Iceland Archives – PorchDrinking.com
“We thought it was, like, ‘oh cool, that would be fun, but never-mind.’ And then after a while, I was like, ‘We need to take a break, and we want to do a collaboration, and why not?’” – Tim Jones
We recently caught up with brothers Tim and Jeremy Jones of Aegir Brewing Co. in Elk River, MN. The two had returned from a trip to Iceland that we unwittingly played a role in. Eager to hear their version of the story and the series of events leading up to the trip, we joined them in the taproom on a recent Saturday morning. Before we could ask them anything, though, they had a question of their own:
“You guys want a drink?” Jeremy offered.
For the past nine months, Katie and I have been adventuring our way through Minnesota’s craft beer community. With more than 150 breweries and brewpubs to visit — last we heard that number was actually upwards of 180 now — we’ve been busy and content with what’s right here in our own backyard. But sometimes a new adventure calls, and when an opportunity to visit breweries in Iceland, Ireland, London and Paris came calling — we answered.
In truth, no one came calling for us; we just happened to be heading to Europe on a sort of one-year anniversary/bucket list trip. Still, we took advantage of our time abroad to visit some new taprooms, make some new friends and drink some new beers.
If you fly to Iceland during the cold half of the year, there’s a good chance it’ll be dark when you get there. In early November, when my wife and I boarded an A321 in Chicago and flew to this volcanic island in the north Atlantic, the sun set by 5 p.m. and didn’t rise again until after 9 each morning. In the middle of winter, it doesn’t rise at all. The island is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, so if your plane takes off in the afternoon or evening, it’ll be hours before dawn when it touches down at Keflavik International Airport, about thirty miles from downtown Reykjavik. A short walk through the cold, pre-dawn air will see you onto a shuttle bus that will deposit you on the city streets of the world’s northernmost capital a little under an hour later. Those streets will still be dark, and the city will just be waking up, slipping on thermal underwear and insulated jackets to keep out the insistent chill of this city on the water.
This summer, I realized a decade-long dream: visiting Iceland. My wife and I spent two weeks exploring and experiencing waterfalls, glaciers, geysers, craters, lava fields, tiny towns with tiny restaurants, cracks in the earth, puffins, whales, lots and lots of blonde people, wide-open vistas, and, most importantly, Icelandic beer. (All of which has been chronicled here.)