As airlines were a great source of distress on this trip, it was no surprise to me that my flight into Reyjkavik (connecting then to EWR) was several hours late. This meant that the entire flight had missed their connections (only one flight out of Reykjavik to each destination per day!). We were all going to be stuck in Iceland over night.
When we finally arrived in the small city, a big bus was already waiting to take us... an hour from the airport... into city center? There was a nice turn of events! Around 8pm, we arrived at the free hotel (which wasn't half bad). We were then served a complimentary dinner, where I dined with a few other passengers from the flight. By the time dessert was done, it was almost 9:30pm and the strange, still-light sky was just too inviting to stay in. Exhausted as I was, I was 7 minutes from the heart of Reykjavik and I only had one night. After convincing a few others to come exploring, I was on my way!
We stopped into Hurra, a jazz bar that was recommended to us by a native Icelander. The music was fantastic. The people were beautiful. And as I drank my refreshing Einstok White Ale, I had one of those only-when-you-travel revelations where you feel like you've found the place where you belong, if only for one night.
Though Hurra was mesmerizing, I had to make it to Mikkeller & Friends. Somewhat regretfully, I left the jazz bar in search of beer. When we got there, the 1st floor was a bar, but as soon as we mentioned "beer," we were redirected upstairs. The tiny upstairs had a small bar and two separate rooms. As I took a seat at a communal table, I couldn't help gawking at the interesting choice of decor. Dancing clowns, burlesque devils and a glass case of creepy baby dolls adorned the walls of the bar. Very creepy nursery-esque. I'm not really sure what the story behind that is, but I like to think that somebody just thought it would be funny.
Tool LikeWeisse - Poured a murkey golden color with a white head. Aroma was medium tart, wheat, lemony/citrus and hay. Taste had lemon, mild sourness, slight floral notes and white wine hints towards the end. Body was lighter and refreshing, dries towards the end. A good beer.
Borg Brugghus Fjolublaa Hondin - Poured a very dark red, with a thin, pink-tinged head. Dominant blueberry/bilberry in the aroma, with very subltle hints of arctic thyme. Blueberry and brett funk in the taste, some sourness. Lighter side of medium bodied with good amount of carbonation. Enjoyed this one a lot.
Only having about 2 hours until everything closed that night, I awoke the next morning determined to drink beers precisely at 11am. I had two hours until I had to be back for my bus departure.
Ölvisholt Brugghús Lava Smoked Imperial Stout @ Scandinavian - Black with a light brown head. Smelled sweet, like dried banana with dark chocolate and some coffee. Malty and roasty in flavor. Toasted malts, but not overly smoky. Cocoa, coffee and very subtle vanilla hints in the taste. Much thinner in body than I expected, on the heavier side of medium bodied. Too expensive to drink again, but would love to age a bottle of this. Many subtle flavors under the smoke.
Viking Classic @ Public House - Clear amber color with light white head. A balanced, malty, well done Vienna. Plenty of carbonation. Refreshing, easy to drink.
I also tried to make it to Kaldi, a craft beer bar. Google said they would be open at 12pm, but I had checked back twice and they still hadn't opened by around 12:40pm. I caught a cab and went back to the Icelandic Air Reykjavik Natura hotel for a complimentary lunch (after almost ordering a $21 bowl of chowder) and to catch my bus back to the airport (which I was strongly tempted to miss). I definitely would love to visit Reykjavik again for a more extended visit. However, at $14 per beer, I don't want to guess how much it would have cost without the complimentary hotel, meals and transportation.
This concludes my 2016 Euro beercation. Don't worry, there are tons of tales coming up from NorCal!
Until then, hoppy drinking!
- One Hoppy Lady