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Iceland Is Making Beer Out of Dead Whales

Unsurprisingly, whale lovers do not love this idea

smithsonian.com

People make beer out of all sorts of weird things. There’s Christmas tree beer, beard beer and even elephant poop beer. But Icelandic brewers might have taken things a step too far when they announced that their beer contained dead whale.

The brewery, Steoji, has apparently joined forces with whaling company Hvalur to make the beverage. Unsurprisingly, whale lovers do not love this idea. "The brewery may claim that this is just a novelty product with a short shelf life, but what price the life of an endangered whale which might have lived to be 90 years?” asked Vanessa Williams-Grey, the Icelandic campaign leader for the group Whale and Dolphin Conservation in an interview with the Guardian

Dabjartur Arliusson, the Steoji brewery owner, defended the beer as a logical extension of traditional Icelandic whale-eating culture. The beer will be sold at Thorrablot, a midwinter food festival, and Arliusson says that it will fit right in with the festival's well-I'll-try-it-this-once mode.

Whaling is down in Iceland in general, but it remains one of the few countries still openly whaling after the International Whaling Commission put a moratorium on all whaling. No one has tested Steoji’s beer to find out if it really does have whale meat in it, nor have they tested Arliusson’s assertion that drinking it will turn people into “true Vikings.” If so, whales might really be in trouble.

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About Rose Eveleth
Rose Eveleth

Rose Eveleth is a writer for Smart News and a producer/designer/ science writer/ animator based in Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, Story Collider, TED-Ed and OnEarth.

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