Brewing and production of Hvalbjór, an Icelandic beer containing powdered whale bones, has been shut down barely a week after production began.
RÚV reports that about one kilo of whale bone meal was used in every 2,000 litres of the beer, making the added ingredient more of a novelty than a contributing flavour factor. Even at these low levels, it is still against the law.
“[Whaling company] Hvalur does not have a licence to produce bone meal for food service purposes,” Helgi Helgason, the managing director of the West Iceland Health Supervisory Authority, told reporters. “Consequently, we had to put a stop to it.” By European law, it is also illegal to use bone meal to make any food product, for animals and humans alike.
As reported, the whale beer premiered scarcely a week ago. Produced by the brewery Steðji, it prompted objections from numerous conservationists. Brewer Dagbjartur Ingvar Arilíusson touted the beer as “a very wholesome drink” that would make its consumers “real Vikings.”
Dagbjartur has no intention to fight the decision, saying, “If that’s the decision [of the health supervisory], then of course we have to obey it.”