Green Peas and Pickled Cabbage-Flavored Beer Proves Big Hit in Iceland

An Icelandic brewery has been getting a lot of attention because of its newest creation – a holiday beer that tastes like green peas and pickled red cabbage – which has been selling like crazy. Ora Jólabjór is brewed by RVK Brewing in a modest Rejkiavik brewery with an annual capacity of 50,000 liters. Master brewer Valgeir Valgeirsson had already made beer from unusual ingredients like seaweed and dried fish, so when he received a call from preserved vegetable company Ora about a possible collaboration, he welcomed the challenge. Traditionally used as a side dish for smoked lamb leg and potatoes at Christmas, the preserved peas and pickled cabbage proved an excellent brewing ingredient, as the first batch of the unusual beer sold out in just six hours. Apparently, although the taste of peas and pickled cabbage is not particularly enticing for the rest of the world, it’s an iconic combination that Icelanders associate with the winter holidays, hence the surprising success of Ora Jólabjór. Only available through Vínbúdin – the state-owned store that monopolizes alcohol sales in Iceland – Ora Jólabjór costs 475 krona ($3.66) per 12-oz can, but it’s currently out of stock.