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Food & Drink

Craft-brewed stout Surtur picked as world's best barrel-aged beer at the World Beer Awards

By Staff

  • The award winning stout Borg Brewery numbers its beers in the order of their release, with each new version receiving a new unique number. There are already eight different Surtur imperial stouts. Photo/Borg Brugghús

The world's best barrel aged beer is the Icelandic craft-brewed Surtur 8.2, brewed by the micro-brewery Borg. The award is yet another proof that the Icelandic brewing industry has more than made up for the time it lost during decades long beer-ban, which was only lifted in 1989.

Read more: Today is the annual Icelandic Beer Day: The "Beer Ban" was lifted on this day in 1989

Surtur 8.2 was named the best "Wood Aged" beer in the flavored beer category. The World Beer Awards are part of the World Drinks Awards, which are touted as the top global awards for all internationally recognized styles of drinks, including dozens of different types of beers. 

Competing against the giants
Valgeir Valgeirsson, one of the brewmasters of Borg Brugghús, which makes the Surtur nr 8.2 stout, told the local newspaper Morgunblaðið that the awards are an important recognition of the success of Borg and quality of Surtur. "We were competing against many of the best beers in the world, beers which the breweries have spent enormous time and effort to develop. There were a lot of giant beers in this category." 

Borg brugghús brewery

The brewmasters Borg is one of the most successful and most highly awarded Icelandic micro-brewery. Photo/Haraldur Jónasson

Read more: An Icelandic microbrew revolution

Borg has released several different varieties of Surtur, which is an imperial stout, each with a different number. The latest, Surtur 8.2, was released at the beginning of the season of Þorri, the traditional winter-feast season. Surtur 8.2 is a potent imperial stout, 14.5% alcohol by volume. It has been aged for six months on bourbon barrels. Borg makes ten different barrel aged beers. The brewery is currently aging several different varieties of beers using 110 barrels.

Expert stout makers
Valgeir told Morgunblaðið that the award proves that Borg has achieved certain mastery in the making of stouts. "This award is first and foremost a recognition of our work in the past few years. We have managed to achieve a certain specialization. The beer which received the award is the second variant of Surtuyr nr 8. In total we have made eight different variants of that beer."

This is the fifth time a Borg beer is selected as the best beers in their category a the World Beer Awards. In 2013 two Borg beers, the porter Myrkvi nr 13, the dry-hopped pilsner Brio nr 1 and the IPA Úlfur nr 3 were picked best in their categories, and in 2015 Sólveig nr 25 was picked best in its category of strong wheat beers.

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