Vat-ever next? Icelandic whaler’s new product is hardly a barrel of laughs

At a time of year when most of us are busy making resolutions to give up chocolate and alcohol, comes news of a brand new product designed to tempt Icelandic beer drinkers from New Year abstinence: whale beer.

‘Whale beer’ is the brainchild of the Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur hf. and claims to contain whale meal.  Its launch is timed to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) held in honour of the Norse god, Thor, a time when hearty food is served.

Brewery owner, Dabjartur Arilíusson, declared: "This is a unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur hf.  Whale beer will include, among other things, whale meal.  Whale meal is very protein rich, and has almost no fat in it.  That, along with the fact that no sugar is added makes this a very healthful drink, and people will be true Vikings drinking it."

Asked if he was concerned that the product would fall foul of anti-whalers, he commented: "Doubtless some people won’t like it, there is a certain risk and we are aware of that ….. we hope Icelanders will like it as we're naturally addressing it to Thorrablot, when people eat and drink various things which they normally wouldn't.”

It is clear that the hand of Hvalur boss, Kristjan Loftsson is firmly stirring the vat here. Always on the look out for a new marketing angle to offload his fin whale meat - and invariably happiest when in so doing, he can provoke outrage from the conservation community – this is a man who boasts of running his whaling vessels on fin whale oil and who kills fin whales to make treats for dogs in Japan. 

Surely then, we cannot expect him to feel a shred of remorse for turning a beautiful and endangered whale into an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle?



No whale beer!

how sickeningly disgusting you want to be ashamed of yourselves. never seen such cruel barbaric behaviour from a human being just to make money go rot in hell


STOP THIS MORONIC BREW! You have to be insane to do something like this!

Struggling to make an honest living in a tourism-related industry in Iceland? It's because of individuals like this. I'm sorry but I could never visit your country as long as this sort of thing is acceptable and your government is weak and ignorant enough to allow it. Decent people of Iceland, you have my sympathy.

Your whale is probably full of toxic waste. Did you tell your potential customers that snippet of information??? What a complete monster you are!!

This is one brew that I wont be trying.I think the fact that whales are killed for this is disgraceful.

I want some, this is suave


Wow, this is sooooo sad and cruel, you can count on a global world wide community of people who simply honor and love life to give you some very negative publicity. The majority of the people in the world think this is a very stupid and callous idea. You may want to try something different to generate money that has more integrity.

Your beer is full of inocent blood and cruelty. Shame on you. Iceland people, you need to evolve in love, compassion and empathy.

Your beer is full of inocent blood and cruelty. Shame on you. Iceland people, you need to evolve in love, compassion and empathy.

Oh, we do? And this is coming from an American, where 14,700 people are killed in cold blood every year? Compared to the 0,3 people who are murdered in Iceland each year. Yeah. That's like one person every 3 years. Our police officers don't even carry guns... And we need to learn love, compassion and empathy?

You need to get your facts straight, get off the internet and pull your head out of your ass.

What a Sicko... Death Beer... Shame on all who partake in this vile business and allow it to happen. It's time to Evolve out of the Viking age... it is 2014 ... grow up.

How awful! Blood on your hands!!!! No other way to make beer?

How about "Dumb Ass Beer"...and he should donate himself for the making of this brew. Now there's a true Viking brew.

I'd drink to that, even if it did taste vile.

Die sind genauso krank wie die Färöer. Kann´s sein das die alle so irrsinnig und pervers sind????

Sometimes living on small Islands with a long and dark winter makes brains shrink, somertimes eben nuts.....

Fuck you. We truly value delicious meat :)

Absolutely disgraceful. Even more determined not to visit Iceland now and will be double checking that I'm not buying ANY of its products.

Perhaps he underestimates the % of "anti-whalers". Films such as #blackfish & the fierce activist opponents like Sea Sheppard have exposed more people than ever before to whaling & the plight of Orcas throughout earth's waters. People all over the world are speaking up & taking action to protect whales from all those who continue to destroy them or imprison them for entertainment. Serving unusual & hearty beer can certainly be done without turning the drink into a whale graveyard.

This is truly unacceptable behavior, the Governments of the WORLD need to step up, grow some balls and stand up to these mindless greedy companies and individuals. Put a STOP to these barbaric practices and educate people on preserving the world and is magnificent creatures, before it's to late. Because once they're gone they're gone and the planet needs these animals to sustain the balance of life. PLEASE SAVE THE WHALES

If whales were actually doing something for the improvement of the world, someone would care.

They just don't... Except kill a lot. Killers deserve to be killed ;)

Please Stop

This is just another reason I'd never visit a country that allows this type of barbaric practices just to sell beer! Year after year, they take pleasure in slaughtering the whales in a cove,
encouraging their children to partake in this horrible "tradition", reminiscent of the coves at Tajai,Japan! Wake up people before it's too late for the whales! Boycott this country until they join the modern world! Whale hunting was done in the 1800's & should be illegal WORLDWIDE in the 20th & 21st Centuries!!! This is sick & antiquated crap! :(

You are so dead wrong.

I've lived in Iceland my whole life, but I've never slaughtered a whale or being offered to partake in any "tradition"; nor have I ever heard of any whale killing "traditions" in Iceland.

And the USA and Japan kill muuuuuuch more whales than we do. Get your facts straight, bitch.

Hahaha hysteria everywhere. Vegan tears are as delicious. Whale meat is very rarely on dinner here in Iceland most people haven't even taste it. And we kill a lot fewer whales than USA so what there is a tiny amount of whale in bottle of beer. Probably the whole lager they are selling is coming from a one whale after the meat was stripped clean off which other wise would have thrown away.

honestly. why I'm amazed at how awful our species is still surprises me.

Come on Iceland, home of wonderful music! Don't degrade yourself with barbarism, please join the more progressive times, check you calendars!