This beer really surprised me the first time I tasted it. It is a German style Pilsner from Iceland. The brewery is Borg Brugghus, which translates to City Brewery. Not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting much from it considering the style and where it was coming from. I am all about big flavours, so there aren’t a lot of Pilsners out there that grab me like this one did. It pours a nice hazy golden colour with a think white head that sticks around through most of the beer. Every single sip gets you a distinct line of lacing. Lots of lemon on the nose, followed by toasted malts and oats. There is a decent piney, grassy hop that you would expect from a proper German Pilsner, but it is balanced by a nice fruitiness. A lot of bread and cereal comes across, without being yeasty. It ends with a pretty big citrus note. I’m thinking lemon more so than orange or mandarin.
This is a good rendition of a German Pilsner coming from outside of Germany, which there aren’t a ton of. I would, and have definitely put a few of these back. Below is a little about it.
THE STORY OF BRIO
Brio was the first beer developed by Borg Brugghus, launched in May 2010. The brewmasters Sturlaugur Jon Bjornsson and Gudmundur Mar Magnusson developed it with the owners of the popular Reykjavik pub, Olstofa Kormaks & Skjaldar. The aim was to produce a premium German-style Pilsener that would please the local hipsters and bohemians. Out came this fresh, pale but cheerful pilsner with a bitter lemony taste, followed by a dry crisp finish.
THE NAME BRIO
One of the locals that used to visit Olstofan was an artist called Steingrimur Eyfjord. He was always very vigorous and energetic and because of that he was called Brio, which is an old Italian word for liveliness or vigor. Sadly, Brio past away and it was decided to name the beer after him.