Travel Iceland: “Stedji” Icelandic Craft Beer Tasting

On our last full day in Iceland, we spent some time exploring the Borgarnes region in West Iceland, about 90 minutes North of Reykjavik.

Even though we are so far away from home in Iceland, my thirst to support local (and my boyfriend’s thirst for beer!) does not change.  One of the stops we made was at Brugghús Steðji, an Icelandic craft beer brewery, which offers tastings for 1,500 ISK (approximately $15 CAD), and 6-packs of beer for 2,000ISK (approximately $20 CAD).

Due to its many glacial springs, water in Iceland is very clean and pure.  Stedji has its own natural source of spring water, and brews its beer with this.

Here are a couple of the unique flavours which stood out:

  • Steðji Northern Lights – This beer is infused with liquorish, which is a very popular flavour in Iceland.  In fact, all the bulk candy sections we came across at grocery stores had liquorish-everything.
  • Steðji Jarðarberjabjór – This is a strawberry-infused beer, made with local Icelandic strawberries.  In fact, later that day when we were still in the region, we came across a self-serve fruit and veggies stand where you can buy strawberries at a roadside stall, and leave your payment in a coin slot.
  • Steðji Hvalur 2 – this is Steðji’s famous whale testicle beer. Yes, you read that correctly: we tried a beer infused with whale testicles…and bought two bottles to bring home too!  The beer has a smokey flavour, which we later found out, is because it was smoked with sheep dung! Honestly, if no one told us what this was beforehand, we would have never been able to guess this was a beer infused with whale balls.  We would have just thought it was a smokey beer, and not given it a second though.
Stedji icelandic craft beer whale beer
Steðji’s famous whale testicle beer smoked with sheep dung.

Current tasting hours are from 1pm to 5pm daily, except Sunday. We showed up without booking anything in advance.  The brewery accepts credit card, however, they preferred for us to use PayPal.  We didn’t have access to wifi at the brewery, so they let us walk out with a 6-pack of beer, with an IOU (which, for the record, we promptly paid the next day). My boyfriend and I both remarked afterwards that it was refreshing to experience a culture which is so trusting.

Directions to Steðji Craft Beer Brewery:

Stedji icelandic craft beer tasting
Look out for this big beer bottle when driving East on Route 50. This statue marks the entrance to Stedji Beer Brewery.

From Reykjavik, driving clockwise on the Ring Road, head north on Route 1 towards Borgarnes for about 70km. Before crossing the bridge to Borgarnes, turn right onto Route 50 towards Reykholti. Follow Route 50 for about 20kms until you pass a sign for Route 515, then keep an eye open for a big beer bottle on the right, marking the entrance to the Stedji Brewery. It’ll seem like you’re driving for ages (Did I miss it? Did I miss it?!), but the beer bottle is impossible to miss.  The Brewery is just up the short driveway towards the farm house.

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