Gluggavedur: the kind of weather best appreciated indoors.

Utepils: a beer enjoyed outdoors, probably not duing gluggavedur.”

-Rebecca Ellinor Tyler, Is This The End of the Nordic Dream, in Work, Winter 2018


One of our weekend guests, a tall, militarily poetic Icelander, recently brought down a couple of six packs – his own and some beer, which he handed over as a house gift. He owned up, with disarming frankness, that the set of Pistonhead cans had, in fact, been sourced by his girlfriend who explained, “it looked interesting – it’s organic”.

“Actually,” commented the Viking thoughtfully, on tasting the Swedish brew, “I quite like it”.
The girlfriend was right – the packaging is intriguing; dark sinister background, skull and all, and this blond beer is made with organic Pilsner malt.

And her consort was also right – Pistonhead is a beer which goes down easily, especially on a hot day. It’s a light lager with an alcohol content of 4.6% which gives a good balance of sweet and crisply bitter – the slightly tangy fresh-cut hay type of bitter.

It retains its looks when poured – golden liquid and quite a head of white froth.
Widely available, but not as interesting and many-layered as the much less easily acquired Brand Saison.

Pistonhead also makes a full-amber lager which has 6% alcohol content.


This post is dedicated to Aron Tór Haraldson.

pistonhead kustom lager

pistonhead kustom lager


For more on lager, read Melissa Cole’s The Little Book of Lager, a romping history of this much maligned drink (out May 2020).