The trend for brewing and drinking craft beer is picking up momentum in Iceland. Beer drinking was traditionally seen as unpatriotic in the early 20th century because of its staple-hood in Danish culture and was in fact banned in Iceland until 1989. After a long period of bars in downtown Reykjavik predominantly serving mainstream lagers such as Víking, Gull, and Carlsberg, the addition of a developing craft beer culture is very welcome. While there are only a few bars in Reykjavik that focus specifically on craft beer, which will come first on the list, there are numerous other bars in the capital and elsewhere on the island where you can find a small selection.
Skúli focuses on quality craft beers, both Icelandic and non-Icelandic. The 14 beers on draught, which change frequently, are written on a blackboard behind the bar. The selection of bottled beer is quite extensive, with more than 130 types. Skúli also has beer sampling trays and offer food pairings.
Here, the beer is brewed on-site with the beer being pumped straight from the brewery into your glass. Bryggjan also has an excellent restaurant with classic bistro dishes. Last but not least, Bryggjan also has a Beer School, where you can learn all about the beers available, how they’re made and what food they’re best paired with. If all that doesn’t impress you, they have a jazz night every Sunday!
Brugghúsbarinn serves beer from the local Kaldi brewery, just outside of Akureyrí. Enjoy the cozy atmosphere in this establishment close to the source of the Iceland’s first microbrewery.
Brugghúsbarinn, Akursíða 2, 600 Akureyri, +354 659 4149
The Akureyri bar has a wide selection of local beer, including Kaldi, and whiskey from all over the world.
Slippurinn (The Ship Yard) is a family-run eatery located in a former machine workshop by the harbor in the Westman Islands. The eatery offers a beautiful view of Heimaklettur, the island’s landmark mountain. Enjoy local food and pair it with local beer on draught – the only place to get craft beer on the island.
Slippurinn, Strandvegur, Vestmannaeyjarbæ, +354 481 1515