Iceland’s beer scene has been flourishing in recent years. While the expanding variety is evident on the shelves of the local Vinbuð shops year-round, it really jumps out at you at those times of the year when craft brewers mix up something special for the thirsty masses.
One of those times is Easter. Alcohol stores only stock seasonal Easter beers for ca. five weeks – don’t ask us why, only the beer gods know. They hit the shelves March 10 this year to give hop enthusiasts time to try all the páskabjór available before the holiday rolls around.
Here are six Easter beers we’ll be sipping this season.
Bönní Bönní Bönní Bönní (Ægir Brugghús)
Ægir Brugghús’ Easter offering is a Belgian witbier with the fresh kick of orange juice brewed right in, so you don’t technically need an accompanying slice in your glass. Heck, drink it right out of the can while nibbling on your páskaegg (Easter egg). The levity of the beer would be a nice counterbalance to all that chocolate, and the label featuring a melee of bunny-orange hybrids is decidedly festive.
Kjaftæði (Böl Brewing)
From a fine accompaniment to chocolatey treats to a dessert in a can, Böl Brewing’s seasonal brew is a chocolate chip caramel brownie pastry stout and we’re seeing stars just typing it out. This is an after-dinner beer, to be sipped slowly so you can appreciate the layers of caramel and cacao. Intolerant readers beware, though, much like the indulgent dessert it emulates, Kjaftæði contains lactose.
Páskaálfur (Álfur Brugghús)
Make way for the Easter Elf! Nanobrewery Álfur Brugghús is staying on brand (álfur translates to ‘elf’) with its Easter Elf lager. The Easter Elf on the label looks to be a curmudgeonly little fella with hop flower beard, but the beer itself is a jovial Vienna lager with a characteristic malty sweetness. This is the beer we’ll be sipping while unwinding after work and easing into the long Easter weekend.
Glóð is what we’ll be enjoying alongside a brunch with friends over Easter weekend. The seasonal offering of Iceland’s one and only meadery, Glóð is a chocolate mead with caramelized honey, madagascar cocoa nib and vanilla. Yum!
Pálmasunnudagshumlaþoka (Og Natura)
Here’s one to crack open the week before Easter to mark Palm Sunday. Og Natura’s Pálmasunnudagshumlaþoka (Palm Sunday Hoppy Fog) is a hazy pale ale with hints of citrus. It’s a fresh tasting pale ale from Iceland’s first winery, who is known for distilling wild Icelandic botanicals into their beverages.
Tveir vinir og annar í páskum (Víking Brugghús)
The Coca-Cola of Icelandic breweries (in that you can find it everywhere and it’s literally merged with the beverage giant in Europe), Víking Brugghús has released Tveir Vinir og Annar í Páskum to celebrate the season. The IPA promises to bring your taste buds on an Easter vacation to Florida, with hints of pineapple, passionfruit and mango, then drag you right back to Iceland with its piney undertones. Sounds like a real trip.
Where to get these adult Easter treats?
Alcohol is only sold in the state-run Vínbúð in Iceland, or in licensed restaurants or bars. You should be able to find all the beers we’ve listed in any Vínbúð outlet, but if you want to try an Easter beer while hitting the town, just ask the waiter or bartender if they have any. Skál!