Brew to brew, flavour to flavour
The Annual Icelandic Beer Festival took place at Kex Hostel over the last weekend. This celebration of craft brew with a twist of music has long since found its place among the most interesting food and drink related events in Iceland.
The festival is big in many ways, small in others. Yes this is probably the biggest beer-related event in Iceland, but the tickets are limited so the festival itself isn’t really that big. This also means that it’s more intimate.
Third degree brew interrogation
The setup at the festival is pretty simple. Precisely what it ought to be, it’s all about the beer. 20 craft breweries from all over the world introduce their beverages (and sometimes more, like beer flavoured ice cream), and most of them have two beers or more. As tickets are limited, access to the people behind the barrels is easy. Chatting with the people behind the brew about the beers, the brewery’s philosophy and direction, just lends the drink an even more interesting flavour.
From brew to brew
When you arrived you got a small beer glass, and then you walked from brew to brew, refill to refill, with a stop by the water tank every once in a while to clean the glass. The brewers lined up around the walls in a large room with high ceiling and people stood around and chatted in the middle. This area got a little loud for my taste, but just around the corner there were tables and chairs to sit down in a bit more quiet environment and enjoy the drink.
Plenty of flavours
One of the best thing about this festival, aside from the great variety of beer, is that it’s a three day event. Tasting everything in one day is almost an impossible task. At least if one wants to remember the flavour of the last 10 brews. Spreading the tasting over three days makes it that much easier to enjoy each and every flavour.
And there was flavour in abundance. I must say that I have never seen so many interesting flavour combinations of beer together in one place. Even though I didn’t fall in love with every brew I tasted, I really enjoyed trying the different varieties. There was everything from sour beer and stout, to IPA’s flavoured with pretty much everything imaginable. For someone interested in beer, or in flavours in general, this event is a brilliant. And for someone with only the vaguest interest or knowledge, the ticket price is very reasonable and tasting all these different brews side by side is a great experience.
Acclaimed musician Prins Polo designed the can of Kex Hostel's beer, Nordic Söl Gose. Photo: Lilja Jónsdóttir