Where can you find Icelandic craft bars and micro breweries and what kind of beer can you find in Iceland?

Iceland’s craft beer scene has taken off in recent years. This guide will make sure you never go thirsty while travelling around the country.
 
Iceland is playing catch up to the rest of the world when it comes to beer – it was banned in the country up until 1989. But travel around the country today and you wouldn’t know it, thanks to the quality of the country’s craft breweries is something to cherish. With some of the freshest water in the world and unique sub-arctic ingredients, the breweries listed below are must-visits for beer fanatics on any trip in Iceland. 
 
 

Craft Breweries in Reykjavik

Bryggjan Brugghús
One of the easiest breweries to visit in Reykjavik, Bryggjan Brugghús is in a big building down by the old harbour. Not only is it a brewery offering tours and exclusive tastings, but it’s also a bistro that serves up hearty meals and with a weekly jazz night on Sundays. The large room has plenty of tables, and floor to ceiling windows overlooking the brewing operation and harbour area. Their beer menu is made up of everything from red ales and dark stouts to IPAs and classic German pilsners.
 
Photo credit; ©Bryggjan Brewery
 
 
RVK Brewing Co.
Located in the 105 neighbourhood just outside of downtown, the RVK Brewing Co. are one of the more inventive breweries in the capital. With ingredients like Japanese yuzu and the famed cinnamon rolls from the cult favourite bakery Brauð og Co, you can’t really go wrong. Visit the taproom to sample their brews (you can also find them on tap at many bars in Reykjavik). Tours are also available of the brewery.
 
Photo credit; © RVK Brewing Co
 
Ægir Brugghús
Located at the far end of the trendy Grandi neighbourhood, Ægir Brugghús burst onto the Icelandic scene in the summer of 2018. It’s well worth the slightly long walk out to their location, as the beers, service and atmosphere are nothing but excellent. Great spot to spend an evening in the capital.
 
Photo credit; © Ægisgarður
 
 
Bastard Brew & Food
A brewpub that serves up four of their own creations alongside the country favourites, Bastard Brew and Food is a great place to go in Reykjavik for some craft beers and a fun night. The food is delicious, music always good, and of course all their beers are great. 
 
Photo credit; ©Bastard
 
 
Flóki Eimverk
A special mention, as Flóki Eimverk doesn’t brew beer. Instead, they’re Iceland’s first ever whisky distillery to make its spirits entirely from locally sourced ingredients – even barley that’s grown on a farm in South Iceland. The distillery is located about 20 minutes from downtown, accessed easily on the bus; reservations are required for visits.
 
Photo credit; © Floki Eimverk

 

Reykjavik’s Craft Beer Bars

For every craft brewery with their own dedicated tap room, there are several breweries that are making excellent beers, but without their own location to taste their beers. But don’t fret – you’ll find their beers for sale at one of or all the following craft beer bars in the capital. 
 
 
Micro Bar
An underground beer hall that’s perfect for discovering the best of Iceland’s microbreweries. Relaxed atmosphere, plenty of board games to while away the evenings, and loads of beers on tap from around Reykjavik and Iceland. This might be the best spot to meet some fellow beer lovers in the capital.
 
Photo credit; © MicroBar
 
 
Skúli Craft Bar
A dimly lit but stylish craft bar located on Fógetagarður square downtown with 14 different beers on tap. Staff are knowledgeable and passionate, and there are more boardgames here as well. If the weather is nice there’s some outdoor seating to make use of, and there’s sometimes even a food truck serving bao buns to hungry punters.
 
Photo credit; © Freyr Rúnarsson
 
 
Session Craft Bar
A new craft bar on the scene in Reykjavik, Session sits on the second storey of a stylish building at the bustling intersection of Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur. You’ll find 20 beers on tap from breweries around the country, and there’s even a cherished stout from the popular Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
 
Photo credit; © Session Craft Bar
 
 
Icelandic Craft Bar
Located on Lækjargata, this is a relaxed place to enjoy some top-notch Icelandic craft beers. One of the best things about visiting here is that you can visit the Icelandic Street Food takeaway next door and bring back whatever you order into the bar to enjoy with your brews. 
 
