Thursday, February 10, 2011
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