The ‘Maine Beer Box’ Sets Sail for Iceland
When the beer is gone, it'll be restocked with local Icelandic beers and shipped back.
Written by Alex Weaver
This Summer, Reykjavik, Iceland, will receive a shipping container with more than 50 beer taps built into the side, each ready to pour a foamy, cold brew native to breweries all over Maine.
The “Maine Beer Box” will arrive in June just in time for a major beer festival in Iceland. Once consumed, it’ll be refilled with beer from Iceland’s craft breweries and sent back for the Maine Brewers’ Guild’s Summer Session Beer Festival on July 29.
The exchange represents a symbiotic, multi-year partnership between the Maine Brewers’ Guild (pictured above) and Icelandic shipping company Eimskip that hopes to expose each side to a new world of craft beers.
“As far as we know, this is the first time an entire state’s brewing community has come together to exchange beer with an entire country’s beer brewers,” said Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, adding, “This is not easy, this is not inexpensive, and this is not following a trend. This is setting a trend.”
Iceland isn’t the end target for the Guild’s hopeful European expansion, but with nine breweries and a burgeoning interest in craft, the country will act as a test run of sorts to see whether shipping the Beer Box to larger markets in the future, like Germany and Belgium, will work.
To partake, breweries will need to donate the beer and pay import duties and tax, a sum roughly equal to the cost of making the beer. The Beer Box is still being manufactured and a list of participating breweries has not been released.