post some pics in the summer.
  7. luwak

    luwak Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    Oh and doesn't anybody know if i can bring back beer from Iceland to US or Canada on a plane? (in checked baggage i mean)
  8. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Site Editor Subscriber Beer Trader

    I recently got the chance to have a Ölvisholt Brugghús Lava here in the US and I really enjoyed - I was very excited to find and try and Icelandic beer as I was born there...
    ManBearPat likes this.
  9. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Site Editor Subscriber Beer Trader

    Yes but you will be limited by Customs (unless you want to pay the "duty") on the amount you can bring in duty-free.
  10. luwak

    luwak Mar 2, 2010 Arizona
    Beer Trader

    yeah money can be planned for. unknown restrictions and imposing authority cannot.
  11. Keene

    Keene Editorial Director Sep 11, 2009 Washington

  12. andylipp

    andylipp Dec 8, 2006 Massachusetts

    Giving this a bump since I'll be in Reykjavik in early March. Are there any beer events happening between March 9-15? Also, any new beer bars or breweries that are a "must try? Any seasonal brews that I should seek out?

    Thanks and Skál! (hope that's the correct Icelandic word for Cheers)
  13. HjaltiB

    HjaltiB Feb 18, 2013 Iceland

    We now have quite a few microbreweries contributing to our ever growing craft beer scene, the best of them being aforementioned Ölvisholt, along with Borg and Gæðingur. The latter two have american-style IPAs that are quite good, called Úlfur (Borg) and Tumi Humall (Gæðingur) as well as a porter (Myrkvi from Borg) and a session stout (Gæðingur Stout). Borg have also released an Easter seasonal, a 10.5% Quadrupel that's supposed to be very good. There is of course a state monopoly on alcoholic beverages, with stores of different sizes all over the country. The one downtown is decent but the biggest selection is in Kringlan shopping mall.

    The owners of Gæðingur run a small bar in the center of town called Microbar, which is by far the best place for beer in the country. The have 9 craft beers on tap, 8 of them from local microbreweries and they change them up regularly. In addition they have an incredible amount of bottles from all over the world and the prices are very fair relative to other bars. Kex Hostel also has some nice beer on tap (I have seen Mikkeller and To Öl there) along with Ölstofan (some Borg beers including seasonals).

    I'd try to stay away from the local macros if you can. All beer here is expensive so you should at least try to get your money's worth.

    P.s. Skál is very much the correct word. Skál, and enjoy your stay!
  14. andylipp

    andylipp Dec 8, 2006 Massachusetts

    Thank you so much for the up-to-the-minute report on state of the Icelandic beer scene. It looks as though you just signed up for the forums today in order to reply to my inquiry. If that's the case, I doubly thank you.
    ManBearPat likes this.
  15. HjaltiB

    HjaltiB Feb 18, 2013 Iceland

    No problem mate. Feel free to contact me again if you need additional information.
    andylipp likes this.
  16. andylipp

    andylipp Dec 8, 2006 Massachusetts

    We went yesterday to both MicroBar and also to whatever they are calling the Icelandic Bar now and enjoyed some terrific beer and conversation. Thanks again!
  17. HjaltiB

    HjaltiB Feb 18, 2013 Iceland

    Great! What did you get if I may ask?
  18. Jnorton00

    Jnorton00 Apr 13, 2007 Massachusetts

    It's 800 dollars worth of stuff you can bring back to the US. I've come back with 30+ bottles each of my last two trips and they didn't say a word to me.
  19. andylipp

    andylipp Dec 8, 2006 Massachusetts

    A full report to follow. So busy seeing the country! Going to the symphony tonight so I will likely hit Microbar again ( third time).
  20. sliverX

    sliverX Oct 5, 2007 S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

    Any report, will be traveling in early Nov. for our honeymoon?
  21. andylipp

    andylipp Dec 8, 2006 Massachusetts

    Gah! Forgot to follow up on this.
    In short-the advice above from HjaltiB was perfect. The Microbar was THE beer destination in town. I recommend you chat up the fellow behind the bar there for other recommendations.Also, the Borg beers were pretty solid and found in several local bars, including the hotel bar at the Hilton where we stayed.
    The Kex Hostel also had some very good beers on tap.
    The country was beautiful. Enjoy your trip. And reach out to HjaltiB with any more questions. He really steered me in the right direction.
    sliverX likes this.
  22. sliverX

    sliverX Oct 5, 2007 S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

  23. Hollieparker

    Hollieparker Sep 10, 2014

  24. ArkyVaughan

    ArkyVaughan Nov 1, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    My wife and I are heading to Iceland for 9 days in early February. We will definitely check out Microbar. Any other new beer spots of note since this thread was updated?

