Saturday, April 11, 2009

Smarter Than Your Average Beer

Savvy marketers at the Icelandic brewery Ölgerdin Egill Skallagrímsson have reintroduced a brew called Polar Beer which was initially produced for British troops based in the country. “When British troops were sent to Iceland in WW II, they expected hardship, but they did not anticipate a lack of beer. And although the Arctic island’s inhabitants were not allowed to brew, sell or drink beer for another 59 years, special provisions were made to make sure the soldiers would get their pint as usual,” said an Ölgerdin press release.

A recent teaser campaign involved placing claw marks throughout Reykjavik, the capital city of this Ohio-sized island nation in the North Atlantic. We think the name is smart; after all, what else would you drink up near the Arctic Circle, perhaps with broiled Icelandic sheep’s head (called svid), or a nice plate of nasty, foul-tasting hakarl – rotten and fermented shark meat? We came across a few six-packs recently at the Keflavik Airport south of town, but preferred instead to stock up on skyr, an addictive yogurt-like dessert that the locals seemingly mainline.


  1. Jeff, hakarl is not rotten at all, it's just fermented, and no one ever eats a plate of it, you just have a tiny bite and down it with a shot of brennivin grain alcohol. anyway Polar Beer sucks, and even though beer was illegal til 1989 or so it was always easily available underground (i got paid with 12 cans of heineken once by a trawler deckhand), and icelanders were allowed to brew their own stuff and they did.

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