Photo credit; © Icelandic Craft Bar
 
 
Bjórgarðurinn
This is the biggest craft bar in Iceland – at any given time, expect to find around 30 different beers from around the country on tap. The staff are of course incredibly knowledgeable about the entire scene in Iceland, and more than happy to recommend something designed to your taste. It’s located at the Fosshotel Reykjavik on the eastern edge of 101.
 
Photo credit; © Bjórgarðurinn
 
 
Brewdog
While not strictly Icelandic (Brewdog has its origins in Scotland), Brewdog opening on the scene in Reykjavik is nothing but positive. With select Icelandic brews mixing with their own classics, it’s a solid option to taste some unique beers in the capital city. The bar food is delicious and affordable as well.
 
Photo credit; © BrewDog Reykjavik
 
 
 
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Affordable accommodation in Reykjavik capital area
If you are looking for accommodation in Reykjavik we recommend the affordable Reykjavik HI Hostels. These award winning, ecolabelled and welcoming budget hostels all have guest kitchen and self-catering facilities and can accommodate small and large groups; Reykjavik HI Hostels.
 
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Craft Breweries in South Iceland

Ölverk Pizza & Brewery, Hveragerði 
A new restaurant and brewery in Hveragerði, both the pizzas and the beers here have made an impact with tourists and locals alike. The perfect remedy for the cold weather, and a great option for a visit after hiking to the nearby hot spring river. All the beers are brewed using the geothermal energy that surrounds the village of Hveragerði. Tours available.
 
Photo credit; © Ölverk Brugghús
 
 
Ölvisholt Brewery, Selfoss
Located outside of Selfoss on an old dairy farm, the beers of Ölvisholt Brewery are some of the best in the entire country. From California-styled lagers and gourmet ales to seasonal selections capturing the essence of the Icelandic weather, the brew masters know their way around their hops. You can take a tour of the brewery, or just visit the tap room that has been set up in the old cowshed on the property. 
 
Photo credit; © Ölvisholt Brewery
 
 
The Brothers Brewery, Westman Islands
One of the most famous breweries in the entire country finds its home on the island of Heimaey, the largest and only populated island that make up the Westman Islands archipelago. Their well-known for their Eldfell Volcano Red Ale, which includes unique ingredients such as chili paste and black seaweed that washes up on the rocks of the island. Tours of the brewing rooms are available.
 
Photo credit; © Brothers Brewery
 
 
Smiðjan Brugghús, Vik 
A new brewery on the south coast, Smiðjan Brugghús is the first brewery to open in the busy and popular Vik. There’s a lot of inventive beers on the menu, like a blueberry pale ale and mango and passionfruit sours, alongside the more standard IPA, porter and pilsner. Whatever you order, it’s sure to pair perfectly with one of their juicy burgers. 
 
Photo credit; © Smiðjan Brugghús
 
 
Jón Riki, Höfn
If you’ve made it all the way out to the southeast and are craving a cosy atmosphere with some nicely brewed beers, look no further than Jón Riki. This fun-loving tap room gets packed with locals on weekends, serves up delicious and affordable food, and enjoys a festive atmosphere. On top of all that, it boasts one of the most expansive beer menus in the country.
 
Photo credit; © Jón Ríki Brewery
 
 
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Affordable accommodation in South Iceland
If you are looking for accommodation in the southern area we recommend these 10 affordable HI Hostels close by. These hostels all have guest kitchen and self-catering facilities and can accommodate small and large groups; HI Hostels in South Iceland
 
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Craft Breweries in East Iceland

Beljandi Brewery, Breiðdalsvík 
The unassuming town of Breiðdalsvík (population 139) is a surprising place to open a brewery, but so far it has been wildly successful. Often filled with the reindeer-hunting locals of East Iceland, this is a great place to mix with the locals while drinking some quality brews. A perfect place to stop if you’re travelling around the ring road.
 
Photo credit; © Beljandi Brewery
 
 
Austri Brugghús, Egilsstaðir
This brewery is attached to the popular Askur Taproom & Pizzeria in Egilsstaðir. On top of their delicious beers (one of them brewed with Icelandic-grown wasabi from a nearby farm), you can also enjoy delicious woodfired pizzas in the taproom. With friendly staff and good vibes, it’s a great stop to make on any beer tour around Iceland. 
 
