Drinking Beer Made of Whale Will Turn You Into a True Viking, Claims Brewery

A brewery in Iceland is causing a stir following an announcement that it will be adding whale meal,áa byproduct of processing the animal’s meat and oil, to one of its new brews that it claims will turn those who drink it into “true vikings.”

“This is a uniqueábeer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur hf. Whaleábeeráwill 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,” said the brewery’s owner, Dabjartur ArilÝusson.

The beer in question is being launched to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival Thorrablot, which honors the Norse god Thor, and will at least only be sold for a limited time, according to the Independent.

Still, it’s drawn criticism from whale advocates who are disgusted that a company would stoop low enough to turn endangered fin whales into booze.

“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,” said Vanessa Williams-Grey, head of Whale and Dolphin Conservation’s (WDC) Icelandic anti-whaling campaign.

“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?”

Japan’s long been in the spotlight for using a loophole in the whaling ban, but Iceland’s openly defying it. Iceland initially conducted a “scientific” whaling program, but withdrew from the International Whaling Commission in 1992 and resumed commercial whaling in 2006, targeting minke and fin whales, despite the dwindling demand for whale meat both in Iceland and in Japan, which had been a viable market.

Those who profit from the continued slaughter of whales are clearly trying to get creative with ways to pawn off whale meat no one wants. This isn’t the first time both countries have drawn the ire of whale lovers and conservationists over a novelty product. Last year, Tokyo-based Michinoku Farm pulled dog treats made of fin whales processed by Hvalur hf off the market after drawing international outrage. Hvalur hf also sparked controversy when it used whale-oil-based fuel to power the very ships it uses to go out and slaughter more whales.

Unfortunately, Iceland’s continued whaling hasn’t just hurt whales. WDC noted that Iceland has continued to ignore the potential for economic damage over public opposition to whaling and that it’s negatively impacting other industries that depend on whales being alive. The Icelandic Whale Watch Association and the Icelandic Travel Industry Association have reported a decline in whale watching because whales are increasingly difficult to find.

Hopefully people will decide they’re okay with merely being impostor vikings and this beer will be an epic failure.


It is reckless and immoral to kill an endangered whale to make a novelty beer.áPlease sign and share the petition asking Ste­ji Brewery to discontinue their plans to sell whale-meal beer.

Photo credit: Lori Mazzuca, AFSC/Kodiak via NOAA


Lori D.
Lori D2 years ago

Fishing or harvesting Whales should be outlawed!

Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing :)

Pat Rock
Pat Rock4 years ago

from WDC website:

14 January 2014 - 10:52am

WDC welcomes the news reported in Icelandic media that 'whale beer' has been banned before it goes on sale.

The announcement last week that the Steðjar brewery was going to use whale meal as an ingredient in a new beer caused international outrage. WDC took to the airwaves to debate the issue with the brewery's owner and the issue received widespread coverage in the media.

The Public Health Authority of Vesturland, where the Steðjar brewery is located, has now announced that the whaling company Hvalur Inc, does not have a license to produce whale meal for human consumption and therefore it cannot be used in the beer.

In December, Iceland announced its self-determined whaling quota would rise to 383 whales in 2014.


Michelle M.
Michelle M4 years ago


Alison A.
Alison A4 years ago

Humans will do anything for profit.

Some people pray for world peace, ironically the only way this is achievable is if humans become extinct. We are the problem with this world, because we believe that we can do whatever we want, no matter who it hurts or the damage it may cause. Animals only take from this world what they need, which is what mother nature naturally provides for them.

d b
wiz wi4 years ago

Drinking Beer Made of Whale Will Turn You Into a True Viking, Claims Brewery
so drinking their beer will make you the same as them BLOODY MURDERS

Valerie A.
Valerie A4 years ago

This is one of the issues as to why Iceland has not joined the EU, because if they did, these killings would have to stop!

When a species is classified as endangered, all countries should respect that.

LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago


LMj Sunshine
James Merit4 years ago