The startup company Foss Distillery has launched production of two new types of alcoholic beverages made from Icelandic birch. They are called Birkir, which is a schnapps, and Björk, a liquor.
Björk and Birkir. From the company's Facebook site.
Both names are also popular human names, male and female, and simply mean “birch”.
The new beverages are the results of the experiments of Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, chairman of the Icelandic Sommelier Association, and Gunnar Karl Gíslason, captain of the Icelandic national team of master chefs, mbl.is reports.
Dairy technician Jakob Svanur Bjarnason and sociologist Elsa María Jakobsdóttir have also participated in the project, which received an encouragement award at a entrepreneur course hosted by the Universities’ House of Ideas and funding from Promote Iceland for making a design for export.
Foss Distillery’s ambition is “to create spirits made from flora indigenous to Iceland,” as stated on the company’s Facebook site. Catco vín in Borgarnes, west Iceland, which makes Reyka vodka, among other products, facilitates the project.
In Iceland, alcoholic beverages can only be bought in the state-run Vínbúd, apart from bars and restaurants.