In recent years, Iceland’s beer has been globally praised and the culture surrounding it has grown immensely. It is the most consumed alcoholic beverage in Iceland, and eight out of ten of the most sold brands are Icelandic. But what makes the Icelandic beer so good?
The secret lies in Iceland’s amazing water quality. However, this beer culture is fairly new because beer was actually illegal from 1915 until 1989. Initially a referendum was held in which all alcoholic beverages were banned but slowly the ban was lifted for wines and spirits yet beer remained illegal until March 1st 1989. March 1st has now become the National Beer Day and is even celebrated every year. Since the legalization many breweries have emerged, the two largest are Vífilfell and Ölgerðinn, making around 93% and around 14 other microbreweries exist, in total they make around 60 different kinds of beers which is an astonishing number for a country with such a small population.
Icelandic Northern Lights and Whale beer
Gateway to Iceland offers a private West Iceland tour which can include a visit to the Steðja microbrewery if desired; this brewery is also producing a beer flavored with a whale which is considered to be one of the most controversial beers. Guests will have a guided tour followed by the opportunity to taste several of their beers.