What is it?
A cozily lit basement space in the heart of downtown plays host to Iceland’s first-ever microbrew pub, Micro Bar, in operation since summer 2012.
Though Iceland’s microbrew scene has entertained many newcomers in recent years, Micro Bar retains its distinction as the original specimen. While they offer brews from all the usual suspects (Brewdog, Founders, Mikkeller), the friendly and knowledgeable staff place an emphasis on showcasing Icelandic craft beers.
The decor is a charmingly odd mixture of basic bar stylings and avant-garde touches; hard wooden chairs sit on tiled floors, light bulbs hang from the ceiling encased in brown bottles, and craggy rock walls are adorned with artwork, commissioned from celebrated Icelandic artist Hugleikur Dagsson.
Micro Bar began life in 2012 as a small hotel bar, a stone’s throw from its current location. The new digs, which they moved to in 2015, are roughly twice the size, which is just as well because the place can get extremely packed — and surprisingly rowdy — on the weekends. Though they aren’t a party bar, per se (they close at 12AM weekdays, 1AM weekends), there seems to be some combination of elements about the place, some function of the basement location and the dim lights, that loosens inhibitions even more thoroughly than the powerful beers on offer. It’s not unusual, late on a Friday night, to hear neighboring tables of travellers break out in competing choruses of laughter.
If you want a journey through the brews on offer, flights are available (pictured) (5 beers for 3000 ISK, 10 beers for 5000 ISK), showcasing a selection of the beers on tap. The contents are constantly rotating; in a given week, expect two to four beers to be switched out for new ones.
If you’re looking for a fancy, subdued affair, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a great time, with funny and affable bartenders, a terrific vibe and first-rate drafts, Micro Bar’s your spot.
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 3PM – 12AM, Friday-Saturday: 3PM – 1AM
Price Range: Draft Beers: 1000ISK-1900ISK (1300 average) Whisky: 1200ISK-1700ISK