From 1915-1989, beer was banned in Iceland. Although it seems completely counter-intuitive compared to the image of the beer and mead-swilling Viking sailor, the malted beverage was outlawed for most of the 20th century. Today, Iceland has begun to embrace the drink, and a giant beer can at the Viking brewery in Akureyri marks that change.
Standing two stories high and reaching the top of the Viking Brewery, the golden brewski proudly greets visitors. Compared to the drab warehouse housing the brewery, the giant Viking can seem to be about half marketing and half rebellion to the 74 dry years on the chilly island.
As if making up for lost time, the last twenty years has seen remarkable growth in the brewing industry, and many brewers have gone on to embrace their roots in light of the recent prohibition including brewing the recent Viking-themed microbrew “Black Death.”