Qajaq

Meet Greenland's QajaQ with its goal to be as green as possible

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You might be more familiar with the Inuit word qajaq if you saw it spelled as ‘kayak’, but what you might not be familiar with is the fact that these slim miniature boats hail from communities that lived in Greenland over four thousand years ago, making these boats, and this brewery a symbol of Greenland. Unbeknownst to many, Greenland is a colony of Denmark, and independence often presses, in one way or another, on the minds of those who live there. Colorado born Isaac Milosavich, Qajaq’s Head of Production, is one such person who often thinks fondly of independence.

“Greenland has never really had a large production brewery of its own to produce for the local market,” says Isaac. “Before Qajaq, essentially all that was available was imported Carlsberg and Tuborg. As you can imagine, shipping large volumes of liquid across the ocean from Denmark is not ideal when it comes to carbon emissions. Shipping raw ingredients to produce the beer locally greatly reduces impact”. 

Isaac came to Qajaq some years ago, upon invitation of Peter Vick (now head brewer at The Garden), who was starting a one-year contract with Qajaq while Isaac was consulting on lager styles for Gæthingur Brewery in northern Iceland. Isaac’s speciality is German lagers, having trained professionally with an expert German style lager brewer, and interned in the world’s oldest monastery brewery, Weltenburger Kloster in Bavaria—he feels something like serendipity now getting to collaborate with old friends at The Garden on a Helles lager to the ends of showcasing both national pride and a deep care for the environment. 

“It has always been Qajaq’s goal to be as green as possible” says Isaac. From little things like biodegradable rubber gloves, to our bottle share program… Qajaq has a bottle washer and two way bottles that can be reused over and over”, they even use Greenland ice as part of their local water source - what better reason to protect the glaciers?

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