Aussie brewer filters beer through fossils

A brewer in South Australia is to release a beer that has been filtered through fossils half a billion years old.

The ‘shale ale’ is to be released by Kangaroo Island Brewery to mark a decade of excavations on the island that have revealed much about Australia’s pre-historic past.

As reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the beer will be filtered through fossil-rich sedimentary rock that is over 500 million years old, from the Cambrian Era when most life on Earth was still aquatic.

Brewer Mike Holden told the broadcaster: “We just thought for this one, why not let the millions of years of shale rock speak for itself and see what comes through?”

He said the beer had a “unique flavour” but not one that was off-putting.

The third largest island lying off the Australian coast, a quarter of Kangaroo Island is designated as a national or conservation parks and its incredibly ancient shales have proved to be rich deposits for palaeontologists for many years now.

As well as celebrating the discoveries of trilobites, anthropods and later Australian megafauna, there’s no doubt the technique is also about making the new beer stand out in an increasingly crowded Australian craft beer market.

Some 400 craft beers are now in operation in Australia and the umber is growing with a recent study of Aussie drinkers showing that the majority want to know who owns their favourite beer brands and that they prefer those which are independent.

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