Icelandic Beer: The Best Breweries in Iceland
There’s nothing like a cold, frothy Icelandic beer at the end of a hard day’s drive and adventuring to help you relax. Luckily, Iceland enjoys a great number of different breweries for such a small country. Beer was illegal in Iceland from 1915 up until the 1st of March 1989, meaning that the country has had a lot of catching up to do in terms of brewing techniques.
But in the 30 or so years since then, Icelanders have come a long way. Craft beer is rising quickly in popularity, and you can now find plenty of breweries and craft beer bars around the country.
Stopping off at these breweries on your campervan trip around Iceland will support local businesses, keeping the money in the pockets of the pioneering locals who toil away brewing these delicious Icelandic beers.
Whilst drinking at these establishments is always fun, Iceland has zero tolerance when it comes to your blood alcohol limit whilst driving. So, make sure you’re done driving for the day before exploring what’s on offer at the following breweries.
Scroll down for:
- Breweries in Reykjavik
- Craft Beer Bars in Reykjavik
- Breweries in South Iceland
- Breweries in East Iceland
- Breweries in North Iceland
- Breweries in West Iceland & Westfjords
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Breweries in Reykjavik
If you’re looking to try some Icelandic beer on your stay in the country, Reykjavik is the place. As the capital of the country, the city has the highest number of breweries and a range of craft beer bars where you can enjoy a tipple of the breweries from around the country. The best part? Everything is within easy walking distance.
Tucked away at the far end of the Grandi neighbourhood is the stylish urban brewery Ægisgarður. With a great selection of beers, solid prices, and a behind-the-scenes tour, this one is worth the walk.
Barion Bryggjan Brugghús
A Reykjavik institution that has recently changed hands thanks to the 2020 pandemic. They’re still brewing beers though and continue to be one of the best sports bars in Reykjavik. There’s plenty of space for great meals, and a regular live music as well.
Bastard Brew & Food
Many locals were distraught when the popular bar Vegamót closed, but Bastard Brew & Food is a more than worthy replacement. On top of brewing a small selection of their own beers, you can also order from a great selection of pub food: burgers, wings, tacos, and more.
A quiet little craft brewery that has been making great beers since 2018. Although they don’t have a licence to sell their beers on site, you can get a taste by either visiting for a tour or simply heading to the nearest Vínbúðin (Icelandic state alcohol store) and buying their brews.
RVK Brewing Company
Now one of the biggest craft beer breweries in Reykjavik, the RVK Brewing Company is a great spot to visit and enjoy some Icelandic beer. Their tap room is open to walk-ins, but if you want a tour of the brewery, call or email ahead.
Icelandic Craft Beer Bars in Reykjavik
There’s nothing better than returning to Reykjavik from a great campervan trip around the country and kicking back with a local beer. Here’s a list of the craft beer bars in Reykjavik:
One of the best spots for a drop of Icelandic beer. Bjórgarðurinn, or ‘The Beer Garden’, has over 30 Icelandic beers from around the country on tap. But it doesn’t stop there; their fridges are also stocked with an extensive selection of international craft beers as well. They also serve up a delicious menu of perfectly paired pub food as well.
The global chain Brewdog officially opened in Reykjavik towards the end of 2018 and has quickly become a firm favourite with locals. Expect the brand’s famous craft beers (like the Punk IPA) as well as a great selection of local Icelandic beer.
One of the first craft beer bars to open in Reykjavik, Micro Bar has a strong local following of die-hard fans. Located in a basement underneath, it’s got a relaxed vibe with plenty of space. There are also board games here to play while you sample the beers on tap.
Session Craft Bar
One of the newest craft beer bars in the city, Session is a great option for a night out sampling some Icelandic beer. Located on the second floor of a building overlooking Skólavörðustígur/Laugavegur, there’s great people watching to be done from the floor to ceiling windows as you enjoy your beer.
Skúli Craft Bar
A classy craft beer bar on a quiet square in Reykjavik, Skúli is all about great Icelandic beer in an elegant setting. This might be the best bet for dipping your toes into the Icelandic craft beer scene, with 14 different brews on tap from around the country.
