Saturday, 26 March 2011

Beer Club and Crocodile Harry!

To celebrate the end of our official Icelandic course (although unofficially we are continuing) we all enjoyed a social evening last night at the Icelandic Beer Centre situated in the small town of Hólar in the Skagafjörður district.

The Beer Club as it is more commonly known, is situated in the grounds of Hólar University, a very pretty spot, lovely old buildings and spectacular scenery.



And the view later in the evening.

Initially it was started out as a club for faculty and students but has since expanded to the public and tourists.  The club house is tiny, one very small room, although they once had 75 people there...25 inside and 50 outside. However even though they are a small concern they have the highest variation of beer for sale in the one place in Iceland, between 40 and 60 different brands from around the world in bottles and 2 on tap, the bottle selection changes on a regular basis.


A view of the little bar and the creator of the club/barman/beer connoisseur/zoologist and assoc professor Bjarni (seated) explains to us how to drink beer, apparently you miss out on all the aroma if you drink it from the bottle he compared drinking from the bottle as eating your xmas dinner with a peg on your was a bit like wine tasting except you don't spit the beer out at the end.

The club is run by volunteers and is a non profit organisation, they make enough to cover costs and to provide about 4 social events for the University.  They also are in the process of establishing their own smaller than micro brewery in the cellar and will produce around a 1000 bottles a year.

Here is a view of the tiny space we were in, picture taken from the bar...this is pretty much the entire room.

 Ross tried an Aussie beer he had never seen before, Australian Crocodile-Doppelbock-Dunkel, the label design is very cliche Australiana, however despite the label I think he thought the beer was ok... malty dark brown looking stuff.  The beer label led to a discussion about the original Crocodile Dundee (not the movie) with one of our Latvian colleagues Madara who explained to me that he was Latvian and the inspiration for the movie.  The movie Crocodile Dundee was based on Latvian born Arvids Blumentals.  Arvids left Latvia in the 1950's after the Russians invaded his homeland and moved to Australia, he became known as Crocodile Harry and was Australia's best known crocodile hunter, he is rumored to have killed 10, 000 reptiles. Besides hunting crocs he also searched for opals and lived underground at Coober Pedy, his home is now a major tourist attraction.

Arvids Blumentals 1925-2006 pic source

The real Crocodile Harry (Dundee)

His native town of Dundaga in Latvia, erected a huge monument of a stone crocodile in his honor.

A video interview with Crocodile Harry at his home in Coober Pedy checkout the great Outsider Art that is going it


  1. Ha ha, Ross vaguely mentioned this Latvian Crocodile Dundee, but he didn't have the details - love it!

    Glad you guys had fun, and I'm sure you're looking forward to more Icelandic lessons next week!


  2. Wow, a beer club, how awesome! When i finished my icelandic class we had a bbq in Amma's backyard. I made some good friends in the icelandic class, good memories.

    That's amazing about crocodile harry, i guess it's not surprising that he was an immigrant. Most of us are, or at least related to one!

  3. I hope you didn't mix any lemonade with those beers!

  4. I see you´ve done some homework in research! :D

  5. Great post, love the crock sub story and the constant links between Australia and Iceland. Your a very interesting woman, Vicki the vicking!