On Saturday, March 1, Icelanders around the country will celebrate Icelandic Beer Day in honor of the the end of prohibition, which concluded on March 1, 1989. The sale of this now wildly popular libation was banned for nearly 75 years. Since then, an abundance of Icelandic breweries have opened their doors and crafted award-winning beers for the whole world to enjoy.
Interested in trying an Icelandic beer on this special day? We’ve outlined a few great options below! And remember, please celebrate this holiday responsibly. Skal!
Gull (Icelandic for gold) is a pale lager brewed in the tradition of the German Münchener helles method, in which malt plays a major role. Its distinctive taste derives from the pure Icelandic water and barley it is brewed with. Gull is classic and crisp, has a clear golden sheen, small white head, light toasted malt nose and a fresh lemony tang. It’s no wonder Gull has received a number of prizes, including the “World’s Best Standard Lager” at the World Beer Awards 2011!
Launched in May 2010 Brio was the first beer developed by Borg Brugghus. The brewmasters Sturlaugur Jon Bjornsson and Gudmundur Mar Magnusson developed it with the owners of the popular Reykjavik pub, Olstofa Kormaks & Skjaldar. The aim was to produce a premium German-style pilsner that would please the local hipsters and bohemians. Out came this fresh, pale but cheerful pilsner with a bitter lemony taste, followed by a dry crisp finish.
For the more adventurous types, pick up a bottle of Fenrir Nr. 26. The malted barley that goes into this is smoked over burning Icelandic sheep excrement for several hours, resulting in a brew that is, according to brewmaster Sturlaugur Jon Björnsson, “a lightweight IPA with fresh citrus and hop notes, then comes a bit heavier taste from the…” (I bet you can guess what he says next!) You can read more about the unique beer on CNN Eatocracy.