Craft beer in Akureyri – R5 Bar

Akureyri sits at the foot of Eyjafjordur Fjord in Northern Iceland.  From the ship or the excellent local tourist office (the big round building on the left 400m after you leave the ship) it is perfectly located to visit Godafoss Waterfall or Lake Myvatn.  It is also a great spot for a whale watching trip and I can recommend Elding Whale Watching for their expertise and knowledge.

If you are not for taking an excursion or a boat trip, the town itself has a few notable spots that are worth the effort.  Be sure to climb the steps to the cathedral.  It is a fairly modern church completed in 1940 but for a Brit it is notable for its Coventry Window – a pretty far fetched story about how a stained glass window from the bombed out Coventry Cathedral ended up in the far north of Iceland.  Myth or fact ?

From the cathedral climb higher still to the botanic gardens which are a perfect place to contemplate your well being in the freshest of air and think about that beer that you have so richly deserved.

You will probably have passed R5 bar as you walked into town as it is on Ráðhústorg 5, the main, “Town Hall” (they forgot to build the town hall. I think) square as you march off the ship and head straight on into town.  You will not have stopped here earlier in the day as it doesn’t open until 2pm – opening hours being one of the curses of the cruising beer geek.

You will find 6 taps and hopefully some special beers from Borg brewery.  It is a special privilege to be able to hunt down local beers in their natural habitat and the special imperial stouts from Borg are pretty impressive – bloody expensive, but strong, tasty and memorable beers.  With beer at this price (>£10 a glass) you can’t afford to linger so be sure to choose the good stuff.  Look for Borg Garún Icelandic Stout number 19 or Borg Surtur Imperial Stout number 30.

You may be lucky enough to find these beers in the Vínbúðin off-licence which is much more affordable – more about this in the next post.

The staff in R5 are keen and knowledgeable about the Icelandic beer scene.  They will be sure to help you choose beer and will talk you through their tap and excellently curated bottled and canned selection.

It’s certainly a memorable stop-off for the cruising beer geek.



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