Octoberfest and Aurora Borealis

Weekday mornings find my husband and me watching the early weather report by Madison NBC15’s Charlie Shortino. Charlie’s calm, unhurried manner is perfect for our half-awaken state and we trust him without fail. Having said that, guess where we’re following him for our upcoming Octoberfest Brewery Tour?


Obviously we’re not following Charlie specifically, i.e. stalking. But he is hosting a tour to Iceland (magical northern lights instead of beer, but we can adapt) and we are signed up and ready to go. Northern lights, here we come!

This year is marks our tenth annual celebration of sipping and scenery. We call it our Octoberfest Brewery Tour because we enjoy craft beer along the way and, truth be told, it’s just fun to add a catchy theme to one’s vacation. My office wall is lined with posters I’ve done to commemorate these adventures, each bidding a heart full of memories.

Did You Know?

Here are a few tidbits about Iceland, none of which I previously knew:

  • Beer was illegal in Iceland until 1989. Seriously. Icelanders now celebrate Bjórdagurinn (Beer Day) every March 1.
  • Iceland does not have an indigenous population. Viking explorers of Norse and Celtic descent settled the island during the ninth century, all of which is recorded in the Landnámabók (Book of Settlements). Today Iceland is the most homogeneous nation in the world.
  • Despite a nearly 90-year ban from production, Iceland’s list of craft breweries now bubbles over with tastiness.
  • Iceland is known as ‘land of unpronounceable names.’ Our itinerary includes Seljalandsfoss, Jökulsárlón, Vatnajökull—go ahead, give them a try.
  • Icelandic brewers are creatively wild, highlighting fresh Arctic waters and other, cough, ‘interesting’ finds. Care for a Hvalur, made with whale testicle smoked in sheep’s dung?
  • According to those in the know, the only thing consistent with Iceland’s weather is its inconsistency. October is the wettest month, with temperatures averaging 37-45°F. Yes, our rain gear is packed!

And Presenting…

My commemorative poster for our 2023 Octoberfest Brewery Tour! It’s bold with sky blues and greens in hopes of a colorful hunt for the aurora borealis. Either way, I can hardly wait to explore this fascinating island.


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