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Icelandic seasonal beer from whales' testicles

 
News in english
10:17 09. JANÚAR 2015
"We want to create a true Thorri atmosphere and therefore we decided to put smoked testicles from fin whales into the beer for flavoring" VÍSIR
BY Haraldur Gudmundsson

Brewery Steðji will introduce a Thorri beer, Hvalur 2, later this month following the success of Hvalur Thorri which the company brewed and introduced last year. A lot of preparation went into Hvalur 2, according to the owner of the brewery.
 
"We want to create a true Thorri atmosphere and therefore we decided to put smoked testicles from fin whales into the beer for flavoring" says Dagbjartur Arilíusson, one of the owners of brewery in Borgarfjörður.
 
"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 brew had contained one testicle.


Dagbjartur Arilíusson og Svanhildur Valdimarsdóttir, owners of the Steðji brewery.
Dagbjartur Arilíusson og Svanhildur Valdimarsdóttir, owners of the Steðji brewery.

Popular predecessor
According to Dagbjartur, the beer will follow the Thorri beer that Steðji sold in January last year, which contained whale meal.

Vesturland Public Health Safety prohibited the sale of the beer, but the meal 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.


Inside the Steðji brewery
Inside the Steðji brewery

A great number of challenges, asking for whale beer
The decision of Vesturland Public Health Safety was confirmed 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 liquor stores start selling Hvalur 2 from the Husband's Day, January 23rd.
The liquor stores start selling Hvalur 2 from the Husband's Day, January 23rd. VÍSIR/VILHELM

The sales start January 23rd
The beer is 5.1% in alc. 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."
 
Dagbjartur adds that raw materiels used in Hvalur 2 are in limited quantity. The liquor stores start selling Hvalur 2 from the Husband's Day, January 23rd.


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