Bad Ideas in Brewing – Beer Made From Endangered Whales

, Bad Ideas in Brewing – Beer Made From Endangered Whales

We’ve not sampled beer made with bacon and donuts – it’s not our thing – but we figure there’s probably someone out there who might like it. We feel much the same about a beer that was brewed with moon dust. But even though beers brewed with lunar dust, or donuts for that matter, might strike you as gimmicky and questionable, they’re not morally reprehensible.

So welcome to the latest in our ongoing series BAD IDEAS IN BREWING, and we’re blaming Iceland for this one…

, Bad Ideas in Brewing – Beer Made From Endangered WhalesBeer Made From Endangered Whales

Whales are incredible creatures and they’ve nearly been driven to extinction by humans who hunt them for food, fuel, and other purposes. And in spite of the International Whaling Commission’s moratorium on whaling, a handful of countries, including Norway, Japan, and Iceland, have found loopholes and continue to hunt them – no matter the world’s opposition.

With organizations like Greenpeace leading the crusade and most of the world’s opinion solidly on their side, you wouldn’t think that anyone would be so stupid as to brew a commercial beer using ingredients from the endangered whale. Well, think again.

The Story

What started as a misguided brewing idea using some seriously sketchy ingredients erupted into an international firestorm recently when the Icelandic brewery Steðji’s announced they were teaming up with a whaling company and making beer that contains whale meal. The brewery’s dubious position was that using this ingredient would help them deliver a healthier beer as whale is high in protein and low in fat. And their pitch, according to gizmodo, was that drinking this whale-infused brew would turn you into a “true Viking.” (Oh great, let the raping and pillaging begin.)

The Backlash

Obviously international whale conservation groups went nuts. Realizing that brewing a beer using ingredients from an endangered creature was a very bad look for the country, Icelandic authorities scrambled to ban the beer before it could hit the shelves.

The Lesson

This unfortunate incident should never have happened to begin with and frankly we’re surprised that it did. Craft beer is a business and in many ways a lifestyle with its own credo. And it values things as basic as respect for the planet and its inhabitants. Brewing a beer using ingredients harvested from an endangered species – especially those as beloved as whales – is a bad play at every level.

It’s bad business – bad juju – and another truly BAD IDEA IN BREWING.


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