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First Icelandic Craft Beer Arrives in U.S., California First

Last updated on August 16th, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Einstök Ölgerd, an Icelandic craft brewery, has sent the first shipment of its ales to the United States.

Initially, an Icelandic White Ale, Pale Ale and Toasted Porter will be distributed in California in a partnership with Wine Warehouse, one of the largest distributors in the U.S.

Located just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, Einstök—which means “unique” or “distinctive” in Icelandic—starts its process with what it calls “the purest water on earth.” The water starts as rain or ancient glacial water from atop the Hlíðarfjall Mountain, from where it flows through and is naturally purified by ancient lava fields. From there, brew master Baldur Karrason unites it with ingredients sourced both locally from Iceland and from all over the world to deliver craft beer that is distinct, flavorful, refreshing and drinkable.

Icelandic White Ale is brewed in the Belgian tradition and features the complex flavors of the classic wit bier, including coriander and orange peel.

In the Pale Ale, American and Bavarian craft come together to create the Viking version of the Pale Ale. Mild, slight toffee flavors and generous hop aroma characterize this ale.

The Toasted Porter features clear notes of espresso and dark chocolate. It is dark and rich, offering a medium body that is robust yet smooth.

Einstök Ölgerd was founded in 2010 by Bernard La Borie, David Altshuler and Jack Sichterman after visiting Akureyri, Iceland, on a global search for the purest water. They found not only an abundant natural source of pure water there, but also a partner, the Viking Brewery, a division of Vifilfell hf., that was interested in pursuing the craft beer market.

Einstök craft ales have been available in Iceland and the United Kingdom since October 2011 and have been gaining fans quickly thanks to their great flavor and unique packaging, the company says.


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