Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Icelandic micro-brewed sheep manure smoked IPA selected as one of world’s wackiest brews

By Staff

  • The master brewers at Borg Sturlaugur and Valgeir, the master brewers at Borg have created one of the 60 wackiest beers in the world. Photo/visir.is-Haraldur.

The publishers of an Australian guide to world beer The World´s Wackiest Brews, have selected Fenrir nr:26 as one of the 60 strangest and most interesting beers in the world, the local news site visir.is reports. According to the brewers at Borg the beer is a standard west-coast IPA, made with malt “smoked over a fire of dried sheep shit.” Of course sheep shit is usually referred to as sheep manure or sheep droppings. But calling it “Sheep shit” obviously makes the description a little edgier.

The master brewers at Borg describe the IPA in the following video:

Sheep-manure smoking an old Icelandic tradition
While using sheep manure in food processing might sound exotic to foreigners, the tradition of smoking meats or fish over a fire of sheep manure is a traditional and common way of curing foods in Iceland. Sturlaugur Jón Björnsson a brewer with Borg told visir.is that they at Borg brewery had always aimed at finding ways to use Icelandic ingredients and raw materials for their brewing: “It’s fun to see how interesting and exotic foreigners find this, especially when smoking with sheep manure has been such a unremarkable and common part of Icelandic culinary culture for such a long time”

Sturlaugur also remarked that he had carried the idea of making beer with sheep manure smoked malt for a long time: “I had promised my mentor with the Russian River Brewing Company [in California] that I would realize this project one day and come visit him with the beer. It will be fun to be able to live up to that promise.”

Named after a monster in Norse mythology
Fenrir is also the name of one of the fiercest monsters of Norse mythology, Fenrir or Fenrisúlfur, which translates as The Wolf of Fenrir. During Ragnarrök the Wolf of Fenrir, which is one of the children of the god Loki, will break out of the binding into which the gods had placed him during the earliest of times. During the luring of Fenrir into the chain Gleipnir, which had been forged by the dwarfs, Týr the god of war, sacrificed his hand at the wrist. Once free from the bond Fenrir is set to kill Odin, the high god, but will in turn be slain by Odin’s son Viðar.

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