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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Icelandic micro-brewed sheep manure smoked Imperial Stout awarded gold in renowned European competition

By Staff

  • Surtur Imperial Stout The beer is named after a fire giant from Norse mythology. Photo/Borg brugghús.

Surtur nr:30 from Borg brewery in Reykjavík has received a gold medal in the renowned European Beer Star competition which recently took place in Germany.

The 9% strong Imperial Stout came on top in the Strong Smoke Beer category, beating competitors from numerous international breweries.


At the podium The magnificently bearded Sturlaugur Jón Björnsson, one of the master brewers at Borg brewery, receiving gold medal for Surtur nr:30 and bronze for Gréta nr:27. Photo/European Beer Star

This was the 13th European Beer Star competition. This year’s edition included 2,103 beers from 44 countries, competing in 57 categories and judged blindly by brewmasters from around the world.

Surtur nr:30 is made with malt “smoked over a fire of dried sheep shit,” as the Borg’s brewmasters have previously described a key ingredient of the beer, also used in an IPA beer from the brewery that was selected as one of world’s wackiest brews.

Of course sheep shit is usually referred to as sheep manure and the tradition of smoking meats or fish over a fire of sheep manure is a traditional and common way of curing foods in Iceland.

Read more: The annual Icelandic Beer Day

The winning beers came from 22 countries and were awarded gold, silver and bronze. Borg also took home a bronze for Gréta nr:27 in the Baltic Style Porter category.

A fire giant from Norse mythology
Surtur means the black or swarthy one, and is the name of a fire giant In Norse mythology. He is one of the guards of the world of Múspell, the realm of fire. At the time of Ragnarrök Surtur will then ride around the worlds of the gods and men along with the other sons of Múspell, burning the world with his sword of fire. He will also kill the god Freyr in battle during Ragnarrök. Freyr is one of the Æsir, a god of fertility, sun and rain.

Read more: The Þorra-beers will soon hit the shelves, including a 14,5% imperial stout from Borg microbrewery

A number of places in Iceland are named after Surtur, including Surtsey island and Surtshellir cave in South Iceland.

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