Photo credit; © Askur Tabroom
 
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Affordable accommodation in East Iceland
If you are looking for accommodation in the eastern part of Iceland we recommend the affordable HI Hostels close by. These hostels all have guest kitchen and self-catering facilities and can accommodate small and large groups; HI Hostels in East Iceland.
 
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Craft Breweries in North Iceland

Húsavík Öl, Húsavík
Whale watchers rejoice, there’s now a brewery that you can visit after you’ve finished up with your whale watching tour from the harbour in Húsavík. From Belgian blondes to raspberry sours, there are plenty of delicious and unique northern Icelandic beers on tap here. You’ll also find many bars around the region also stock a selection from the brewery, who are slowly gaining a great reputation for themselves.
 
Photo credit; © Husavik Öl
 
 
Bruggsmiðjan Kaldi, Árskógssandur
Focussing on a line-up of more classic German-styled beers, Kaldi is a traditional brewery just north of Akureyri in the village of Árskógssandur. On top of tours of the brewery, you can also visit Iceland’s only beer spa here as well. Soaking in a tub of beer, water, hops and yeast has a positive effect on your skin and health, and each tub comes with its own private tap so you can enjoy the beers as well.
 
Photo credit; ©Bruggsmiðjan Kaldi
 
 
Segull 67, Siglufjörður 
The northernmost brewery in the country, Segull 67 is in Siglufjörður on the Tröllaskagi Peninsula. Located inside an old fish factory, you can opt to take a tour of the facilities or just sample their fresh drafts inside the tap room. A fantastic décor and friendly owners always make it a pleasant stop while you’re in town.
 
Photo credit; © Segull 67
 
 
Einstök Brewer’s Lounge, Akureyri
While not strictly a brewery, above the bar Ölstofa Akureyrar in Akureyri is the Einstök Brewer’s Lounge. This themed room is a beer lover’s dream; a relaxing and wood-lined space where you can enjoy a selection of Einstök beers by the glass. There’s a map of Iceland on the wall with all the craft breweries marked down, and you can also order a beer tasting, which is served on a wooden battle axe.
 
Photo credit; © Einstök Brewery
 
 
Bjórsetur Íslands, Hólar
Well off the beaten track, Bjórsetur Íslands is an enthusiast’s club run by volunteers. As such, opening hours are generally restricted to Friday evenings, but even then, they can decide to close on short notice. Contact them to ask whether they’ll be around or not before visiting. Inside you’ll find a lot of beers from breweries around Iceland.
 
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Affordable accommodation in North Iceland
If you are looking for accommodation in the northern part of Iceland we recommend the affordable HI Hostels close by. These hostels all have guest kitchen and self-catering facilities and can accommodate small and large groups; HI Hostels in North Iceland.
 
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Craft Breweries in West Iceland and the Westfjords

Dokkan Brugghús, Ísafjörður 
The only brewery in the entire Westfjords, Dokkan Brugghús is in the industrial area surrounding the docks in Ísafjörður (the area is known as ‘Dokkan’ by locals). The naturally filtered spring water from the nearby mountains, purified through layers of lava, creates some of the freshest and crispest beers in the country.
 
Photo credit; © Dokkan Brugghús
 
 
Báran Brugghús, Akranes
The smallest brewery in Iceland is in Akranes, north of Reykjavik on the other side of Hvalfjörður. Started by a passionate group of 10 locals, it’s a great place to meet some Icelanders, sample some solid beers, and discuss the brewing scene in the country. 
 
 
Steðji, Borgarfjörður
Located in the knot of rivers and roads northeast of Borgafjordur, Steðji Brewery is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts in the area. With a large tasting room complete with long benches for drinking their inventive beers, souvenirs and plenty of character, you’ll be hard pressed to leave. You can take tours of the brewery, and even stay overnight in one of their bungalows on the property.
 
Photo credit; © Brugghús Steðja
 
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Affordable accommodation in Westfjords and West Iceland
If you are looking for accommodation in the Westfjords and West area we recommend the affordable HI Hostels close by. These hostels all have guest kitchen and self-catering facilities and can accommodate small and large groups; HI Hostels in West Iceland and HI Hostels in West Fjords.
 
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James Taylor is a travel journalist from Australia who lived in Iceland for three years.

Falling in love with the country, he began to write about his travels for magazines and websites in Australia, Europe and the U.S.A.