Saturday, June 25, 2011

some new brews!

Been way to long since I´ve blogged about beer..!

There is a new boy in town. Located on the north coast of Iceland, Gæðingur, makes his first appearance nationwide. This little private owned micro, situated in Skagafjörður (icelandic horse Mecha), arrived on the scene almost from nowhere. According to their website they are located in an old barn and aim to produce 300,000 bottles (yes, bottles, not gallons!) a year. The owner aim to make things both simple and old fashioned, something that will go very well in northern Iceland.

They brew two beers, light and dark, i.e. a lager and a stout. I´ve only sampled the stout and I liked it. It´s unfiltered, pitch black with a dense brown head. Huge aroma of liquorice, chocolate and some smoke. It´s a bit rough around the edges, very tasty although a bigger body to support would have been nice. Being 5.6% abv, this is a nice session stout. Will buy again and hopefully the lager has some taste also..

In other news, I was just stateside, hitting the south rather hard and sampling a few dozens. I'm thinking of writing a review of the mind boggling adventure my tastebuds went through, sampling countless of double/imperial IPA´s. I also stumbled on a really nice brewhouse in the delightful city of Greenboro. s

Natty Greene´s is located in the heart of Greensboro, on Elm Street. Far from being a nightmare, this visit to this wonderful street was quite the adventure. Although Natty Greene´s all year round beers are not the best I´ve had, they brew pretty good seasonals and one kick ass IPA. It also boasts of the best patio I´ve seen, and the food is amazing.

In the mean time, grab yourself a bottle of Gæðingur Stout, and enjoy this old fashion brew!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

stirring things up..

There is something different on the horizon..

Almost every brewery in Iceland is brewing something inventive and creative. 3 years ago I would have laughed if somebody would have told me this. In 2005 the first microbrewery began brewing and changed the beer landscape in Iceland for the good. For the first time, something different was available to those who prefer domestic over imports. 3 breweries and loads of talk later, the big ones are beginning to figure out that a growing number of people want something else than pissy lagers. When I brought Neill of Defiant Brewery a bottle of Kaldi in 2006 he told me that this would rule the bottled beer market in Iceland in a couple of years. He was right, in 2009 the biggest seller of bottled beer in Iceland was Kaldi. (Although Viking and Egils were selling multiple the amount of Kaldi beer in canned form)

The idea of gourmet beer was presented to the Icelandic market and people have responded well. The big macros are getting this, and now Egils have responded demand by coming out with a new line of beers, a brown ale, bavarian pilsner, an IPA and a belgian blond. Viking, the other macro, started their own line couple of years ago with the Viking Stout which is quite good also. And now both Viking and Egils will start to brew bigger beers, more hoppier, more maltier and more tasty than ever before.

The first to grab my attention is the Úlfur IPA. Bitterness set at 60 IBUs, cascade, simcoe and amarillo hops, making me almost wanting to lick the inside of the bottle. The brewmaster learned his trade at Russian River so I fully trust that he knows what he is doing and we will see a lot more from him in the coming months and years..

I´ve tasted some of the stuff that the other macro is experimenting with and I must say that things are changing for the better and we are going into more hoppier times than ever before