This tour will take you to beer heaven, offering the opportunity to sample some of the nation’s finest brews. We will visit the famous Ölgerðin Egil Skallagrímsson brewery, famous for being the first and best brewery in Iceland. There we will learn about Iceland’s tumultuous relationship with beer, gain a fascinating insight into the brewing process and get to taste a myriad of golden, amber delights, which all beer lovers are sure to appreciate.
The tour begins in Reykjavik, where we will gather everyone together and make the scenic journey to the iconic Ölgerðin Egil Skallagrímsson, renowned for it prize-winning, internationally recognized beers.
Once we arrive, our friendly hosts will start by teaching us about Iceland’s somewhat tumultuous relationship with beer, which they played a huge part in. The Ölgerðin Egil Skallagrímsson brewery was founded in 1913, making it Iceland’s first brewery, however, just two years later, tragedy struck as the country introduced a general prohibition on all alcohol. This was brought to an end twenty years later in 1935 when wine and spirits were legalized, however, beer drinkers were not so lucky, as the government of the day, believed that its low price encouraged normal people to drink more than was good for them. This state of affairs persisted for a tortuous 54 years, until 1989, when beer was finally re-legalized, on the 1st of March: a day that is now celebrated as beer day, throughout the country.
Iceland’s more ancient history with beer is just as complicated, it being exceedingly popular among the Vikings, who arrived on the island in 871 AD. Luckily for them, the temperatures were warm enough to grow barley, meaning beer and ale flourished. Unfortunately, this came to an end in around 1300 AD, when a mini Ice-Age, along with an increase in volcanic activity, meant that the things required for brewing could no longer be grown.
Since 1989, beer has flourished with a myriad of wonderful artisan brewers popping up all over the country. The staff at Ölgerðin Egil Skallagrímsson, will teach us all about this booming new industry, showing us how they infuse the beer with innovative flavors and ingredients. Taking us on a guided tour around the brewery, which will give you an insight into how they work their magic.
Then we will settle down in a cosy bar, for the main event: the beer tasting session! A vast array of golden frothy masterpieces, will be brought out, a sensual feast, which will excite each one of your senses. It really is akin to a wine tasting, with everyone being able to taste the wheat, malt and hops and the real connoisseurs picking up the subtler flavours, like coriander, orange peel, vanilla liquorice, chocolate, coffee and many, many more.
We will sample some of the brewery’s most famous beers, including ‘Boli’, which won an award at the prestigious World Beer Awards of 2017, along with other prize-winning brews, like the winner of the ‘World’s Best Standard Lager’ in 2011, and their German-style Pilsner, which won gold at the World Beer Cup. This combined with some of their less known, but equally as delicious beers, ensure that your taste buds will be excited and delighted in equal measure.
We will also have the chance, to enjoy a shot of the iconic Icelandic liquor, Brennivin, which comes ice cold, but will put a fire in your belly after you have drunk it: the perfect metaphor for the land of fire and ice!
This tour will well and truly take you to beer heaven, a must for anyone who loves to appreciate, velvety smooth, amber delights!