Even though beer was banned in Iceland until 1989, the country has several local breweries that brew native beer brands. The main brands are Egils (Gull), from the Egill Skallagrímsson brewery, and Viking (Gylltur, Lager and Lite), brewed by Vífilfell, who also offer the Thule beer.

Brewed from the purest water in the world, Icelandic beer is a good choice in today’s varied beer culture. Visitors to the guestroom at the oldest brewery in Iceland have the opportunity to experience a new and innovative way to get to know the Icelanders and their history.

The tour, “Taste the Saga” offered by TripGuide Iceland, takes the guests through Icelandic drinking culture and age old beer traditions come to life. The tour, which is operated on Fri.-Sat. at 6pm, is fairly inexpensive and includes transportation, beverages and snacks. See an ad from Ölgerðin on the back of the Iceland map.

Brennivín, the Icelandic signature alcoholic beverage (around 40% abv), translates literally into English as “burning spiritus” but is also known as “Black Death”. When eating Icelandic ”hákarl”, putrified shark meat, Brennivín is often used to mask the meat’s taste.