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Craft Beer

Craft beer testing close to the arctic circle

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Long time no post, but I was up north with the whole family – in Iceland

Besides making vacation, visiting family and friends, I was also very hard working for this blog…

Because in addition to spectacular nature and a very vivid music scene, Iceland has much more to attract visitors from all over the world:

Craft beer, brewed with one of the best waters in the world.

The last couple of years, the Icelandic craft beer scene developed pretty fast. And even on international festivals the brewers brought home some of the most important prices within the world of beer (like BRIO from Borg Brugghus, which won the gold medal at the World Beer Cup 2012, for the category German-style Pilsener!!).

To get the full winner list, take a look here:

So while we were there, we took the chance to drink and test us through the huge variety of beers from this beautiful northern country.  The test crew: 2 females and 2 males – well mixed, but with 3 people who are relatively new to the craft beer scene – never tasted an IPA or imperial stout before. But all of us are well aware of the franconian beer scene, so that helped us to make it through the night. I don’t want to bother you with scores (which I don’t give a shit), but I want to share with you some of the impressions and let you know our winners.

The most reasonable beers from this evening:

Craft Beer


  “Ul Fur” (the wolf?) an IPA from Borg Brugghus – according to the label it has some GRRRR inside – whatever that is? Smell was very well received – taste OK, but difficult for our frankonian tongues…You might know, IPA hardly exist there.

“Gæðingur” (a good nag?) – we had the pale ale and the stout – the beer is coming from a small brewery from northern Iceland, close to Akureyri. The design of the bottles and label are beautiful. And next time I have to test their lager, because in all fairness I think I will not become a big stout or pale ale fan over the next years. But unfortunately they haven’t had it in the ATVR (like a liquor store) this time.

“Pils Organic” – a Pils from Viking – I mean it is organic, it is a Pils and it is brewed with Bavarian hop: 3 good reasons to go for that beer. But if I compare it for example with “Pils” from the brewery Hofmann, it is far away to become a reference. And I think if you name your beer like the whole category it should be in a way outstanding. So in this case you should take the Franconian Pils from Pahres, and not the Icelandic one!

“Einstök” (unique) – we had the Icelandic White Ale. It is brewed with orange peel and coriander – quite unusal if you come from the Country with the “Reinheitsgebot”. It might be the taste and smell or the late evening, but this beer created the most associations:

“like white sport socks and a golf cabriolet”

“reminds me of a tennis court”

“a Viking with sport socks”

“Lava” – a beer from the small brewery Olvisholt Brugghus: It is a Smoked Imperial Stout with 9,4% alcohol with 6 types of barley malt. Wow – do I have to say more? Really heavy stuff.

“a beer like chicken teriyaki”

“ smells like Meraner Kaminwurzn”  (a smoked sausage from Alto Adige, Italy)

“Freyja” – same brewery as above, but a wheat ale. It comes with Hallertau Hersbruck hop, which is just around the corner where we live. We especially were catched by the beautiful smell:

“like recently bathed elf”

“Brio” – Pils from Borg Brugghus; very clear and straight forward. For me as beerlover from Franconia / Bavaria still very very unusual to have a craft beer in a tin. This is at my home only ‘reserved’ for the cheap beer.

craft beer from iceland

craft beer testing

In addition to the Icelandic beer, we brought our favorite beer from our hometown as a present. Not judged within the competition– just for the good taste in-between!

„Schanze Rot und Schanze Hell“ – from Schanzenbräu, Nürnberg – Gostenhof. We love it!

After a long and enjoyable evening we finally had our personal champs.

Women choice clearly was Einstöck  - a refreshing summer beer

Our overall winner was Brio – pure, honest & straight forward

And because this blog is about beer and artwork, we also announced a special price for packaging & label: which goes to Gæðingur

So I think next vacation we should verify our testing results on spot…



craft beer crew

icelandic beer

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