Recently I went with Grétar and a lot of his friends to the "beer school" in Ölgerðin, in the big building where they actually do the brewing and that. For those of you not familiar with Icelandic beer culture, the two main breweries are Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson (who make Gull and Tuborg, two of the most popular lagers in Iceland) and Vífilfell (who make Víking, the other popular lager). Both companies also make a lot of other drinks, soft drinks and juices and so on, but who cares.

A subsidiary of Ölgerðin is the microbrewery Borg, which was also in the same building. There are various other microbreweries in Iceland (Kaldi and Ölvisholt come to mind... there are probably more?), but basically when you go to the pub, unless you go somewhere fancy like Microbar, the beers on tap are going to be Tuborg and/or Gull or Víking. Nowhere sells lagers from both breweries, it's like a Pepsi / Coke thing going on. Of course there are usually a few bottled Icelandic varieties available also.

Anyway, it was super fun and really interesting. The guy told us a bit about the general history of beer, loads of cool stuff about the history of beer in Iceland and how it came to be banned / re-legalised, about how beer is made, the main ingredients and their varieties, what effect that has on the taste and so on. We got to taste a few different sorts of beer (as well as unlimited-within-reason Gull) and also go to see the brewing equipment (in the microbrewery and the big brewery). A highly recommended evening's entertainment!

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