Brewery makes ‘dead whale’ beer

A brewery has come under fire for making a beer which it claims contains dead whale.

Humpback_stellwagen_editIcelandic brewery Steojar has teamed up with whaling company Hvalur to launch the beer which it says contains whale meal.

Whale meal is a by-product of the commercial processing of whales when whale meat is first heated and broken down into a slurry to release its oils. The oil is then separated with the remaining solid material, dried, ground and marketed as whale meal. 

The 5.2% beer has been described as healthy because whale meal is full of protein and very low fat, while the brew has no added sugar.

The brewery’s website claims people who drink it become “true Vikings”.

Dagbjartur Ariliusson, the brewery’s owner, confirmed it was making the beer, which will only be sold in Iceland during the midwinter months from 24 January to 22 February, and is not being made for export.

He said the beer was being made for a traditional festival in which people gathered and celebrated “as we’ve done for many centuries and eat cured food, including whale fat, and now we have the beer to drink with this food”.

But environmental group Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) criticised the latest use of whale meat in products, following earlier concerns that endangered fin whales were ending up in dog food.

Vanessa Williams-Grey, the conservation group’s Icelandic whaling campaign leader, said: “Demand for this meat is in decline, with fewer and fewer people eating it.

“Even so, reducing a beautiful, sentient whale to an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle is about as immoral and outrageous as it is possible to get.

“The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what is price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?”

 

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