Icelandic Brewery Makes Beer From Sheep's Heads - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Brewery Makes Beer From Sheep’s Heads

Published June 8, 2017

The Icelandic Brewery Borg Brugghús has teamed up with their Norwegian counterpart Voss Bryggeri, to make a stout brewed from … sheep’s heads?

Svið, the main ingredient, is essentially a sheep’s head cut in half, which has had its fur singed off and its brain scooped out. It is one of Iceland’s oldest delicacies, with every Icelander having fond childhood memories of gouging out the sheep’s innocent looking, tender eyes and devouring its soul. Jummy!

But being able to get drunk while enjoying this wonderfully barbaric delicacy is next level.

Shared savage heritage

“We’ve wanted to brew beer together for a while and at the same time to work with our shared cultural heritage,” Borgar’s brewmaster Árni Long told mbl.is. “At some point the idea came about to use svið in our beers because they are consumed in both countries.”

Árni explained that although most people don’t necessarily realise it, stout beers often taste of umami and have hints of meat, which is why they are often served alongside meat dishes.

“So you see, the idea isn’t actually as crazy as it sounds at first!,” he said.

Apparently Norwegian svið differs somewhat from the Icelandic one, as the former is smoked and a lot saltier. Therefore, while both are used for the brewing process, one of them will kill you faster.

As we speak, fermentation of this meaty drink is ongoing with tiny organisms working hard to turn traditional solid food into an inventive drink. The beer should be available to hungry beer enthusiasts in a matter of weeks.

Gouge away!


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