Egils Maltextrakt and the Search for Malt Beverages in Kamloops, BC

Fun fact: did you know beer was banned in Iceland until 1989? During Iceland’s prohibition era some non alcoholic or low alcohol beer-like beverages became common in Iceland. Some of those virgin libations are still popular today. One of them is my current obsession: Egils Maltextrakt.

As previously mentioned in my Smörgåsbord post, I am captivated by malt drinks, in particular this one called Egils Maltextrakt. I first found it at a seafood shack in Reykjavik, Iceland. I needed something to wash the whale down with, and most of the space in their beverage case is occupied with Egils Maltextrakt, just like how Coca-Cola is here.

Egils Maltextrakt (400 ISK; approx $3.50 CAD)

Maltextrakt is brewed from barely and hops like a traditional beer, but it’s not alcoholic. It’s not really a carbonated drink. I mean, it is, but it isn’t. I find Egils Maltextrakt to be low on the bubble scale, and I like that. It’s not like soda pop; it doesn’t have that carbonation “bite” to it. It’s mellow. The Maltextrakt is, however, fairly sweet. The taste...may not be for everyone. The dark frothy drink is licorice-y, a bit fruity and beer-ish. It feels "heavy" in the mouth, like it’s got a thicker viscosity to it. It’s like Guinness for kids! Mind you, this could all be in my twisted imagination. I may be overly romanticizing this drink just because I love it so. And I do love it, so much.

Vita Maltz ($2.49)

I found Vita Malz, during my lunch at The Smörgåsbord, which is a German malt drink. Vita Malz is much lighter than Egils Maltextrakt in flavour, colour and in thickness. At this point I’ll take what I can get.

On a recent trip to Vancouver, I searched Commercial Drive in vain for malt or Malta drinks. Any brand. Kinda desperate, I know. I usually have to explain what I mean by a malt beverage, as most merchants will direct me to Milo and Horlicks. No, not those malt drinks! All I could find were carbonated soda pop-type drinks like China Cola. This is not the malty goodness I was searching for. This is refreshing, but China Cola is more like an herbal Pepsi.

China Cola ($1.99)

Not what I was hoping for. I did find another purveyor of the German Vita Malz in addition to The Smörgåsbord, it’s called Doris' European Deli in Langley. So at least there’s a backup albeit it is far away. My search continues...


reallllly good!

i tried Maltextrakt last month in Iceland, and it's so good. A pity that I couldn't find it in England.

Malta by Goya

I recently visited Iceland over new years and was introduced to Egil's as well. I really liked it. During the holidays, it's traditional to mix it 50/50 with another Egils soda, Appelsín, which they sell premixed at that time of year as Malt og Appelsín. It's pretty good. Living in southern AZ as I do, we have access to one from Mexico you might be able to find. It is made by Goya and simply called Malta. So far, I agree with you that no malt measures up to the Icelandic one, but anything is better than nothing :-)


I agree. Egils Maltextrakt is a great drink but an acquired wife hates it. I drink it every time I am in Iceland. In 2009 (before rules against bringing liquids on board a plane) I brought 12 bottles of it back to Toronto to enjoy. At the moment, I am typing this on Laugavegar as I am drinking my sixth can in two days.


Re: Maltextrakt - Egils Maltextrakt Iceland

Gah! You lucky bastard.
I thought I would be back in Iceland this summer, but it looks like the trip will have to be postponed a little longer. Eglils Maltextrakt will be waiting...

Why can't this liquid gold be available in Canada?

SO freakin' envious of you right now Anon.
Enjoy Iceland,


I have noticed this beverage at Gary's Deli (Fortune Shopping Center) but never tried it. If your unfamiliar with Gary's you should give it a go. Lots of homemade sausage, meats and other goodies....

Re: Vitamalz

Thank you for the Vitamalz tip. I will have make my visit there sooner than planned then. I'll do some price comparisons with the Smorgasbord. ;)

I have wanted to try Gary's European Deli for sometime now. I have heard many great things about his sausage. (I know, but there's really no other way to write that.)

I picked up a selection of links from Keely's recently and am making my way through them this week. Would you say Gary's is your preferred bratwurst broker?

Great to have you on board homefry.
Happy eating.


Yep, Gary's the man with the sausage lol.. You won't be disappointed. The products are leaner than most and the price is reasonable. They have specials daily, as well as sell bulk packs etc. Great on the bbq.. Try the Jalapeno smokies!

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