General Interest beer
Beer and Homebrew in Iceland
I home brew in Iceland. Iceland has no home brew shops. This sometimes makes things interesting. Below I've tried to cover prices and suppliers and notes on getting things in Iceland, and also some places you can get them from overseas. One shop I've not found in iceland yet is the company that actually serves the bars themselves.
I set up a table of suppliers which is a bit easier to read, but doesn't have as many notes. I've left a few notes below here. If you're really geeky, read both....
Prices and notes current at December 2007
In iceland you can get fermenting buckets, hydrometers, plain wing bottler cappers, caps, airlocks. You can get these from Áman.
Byko and Húsasmiðjan have some fittings, but they're normally more expensive. Also look at Landvélar or Vörukaup
Copper pipe for wort chillers is cheapest at Vörukaup in Kópavogur. They are also great for fittings and so forth, they're refrigeration specialists. Just know what you want when you go in, they normally cater to trades. Or just make sure you can speak icelandic :)
Still on equipment, brew kettles are harder to come by. I got a nice big pot from Fríða Frænka, for only 3500kr, but new stainless pots, even at only 15L or so, were 15,000 kr and up. Keep an eye on barnaland, and second hand stores for big old pots, or be prepared to shell out either locally, or for shipping from overseas.
Corny kegs in iceland are all pin lock, Egils (Pepsi bottlers) stopped using them "years" ago, and I've not seen any in any market. (I've heard since that they were all recyled, so forget about even looking for them) Vífilfell (coke bottlers) still uses pin lock cornys in both 19L and 10L sizes. (These are nominal numbers, they seem to be exactly the same as US 5 gal and 3 gal cornies) Despite asking politely, and trying bribes, Vífilfell would not sell me a keg unless I bought it full of coke. At wholesale prices, that was going to come out to about 11,000kr per keg, plus the 2,000kr deposit, and I'm not sure how happy they'd be if you tried to actually buy kegs that way.
Regulators for kegging systems can be bought at Gastec on Bildshöfði, but they're a welding supply shop, so the regulator has a pretty high scale on the output side, and it's 9,000kr. They were however very helpful people.
Carbon dioxide can be bought from ISAGA, or from Kolsyra.is ISAGA is a gas supplier, but they want you to be on their bottle rental program, which will run you about 10,000kr per year. Kolsyra will fill any bottle that is tested for 300kr per kg, and tested a bottle I came into for 4000kr. They're nice people.
OverseasLots of overseas suppliers won't ship to iceland, or will only ship fedex/ups, which is usually prohibitively expensive. Overseas shops that I've worked with at least once, with success.
- Hop Shop UK A lovely couple run this store, and they've always been particularly helpful to me. Orders to Iceland will get exVAT prices, and although they do the best they can on shipping, grains and malt are heavy. Particularly with grains, you can be looking at ~double the raw cost for the shipping. These guys pack with care, and parcels arrive as soon as can be expected given the joys of Icelandic Customs. They'll get back to you with a shipping quote the next day or so.
- Brewers Discount These guys are a cheap source for pin lock disconnects, and are happy to ship via USPS. They're not real fast on email, but they're lovely people, and the owner actually used to be based at Keflavik for a while.
- ebay :) bevconbob on ebay sells pinlock kegs really cheap, and he posted some usps to Iceland for me. I paid, after taxes in iceland, 20,000kr for 4, far cheaper than trying to buy one from coke here in iceland. I received mine dirty and with some cracked o-rings, but well, they work. Update They got in touch with me again, and apologised heartily for the mix up. They express posted me a huge bag of o-rings by way of apologies. Even before that, they were still good prices, and the kegs themselves were fine, just dirty.
CO2 regulators for icelandic bottles need to come from europe, the uk, or australia. The fittings for the US on the bottles are different. I got one surplus from a bar refit in england. (ebay) update I've since heard that kolsyra.is in kopavogur can actually fill american bottles, but you'll still need to make sure you have matching bottles and regulators.