Anthropologist, social media guru, Icelandic nature and food enthusiast.
If you find yourself in Hveragerði you have to try the restaurant everyone is raving about. This family owned pizza and beer heaven is a must try for anyone going through Hveragerði.
Hidden in the charming little town of Hveragerði is the place everyone is talking about right now, Ölverk. This amazing little pizza and beer place opened up in May and people have been making their way from all over the country to try. The place is owned by two of our old River Rafting guides and friends who are experts in good food and drinks. They are all friends and this really shines out in the staff’s charisma and the atmosphere of the place.
Our Marketing team stopped by the other day and had a chat with one of the lovely owners about their place, the idea behind it, their specialties and more. Laufey, take it away!
How did the idea of Ölverk come up?
Photo from Ölverk ‘s Facebook page
My Fiance had been walking around with this idea for many years. He wanted to open up some kind of a restaurant as he is quite the foodie. His pizzas have been raved about in the family and our friends can’t seem to get enough. Then we saw that this location, situated in the heart of our hometown Hvergerði was opening up we thought it’s now or never and jumped at the opportunity.
With a lot of help from friends and family we were able to open Ölverk on the 28th of May. We started the process in January and learn so much in this few hectic but fun months.
The teambasically consists of three people: Elvar, with his amazing cooking skills and a degree in Beer brewing from the United Kingdom and years of experience in beer making, Ragnar an enthusiast of all things beer related and the manager of our small brewery and the me, Laufey. I finished the Icelandic home economic school and have a degree in marketing. Together we make a great whole and have our plans for the future run in perfect harmony.
How many people work at Ölverk?
In the whole 8 people work full time with us but we are about 25 that form the total team and we are very thankful for all the great people that are always working hard and thinking about new ways improve our customer’s beer and pizza experience.
What is the main idea with the menu?
Photo from Ölverk ‘s Facebook
We never even thought about having anything less than real stone oven baked pizzas and we had our beautiful red oven specially made in Italy. The menu isn’t a large one, the toppings are quite simple but not at all standard. We love being unconventional and it has been super fun seeing how many customers have taken to our unusual options.
Elvar’s taste buds would late be considered ordinary and he and the rest of the team never cease to amaze us with their authentic tastes and combinations. Pizza number 12 is, for example, a total wild card. You never know what you are going to get when you order and we love watching the face of the customers who order it. Usually, they love it though!
Now the beer, can you tell me about the process?
As we are located in the older parts of Hveragerði we were so lucky to be able to connect some parts of the brewery with the geothermal system in Hveragerði and use the natural green energy to heat up the water and boilers as a part of the beer brewing process.
What is different about it? How did you learn the process?
Elvar started to do some home brewing in a tiny little shed out in our garden where we store our garden tools and just got hooked. He then went on to study brewing in the U.K. and had been working a few years as head brewer at a Brewery here in the South of Iceland until the Ölverk adventure started.
Is it true that this is the only place in Europe where beer is being made geothermally?
Photo from Ölverk ‘s Facebook
To our best knowledge yes, we are the first geothermal brewery in the whole of Europe!
How many beers are on tab? Is everything on tab or also bottles?
We have 8 taps and we will always have about 4-6 different types from our own brew. We are now only offering the beers on tap but who knows what the future might bring.
What is your favorite one?
It’s almost impossible to name just one. Real beer lovers can drink every kind of beer and think how fun it is to try different textures, tastes and flavors. This is one of the most lovely things about the world of beer the variety.
Do you have seasonal beers?
We try not to think of beer as seasonal, we think about beer as something that goes with moments and places. Different type of beer goes with different moments, places, meals and such.
What else do you offer?
Besides our pizzas, we offer a wide variety of small courses that go well with our beers and change it up in sync with the beers that we are offering at each moment.
We have this homemade beer-cheese dip that our customers have been asking for in buckets, it goes with just about everything, Zaatar bread, Pretzels, cheese filled breadsticks or even the pizzas. You simply must try!
What is your favorite pizza on the menu?
Without a doubt the pizza number 12 – It’s always fun to try something new!
I hear you change and mix the menu a lot, for example, the Gay pride pizza, can you tell me a little bit about it?
The infamous Gay Pride desert pizza / Photo from Ölverk ‘s Facebook
Being a small and new restaurant, filled with energy and ideas, we are always coming up with new ideas for the pizzas or just anything food or drink related. We are also very open to new waves and styles in the food world. We also listen to our customers a lot and many have shared their ideas and thoughts and we really enjoy trying them out.
We love trying new things and we are constantly doing so!
Have you tried Ölverk? Share your throughts in comments.