Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Meat In Your Beer! Is This Whale Of A Drink For You?

In honor of the Norse god Thor, the annual month-long celebration Thorri will be off to a whale of a start with a new beer from Stedjar Brewery. This year’s limited-edition beer follows the trend from last year using endangered whale fin for Hvalur 1, by adding smoked whale testicles to the water, malted barley, and hops used for this year’s new addition to their line of beers, Hvalur 2.

Hvalur 2
Photo: Stedjar Brewery

Preparation for this year’s festival will result in 20,000 bottles being brewed with one whale testicle in each batch. To achieve the unique smoked flavor, whale testicles are smoked in the traditional way by burning sheep manure. Somehow, I’m not feeling the love for this beverage or the need to try it; however, when in Rome..., or Iceland as the case may be.

Hvalur 1 
Photo: WDC

After water and tea, beer is the most widely consumed alcoholic beverage in the world and possibly the world’s oldest fermented drink. The release date for Hvalur 2 is January 23rd. Other delicacies surrounding Thorri will include sheep’s heads, blood pudding, soured whale fat, ram’s testicles, and putrefied shark.

Sheep's Head
Guide to Iceland

The International Whaling Commission resumed hunting of the Fin whale in 2013, after a two-year ban. Controversy remains with Icelandic officials who are not in agreement with the endangered status of the whale population in the North Atlantic. Conservationists and activists are clear in their opinion with regard to the sensationalism being used to dishonor the whale for marketing gain.

35-foot Whale aboard a Hvalur boat
Photo: Halldor Kolbeins/Getty Images

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
Photo:  Wynkoop Brewing Company

Voodoo Doughnut
Bacon Maple Ale
Photo:  Voodoo Doughnu
The addition of meat to beer is not a common occurrence in the United States. Julie Crew of the Brewers Association identified a few examples which include Wynkook Brewing Company’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout and Rogue’s Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale.

Would you serve and/or drink Hvalur 1 or Hvalur 2 at a celebration?



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