The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Beer made with whale testicles. Wait, what?

Image - WhaleIt (thankfully) could not happen in New Zealand but a small brewery in Iceland is making a beer which will be flavoured with smoked whales’ testicles. The BBC picked up the story that the Stedji brewery’s limited edition Hvalur 2 beer is being sold for a limited period to mark the Icelandic midwinter month of Thorri, Dagbjartur Ariliusson, a co-owner of the brewery, said the testicles of fin whales are cured “according to an old, Icelandic tradition” before being salted and smoked, with one being used per brewing. “We want to create a true Thorri atmosphere, and therefore we decided to use smoked testicles from fin whales for flavouring the beer. We put a lot of effort into this and it’s a long process,” he said.

Predictably there has been some controversy as fin whales are an endangered species. The BBC notes that in 2013, “Iceland resumed commercial fin whaling after a two-year suspension. Most of its whale meat is exported to Japan.” This is not the first time the brewery has come under criticism for using whale as a brewing ingredient.

The BBC reports that “the Stedji brewery angered conservationists in 2014 by making a beer which contained other whale parts, including bones and intestines. At the time, the Whale and Dolphin Conservation group described it as “immoral and outrageous” to use whale meat to make beer. The product was temporarily banned by public health authorities, but later sold out in alcohol shops. This time around, all the permissions are already in place, the brewery says.”

Stedji beers are not available in New Zealand and the Hvalur 2 would almost certainly be illegal here. The Mussel Inn brewpub in Onekaka does produce a Pale Whale Ale but it contains absolutely no actual whale. New Zealand Liquor News’ Neil Miller is not willing to try the Icelandic beer even if he could, but describes the Pale Whale Ale, which is available in bottles for supermarkets and stores, as “decidedly tasty.”

Source: BBC Blogs from Elsewhere (