When I visited Iceland going on 10 years ago, we somehow missed Einstök. We had lots of amazing experiences like:
- Outrageous hikes through valleys containing rivers running with hot water
- Snorkeling in the frigid water of a fissure between the North American and Eurasian continents
- Eating roasted puffin
- And let’s not forget Brennivin, also known as Black Death which paired, uh, interestingly, with putrified shark
Yet, with all that and more fun times on this island of radness, we didn’t delve into the beer options from the coolest brewery there – Einstök. I am only just now realizing, thanks to the can of Arctic Berry Ale I consumed, how much of a miss that really was.
An instant indicator of a good beer is when my wife doesn’t want to hand the beer back to me after tasting. Brewed with bilberry and crowberry, this is technically a summer beer with a witbier backbone. When I read the can, my eyes changed bil-berry to blue-berry and there is an obvious familial relation here because this stuff is liquid blueberry pie. Like the REALLY good kind your grandmother would make with those little wild blueberries.
The fact that this beer starts life as a witbier means the subtle pepperiness of this style perfectly balances the sweetness of fresh berries. Perfectly may be an understatement. Utopian. Shangr La-ian. Heaven-ian. When you pop the can, the aroma of blueberries is incredible. I felt like Violet Beauregarde in the original Willy Wonka when she’s turning into a gigantic ball of juice and raving like a lunatic about how good the pie is. “It’s the most MARVELOUS blueberry pie I’ve ever tasted!”
And that powerful aroma translates into an excellent sensation for the tastebuds. Lots of berry but not a hint of cloying sweetness from start to finish. I drank it way too fast and was wishing I had picked up a 6 pack. This is a limited edition summer ale but drinking it in the dead of winter did nothing to diminish it’s freshness or explosion of flavor. Drekktu – Sigradu. Endurtaktu I believe means Drink – Conquer – Repeat. Can do.