Beer Pairings & Events for Aquavit Week

This Sunday, November 4th is the kickoff of Aquavit Week, a series of events celebrating the popular but somewhat obscure Scandinavian spirit made from grain and potatoes and flavored with spice and herbs. Aquavit Week ties in with craft beer at a number of their Portland events called “Snaps & Taps” as founder/mixologist Jacob Grier has collaborated or enlisted a number of local brewers to make or select special Aquavit pairing beers. Aquavit’s flavorful spices vary but it’s signature is of caraway and dill. Aquavit Week runs November 4-10th, 2018 in Portland.

Snaps & Taps celebrates the potential of aquavit to pair with beer and cider, featuring unique pairings all over the city of Portland and with a debut for 2018 in Washington, DC. These special brews will be featured at the restaurants and bars below, each paired with a different aquavit. Plan a crawl to catch these before the kegs run dry!

Broder Nord will offer a special pairing with Breakside Brewing’s Delicate As. This low-alcohol saison is equally delicate and forceful. Whole leaf Crystal hops, a bit of lactic twang, and some characterful spelt, oats and unmalted wheat come together to deliver a big punch of flavor. Find it at Broder Nord as well as Breakside’s NW Slabtown and NE Dekum locations paired with Rolling River Ole Bjørkevoll aquavit distilled in Portland, Oregon.

La Moule is tapping a special keg of Upright Brewing’s Zetterberger, named after Swedish hockey player Henrik Zetterberg. It’s a two-way beer, smooth and flavorful. Loosely based on the märzen style, it shows tasty malt character and nice balance end to end. This special keg made solely for Aquavit Week uses a variety of botanicals including dillseed and coriander, highlighting the bright and warm notes in the malt profile. Find it at La Moule paired with Aalborg Jubilaeums aquavit.

Loyal Legion will feature the Fruits of Freya by Bauman’s Cider. This magical Nordic-inspired cider was created especially for Aquavit Week. A subtle blend of caraway, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves mix with ginger, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest to complement the sheer joy of sipping an aquavit with spices to warm you inside and out! Find it at Loyal Legion paired with Bull Run Regnig Dag aquavit.

Right Proper Brewing is introducing the Snaps & Taps adventure to Washington, DC for our first expansion outside of Portland. Their Skibsøl, also known as “ship’s beer,” looks to the forgotten tradition of Scandinavian table beers. This smoky old style, brewed with rye and a combination of smoked malts, was made to sustain hardy Danish seafarers. Find it at Right Proper’s Shaw location paired with Danish Aalborg Taffel aquavit.

The Rookery Bar has their hands on this year’s special Aquavit Week cider offering from Reverend Nat. An Ode to Snorri II is a blend of heirloom apples, partially wild-fermented, aged on dried US-grown mulberries, and finished with black pepper and apricot juice. Find it at The Rookery Bar paired with Brennivin, the classic Icelandic aquavit.

Wayfinder Beer has teamed up with Swedish brewery Stigbergets for a collaborative New England-style IPA made with Simpsons Golden Promise malt, flaked oats, and lots of Nelson Sauvin and Centennial hops. Find their Grave Rehearsal at Wayfinder paired with Linie sherry-barrel aged aquavit from Norway.

Samurai Artist
Samurai Artist

Founder of The New School and most frequent contributor Ezra Johnson-Greenough has worked in the craft beer industry for almost 10 years, doing everything from illustrating beer labels to bartending at renowned beer bars and breweries like Belmont Station, Apex, Laurelwood and Upright Brewing. He has also had a hand in creating events like the Portland Fruit Beer Festival, Portland Beer Week, and the Brewing up Cocktails series. He is available for freelance consultation in marketing, events, graphic design and branding. Contact: