The sale of alcohol was banned in the Faroe Islands until 1992, but today it’s home to one of the coziest tap rooms I’ve ever visited: Mikkeller in Tórshavn. The Copenhagen-based micro-brewery has locations around the world, but almost all in large cities like Berlin, Oslo, or Stockholm. By contrast, Tórshavn is Europe’s smallest capital with barely 13,000 residents. The bar is housed in a beautiful 500-year-old home with low beams and a turf roof. Just steps from the harbor, in an old part of the city, the light brown exterior stands out from the cluster of black buildings nearby. Together they make up the Heima í Havn area, a restaurant group featuring some of the best dining in the country.
I’m a fan of Mikkeller in general, not only their beer but also their labels, illustrated by the artist Keith Shore. We have one of his limited edition prints hanging in our kitchen. It’s a strange kind of brewery, in that they don’t make their own beer, but collaborate with various other brewers around the world. It gives them impressive range though, including some of the best-rated craft non-alcoholic beer in the world. As that’s what I’m enjoying more of these days, I wish their low alcohol beers were easier to find in the States.
“I’m convinced that people will travel to the Faroe Islands to experience this beer bar. It’s located in a building that’s older than the USA! To open a bar in this type of environment is much more interesting and exciting for me than to open a bar in a big city in the USA.”Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, founder of Mikkeller (faroeislands.fo)
On the day we visited the vibrant green turf roof was ready for scything, with overgrown grass covering the modern addition of a skylight.
You enter the bar through the second floor, immediately encountering low rafters barely higher than the door frame. It’s cozy inside, a nice escape from the wind and rain that’s inevitable during any trip to the Faroe Islands.
You can follow Mikkeller, Tórshavn on Instagram, listen to an episode of the Faroe Islands Podcast recorded inside on the opening night, and view interior details on the website of Scale Design, an architectural firm that worked on the renovation.