The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDC) has expressed 'dismay and concern' after an Icelandic brewery began selling beer containing whale meal.
The imaginatively named 'Whale Beer' (the label is pictured above) is designed by Iceland's Brugghus Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur, and contains whale meal. Its launch is timed to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Thorrablot to honor the Norse god Thor.
Dabjartur Arilíusson, the brewery's owner, said: "This is a unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur. Whale beer will include, among other things, whale meal.”
Steðjar states that the beer is a healthy drink because whale meal is very protein rich, and contains almost no fat.
WDC’s Icelandic whaling campaign lead, Vanessa Williams-Grey, said: "Sadly, WDC has become increasingly used to Hvalur’s desperate hunts for new outlets for his whale meat.
“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," she added.
"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?"
Brugghus Steðjar claims the beer is unique globally and contained no added sugar, making it a "very healthy drink" that made people true Vikings.
The whale taste is reflected in a 'bright' undertone and good aftertaste, the company adds, while the 5.2% ABV beer is filtered and pasteurized.
The beer would be sold in Vínbúð stores run by ATVR from January 24, and will appear in restaurants earlier, according to the brewer.
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