Icelandic Seasonal Beer from Whales’ Testicles

fin whale
BY Haraldur Gudmundsson

Brewery Steðja introduces a Thorri beer, Hvalur 2, the replacement of Hvalur Thorri beer of Steðji in the year of 2014. Due to the great popularity last year, the brewers of Steðji decided to introduce a new whale beer. There was a lot of preparation for Hvalur 2 and according to the producers it will be evident in its quality.

“We want to create a true Thorri atmosphere and therefore we decided to use smoked testicles from fin whales for flavoring the beer,” Dagbjartur Arilíusson says, one of the owners of the brewery Steðji in Borgarfjörður, about the Thorri beer Hvalur 2 that the company has produced.

“The testicles are cured according to an old, Icelandic tradition, lightly salted and then smoked. We put a lot of effort into this and it’s a long process,” Dagbjartur says, adding that each brewing had contained one testicle.

Sold out a week last year

According to Dagbjartur, the Beer will be introduced as a special replacement of the Thorri beer that Steðji sold in January last year, containing whale flour.
Vesturland Public Health Safety prohibited the sale of the beer, but the flour contained among other things the viscera and intestines of whales.

A few days later, Sigurður Ingi Jóhannsson, the minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, decided to allow the sale of the product. A week later, it was sold out when five thousand liters had gone through the liquor stores of  the State Alcohol and Tobacco Company of Iceland.

“The beer was sold out almost immediately and therefore we decided to produce a similar product for Thorri,” Dagbjartur says.

A great number of challenges, asking for whale beer

The decision of Vesturland Public Health Safety was confirmed in last October by the Ministry of Industries and Innovation. Therefore, the sale of beer from whale meal is not authorised.

“However, we had a great number of challenges where we were asked to have the whale beer available again. This was decided, but we have got all necessary licenses for manufacturing and selling of the beer, ” Dagbjartur says.

Helgi Helgason, the director of Vesturland Public Health Safety, confirms that the company is authorised to sell beer containing whale testicles.

“Whale testicles and blubber are removed by the relevant control authority on behalf of the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority. However, the content intended for whale flour is a by-product not meant for human nutrition and has not been certified as such.”

The sales start January 23rd

The beer is 5.1% in alc., with a true, Icelandic smoke taste. A whole testicle is used in every brewing and then the beer is filtered and pasteurized.

“Everyone will be happy with the quality and the pertaining Þorri atmosphere.”

This is a limited quantity as the raw material is limited, making this beer unique in the world. The liquor stores start selling Hvalur 2 from the Husband’s Day, January 23rd.



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