COLLECTIVE ARTS ICELAND

Collective Arts, KEX Brewing and the Icelandic Beer Festival  

In September of 2016 a chance encounter between Collective Arts and the newly founded KEX Brewing  laid the foundation for an adventure of a lifetime.

Mere months later Collective Arts and KEX had visited each other’s home turf, brewed Collective Arts’ first collaborative beer and built an alliance spanning the North Atlantic. To top it off, Collective Arts was invited to attend the Annual Icelandic Beer Festival among some of the best breweries from around the globe. And attend we did! 

The following is a pictorial tale from our time in the beautiful country of Iceland. 

BREW FEST DAY 1 – JET LAG, HONOR & ICE CREAM-BEER

Dan Johnston guides Anne-Tamara Lorre, Ambassador of Canada to Iceland as she pours a Nordic Söl Gose, the first brew of the fest! 
Bob Russell and Brewer Ryan Morrow manning the pours
The beer hall was small, packed with 500plus beer enthusiasts and vibrated with the din of good cheer.
Following the event the entire brewing community in attendance headed over to Mikkeller Bar, a prominent landmark on the Iceland craft beer landscape.
An Omnipollo tap takeover was in full effect. As if the stellar beer wasn’t enough, they were mixing up batches of Noa Pecan Mud Cake in a shaved ice machine. Think Snoopy Snow Cone maker for beer fiends.
Welcome to the land of Beer and Ice!
No night out in Reykjavik is complete without a trip to Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, a local landmark serving up meat in tube form! 

BREW FEST DAY 2 – ART + EXPLORATION 

Day two we took the time to walk off the hotdogs and explore the city by daylight.
Reykjavik is a city of contrast, with modern facades juxtaposed with the patina of historic buildings. 
The bejeweled Harpa, one of Reykjavik‘s greatest and distinguished landmarks. It is a cultural and social centre in the heart of the city.
The rare blue sky day afforded a view of the mountain scape across Reykjavik’s bay.
One can navigate the city’s street solely by colourful and eclectic street art landmarks.
Iceland is also home to the most impressive and aggressive fleet of vehicles world wide! 
Meanwhile back at the fest, in a general show of camaraderie, just about every brewery dawned tees from other breweries.
Our Collab’ Gose celebrated the music of this man, Prins Pollo, who’s album art adorned our can.
Prins warms up for his evening performance. His music is so downright infectious that people even clapped during the short bites he provided in his sound check!
Lord Hobo’s Daniel and Andrew were in attandance from Boston. Boom Sauce anyone?  
More bice-cream-beer topped beer courtesy of Connie from Omnipollo. 

BREW FEST DAY THREE – BEER YOGA, MAXIMUM CAPACITY & PARTY MUSIC

Day three we decided to detox a bit with some beer yoga hosted at the Hostel. Seriously, yoga… with beer!
While getting our stretch on we got to sample some of Sweden’s Brewski Brewing portfolio. Pango IPA made me feel particularly limber. 
 
More yoga juice
The Kex Men and brew fest masterminds, Tóti, Eymar, Hinrik and Steinn
Day three ended with a mind blowing performance by Iceland’s party inciting FM Belfast. 
Put an FM Belfast show on your bucket list… and a trip to Iceland!

Thanks to the KEX crew for being such gracious hosts. Thanks to all the breweries for extending a welcoming hand. Iceland is a remarkable place. If you have not been, go! Here’s  a few tips to get you started:

THINGS TO DO
The Icelandic Beer Festival
Drive – Anywhere! The country is beautiful and even a short drive will amaze.
The Blue Lagoon – Smart tourists get a transfer to the lagoon on their way from the airport to town.
Walk – The city streets are safe, covered with art and rife with shops to check out.

PLACES TO STAY

KEX Hostel – A superb hotel in the heart of Reykjavik, home to the Beer Fest!
The Air BnB house we stayed at… very stylish, sleeps six or so. Optimal location!

GOOD EATS
Dill – Also part of the KEX group, this fine restaurant just won its first Michelin Star!
Sandholt – Great breakfast 
Bruð & Co. – Mind numbing baked goods. Get the caramel filled muffin thing! 
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – Hotdogs… order two. 

DRINKS ANYONE?
Mikkeller Bar – Best tap list in town
Micro Bar – the original Reykjavik craft beer bar
Reykjavik Coffee Roasters – Best coffee in town
Skúli – Craft beer bar, good atmosphere, great brews on tap