Breweries in South Iceland
Location: The Westman Islands
If you’re heading to the Westman Islands (which you should think about doing), then you’ll be able to discover The Brothers Brewery. Started in 2012 by, you guessed it, a group of brothers from the Westman Islands, it has evolved from brewing 19 litres of beer in a basement to becoming a fully blown brewery today.
Jón Ríki Brewery
A new Icelandic brewery recently opened near Höfn in Iceland’s southeast, Jón Ríki is a fantastic little spot. Nestled below the glacier Vatnajökull, this country brewery has gained a reputation for some seriously good food and even better beers. Great views out towards one of Iceland’s most spectacular glaciers.
A new pizza place and brewery in Hveragerði, Ölverk has won a lot of people over with their huge, affordable pizzas and delicious Icelandic beers. It’s the perfect spot to warm up with some food and drink after hiking back down from Reykjadalur, the famous hot spring river in Iceland.
This brewery is a bit far from a campsite, so make sure that you have a designated driver with you. The owners are friendly and will make you feel more like family than a tourist. There’s not much to do in the way of a brewery tour, so instead just hang out in the taproom and sample some of their brews. Nearest campsite is back in the town of Selfoss, about 15 minutes’ drive away.
This new brewery in Vík is the latest addition to Iceland’s southernmost town. Located in a warehouse by the ocean, the industrial-styled space has a trendy, hipster feel going. If you’re spending the night camping in Vík, this is a great option for dinner – they whip up some mean burgers and wings for hungry campers.
There’s a lot more to do on Iceland’s South Coast – check out our guide to the region here.
Breweries in East Iceland
Quiet Egilsstaðir has long been an overlooked corner of the Ring Road, with most travellers zipping right through without a backward glance. But Askur Taproom is worth the stop. With incredible pizzas and beers, warm vibes, and friendly staff, you’ll want to spend. Don’t miss the beer with brewed with Icelandic wasabi.
Want a taste of small-town Iceland? Breiðdalsvík (population 139) is it. Rest assured that if you decide to camp here and visit the Beljandi Brewery, you’ll meet some of the friendliest locals and really get a feel for old school Iceland. This Icelandic brewery is a great option for those who want to discover the real Icelandic countryside.
Breweries in North Iceland
Kaldi isn’t so much a craft beer – rather, it’s one of the biggest breweries in Iceland. With a restaurant on site, it’s a great place to get a meal and enjoy their range of Icelandic beers. But many come here for a different reason: the beer spa. This is the only beer spa in the country and makes for a great experience. Each spa comes with a draft tap so you can fill up and enjoy a beer while having a soak.
Húsavík is well-known for its whale watching and as the town in the recent Will Ferrell movie, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. And now, there’s also a great little brewery as well. If you’re spending the night at the campsite here for a whale watching trip, make the short walk into town to try some of their beers.
Siglufjörður lies at the northern tip of the Tröllaskagi Peninsula, once one of the busiest ports in all of Iceland thanks to the booming herring trade. It’s a little sleepier since the herring were fished out of existence, but with the unveiling of the Arctic Coast Way, tourism is set to wake it up again. Segull 67 have a taproom and offer tours of their brewery, which sits in an old warehouse on the harbour.
Iceland’s Arctic Coast Way is the perfect alternative to your standard Ring Road trip.
Einstök Brewers Lounge
Location: Akureyri, North Iceland
While not a brewery, we thought it would be good to make mention of this special little bar in Akureyri. Einstök is one of Iceland’s most famous beers, but their brewery doesn’t have a taproom or tours. Instead, they’ve set up a hidden brewer’s lounge in downtown Akureyri where you can nestle into a comfy chair and enjoy their beers straight from the brewery. Find it up above the bar Ölstofa Akureyrar.
Breweries in West Iceland & Westfjords
The Westfjords only craft brewery is in Ísafjörður. This brewery churns out some great beers in a little warehouse located in Ísafjörður’s industrial zone near the harbour. If you’re spending some time in the Westfjords, make sure to drop by and sample their brews.
The Westfjords is still one of Iceland’s best kept secrets – check out our regional guide for campers.
Finally, this brewery in West Iceland rounds out this list, and it’s one of the strangest breweries in Iceland. Their most famous beer is brewed using a whale testicle, which might sound a bit mad, but don’t knock it until you try it. There are plenty of nearby campsites in this area.
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