Viking and Einstök

Moving across the country in Iceland meant new hotel, new happy hour. Wow, this hotel in Vik actually had a 3-hour Happy Hour – 4pm-7pm. We could stay out late doing tourist stuff!

The two brews on tap we sampled in Vik were Viking Lager and Einstök Pale Ale.


Viking Lager, per the site: The most popular draught beer in Iceland for some years, it is pleasantly mild with a slightly sweet flavour. Less filling and more refreshing than many other beers, it’s ideal for those who prefer a medium-strength beer with less bitterness. Tasting notes: Light golden, little sweetness, light, limited bitterness, corn, beans. ABV 4.5%.

My notes: A bit on the light side, nonetheless good. I like my beer to have a bit more body.

Einstök Pale Ale, per the site: Brewed 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle, we balance three kinds of hops with pure Icelandic water to create an ale unlike any other. It can only be described as an Arctic Pale Ale and it’s truly one of a kind. Cascade hops give it American character, while Northern Brewer and Hallertau Tradition add just enough bitterness to make this ale refreshingly Icelandic – and to make everything else pale in comparison. Key Ingredients: Pale ale malt, crystal malt, chocolate malt, American and Bavarian hops.  ABV 5.6%

My notes: Good crisp beer, not hoppy, good body and color, perfect to drink after a day on the road.

And, since these were both enjoyed at happy hour, bargain price at 50% off bringing them to about $8/pint. Cheers!


Noble Shepherd Craft Brewery

Awhile back I visited another great craft brewery, this one in the Finger Lakes.  It’s Noble Shepherd Craft Brewery.  It was started by a couple a few years back as they just wanted to move onto new things.


Opted for a sampler while visiting and the brews tasted included:

-Mosaic Foundation Pale Ale – 6.4% ABV
-Watermelon Wheat – 5.5% ABV
-20A IPA – 6.3% ABV
-Belgian With IPA with Spruce Tips – 6.6% ABV


The Mosaic was definitely my favorite.  I would give you a great description of it but I didn’t write it down and they don’t have it on tap anymore so I can’t copy/paste it from their site.  So all I can say is that it was really good.  We left with a growler.  How does that sound as additional endorsement?

The other cool thing is they have the machine that put the tops on the large cans if you want to leave with one of those.  So much fun to watch it in action.



Check this place out if you’re up in the Finger Lakes area. Definitely worth the visit!

Denizens Brewing Co

Finally got around to checking out Denizen’s Brewing Co. in Silver Spring, MD recently.  They are just outside of Washington, DC and have been around for a couple years as the craft brewing industry continues to grow.


They have both the indoor portion of the brewery/restaurant and a huge outdoor area, which is great on gorgeous night.

My friend and I each ordered different beer flights, but got a bit confused because they might have gotten turned around when handed to us, and given us a wrong tasting card, so not quite sure what I ended up enjoying.  But, they were all pretty good; lots of variety, from IPA, pils, ales and more.


Enjoyed some good food, too. Outside they have a smaller menu.  I ended getting the grain burger; a grain blend, root veggies, aoili, kale slaw with some manchego.  It came highly recommended and dang, that was good!


Totally worth visiting, especially with great weather.  And the outdoor patio is dog friendly if you have a 4-legged friend.

Blood, Sweat, & Beer

Today I checked out the DC Independent Film Festival to view a screening of a movie that sounded very interesting — Blood, Sweat, & Beer.

IMG_2434[1]bloodsweatbeerIt’s “a feature documentary about the explosive growth of the craft beer industry and the dramatic journeys of two start-up breweries.”  The producers interviewed over 100 brewers and narrowed it down to two. Throughout the movie, there are some great stats about beer, good interviews, and all around solid information about this great drink.

The brewers from the Pittsburgh-area are (relatively) recent college grads who had to submit a location for a senior year project and soon thereafter launched The Brew Gentlemen (that’s the very quick story for it).  They have made a huge contribution to help a rundown steel town come back to life. We sampled a couple of their brews. Good stuff.

IMG_2431[1] The other brewery featured is that of beach lover who has been in Ocean City pretty much his whole life and wanted to change the scene from macro to micro brews — Backshore Brewing Company.  He had to start it small because there is not much room on the boardwalk, from seating to brewery material proper.  But, you have to start somewhere.  He’s gone through some ups and downs, from the name to the size, but it’s growing and growing.  I tried their light beer and it was nice!

IMG_2425[1]The movie is due out later this year.  If you like independent films and/or beer, worth checking it out.

Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beerholder



You learn something new everyday!  Yesterday I learned about Malbec World Day.  Today it’s about a beer observance. As such, so many country songs are going through my head right now:

Zac Brown’s Toes with the great lyrics of  “…cold beer in my hand, life is good today…”

Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar  “I love this bar, it’s my kind of place… ”

Garth Brooks’ Beer Run “B-double E-double R-U-N…”

Back on topic, did you know that May 13-19 is American Craft Beer Week?  WHOA!  Mark your calendars, set a reminder, start planning.  Bars, taps, pints, bottles, here we come.