Iceland Mag

12 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Reykjavík microbrewery brews first batch of beer with all Icelandic grown hops

By Staff

  • First ever Icelandic hops The brewmasters of Borg posing with the first harvest of Icelandic hops. Photo/Borg Brugghús, Facebook.

"Finally!! - Icelandic hops!!!" reads a recent Facebook post by the microbrewery Borg. The accompanying photograph shows two of the brewmasters of the brewery Valgeir Valgeirsson and Árni Long posing with a box of hops, the very first harvest of Icelandic grown hops.

The hops, which are of the Columbus variety, were grown in a greenhouse in the village Flúðir in South Iceland. According to a second post on the Facebook page of Borg the hops in question are "the best hops in the world, at least on a per-capita basis!"

Read more: An Icelandic microbrew revolution 

The brewmasters at Borg are now experimenting with the new hops, developing a new beer which the local newspaper DV reports will be released sometime next year.

With the introduction of Icelandic grown hops beer lovers are one step closer to tasting a Icelandic beer made with all Icelandic ingredients. Currently almost all ingredients in Icelandic beer, except the water and the skill and ingenuity of the brewmasters, are imported. The Icelandic barley harvest is not nearly large enough to satisfy the needs of local brewers, and the barley is generally not of high enough quality to make it optimal for high quality beer making.

Borg currently makes one beer, Snorri, which is made with Icelandic barley. Snorri, which is billed as an "Icelandic Ale", is flavored with arctic thyme but uses imported hops, like all beers brewed in Iceland. The brewery Egils also produces a lager Boli, which uses some Icelandic barley.

Read more: Icelandic micro-brewed sheep manure smoked Imperial Stout awarded gold in renowned European competition 

Snorri is named after the poet and chieftain Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241) who lived at the farm Borg in West Iceland, where the brewery Borg gets its name from. Snorri was not only one of the most powerful chieftain of the "Age of Sturlungs" the Icelandic civil war of the 13th century, but a renowned scholar. Many believe he wrote the Saga of Egill, one of the best known of the Icelandic Sagas. The Saga of Egill traces the life of Viking chief Egill Skallagrímsson who settled the region of Iceland where Snorri lived, and had his farm at Borg. The brewery Egils gets its name from Egill Skallagrímsson.

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