    Also, do you think the bartenders at Microbar would appreciate receiving some harder-to-get US brews. I'd be happy to bring a few bottles of Hill Farmstead or Russian River (or others) with me to share with locals.

  25. olradetbalder

    olradetbalder Jan 31, 2011 Sweden

    No I think you should send them to me in Sweden instead!
    I think everyone would be happy to get that in any place of the world.
  26. ArkyVaughan

    ArkyVaughan Nov 1, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    @olradetbalder If I ever make it to Sweden (and I hope I do), I'll bring some bottles for you!
    olradetbalder likes this.
  27. gunnarolis

    gunnarolis Jul 20, 2012 Iceland
    Beer Trader

    @ArkyVaughan I work at MicroBar. I'll shoot you a PM. We'll work something out.
  28. RobertH50

    RobertH50 Jan 27, 2014 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Going in late March and glad to find this thread. Can't wait to try MicroBar and the new Mikkeller and Friends!
  29. Westyn

    Westyn Feb 12, 2014 Texas

    Pretty jealous that I left Iceland right before Mikkeller & Friends came! As a fellow Texan, I will say that you will love Iceland. Definitely go to MicroBar and Mikkeller, and check out Skuli Craft bar as well. You will be amazed at some of the bottles they're able to get that we can't get in Texas. Also hit up @gunnarolis and bring him some fresh Yellow Rose if possible haha! Hit me up too if you want to pick my brain for any suggestions etc.
  30. RobertH50

    RobertH50 Jan 27, 2014 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Thanks, @Westyn. PM forthcoming.
  31. RobertH50

    RobertH50 Jan 27, 2014 Texas
    Beer Trader

  32. gunnarolis

    gunnarolis Jul 20, 2012 Iceland
    Beer Trader


    Sorry for the late reply. Been super busy!
    Ill shoot you a pm @RobertH50. Would love to meet up...
  33. SiddFinch

    SiddFinch Dec 18, 2013 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Funny enough I was coming on here today just to post a thread of this sort... Lots of good info! I'm heading to Icceland for my honeymoon in 10 days.
    @gunnarolis, not to hijack the other guys but I can get you some good stuff from VT if you were interested in swinging a trade. I'm actually headed to Hill Farmstead with my buds on Friday!
  34. gunnarolis

    gunnarolis Jul 20, 2012 Iceland
    Beer Trader

    @SiddFinch I'll shoot you a PM. I'm always up for a trade/meetup/whatevs!
  35. msjpearson

    msjpearson Feb 16, 2015 Ontario (Canada)
    Beer Trader

    I'm heading to Iceland this summer...What beers should I be looking for at the bars mentioned in this thread? Are those bars still the best spots?
  36. ArkyVaughan

    ArkyVaughan Nov 1, 2013 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    I was in Iceland just before the Mikkeller bar opened, so I can't speak to that one, but you should definitely go to MicroBar at least once (I went twice). By far the best beer bar I went to in Iceland.
  37. mynie

    mynie Jun 22, 2004 Massachusetts
    Beer Trader

    I'm coming to Reykjavik next week for the All Tomorrow's Parties festival, an I'm staying less like a km away from Microbar.

    Does anybody from there want to drink with a pair of insane Americans? WOW Air is pretty restrictive when it comes to luggage, but i should be able to bring along a few bottles or cans. PM me if you'd be interested in meeting up and we can discuss what beers I can bring.
  38. khoff5

    khoff5 Mar 7, 2013 Connecticut

    Saw this place rated "best beer selection" in a 2015 best of Reykjavik list - Skuli - I wonder if anyone here has been, and whether it's better than the above mentioned Microbar or Mikkeller? Also would love recommendations elsewhere in Iceland - we'll be driving the ring road in September.
  39. Westyn

    Westyn Feb 12, 2014 Texas

    Skuli is awesome. But you should probably check out all theplaces, Micro bar has a great selection. Both places will have some great stuff euro and american. Mikkeller and friends wasn't open when I was there, but you know they are going to have a great atmosphere and top tier selection, so if your time is limited i would definitely check out mikkeller & friends with some pizza! I can't really speak on what you'll find beer wise along the ring road, but akureyri will probably have something since it is another big iceland city.
    khoff5 likes this.
  40. jesus_man

    jesus_man May 8, 2015 Illinois

    Will be there in Feb, so just tagging along here!
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!