It has now been authorized to sell and distribute a controversial whale beer in Iceland. The minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Sigurdur Ingi Jóhannsson, has given the beer a green light. The owner of the brewery has confirmed this.
The beer can therefore now be bought at state-run liquor stores. In Iceland the state has a monopoly on selling liquor in stores, so it is not possible to buy alcohol at grocery stores for example.
To the consternation of much of the non-whale-eating world, the brewery, Steðji, announced this week that it was introducing a limited run of beer brewed with whale bones, making those who drink it into “true Vikings.” The brew’s month-long run during the Icelandic winter festival of Þorrablót is the product of a partnership with Icelandic whaling company Hvalur and has quickly incited a backlash from environmentalists against the whalebone-quaffing people of Iceland.
The owner of the distillery was very happy with the ministers decision. The decision was that the brewery can sell and distribute the beer until the ministry has gone over the matter completely. The health authorities in West Iceland, where the brewery is located, banned the beer because it contains whale meal, and the health authorities claim that using this meal for human consumption is illegal. The brewery filed a lawsuit against the decision, and now the environmental ministry is looking into the matter.
Very little whale meal is used in the production, according to the CEO of the West Iceland Health Authorities there is around 1 kg of the meal in every 2000 liters of beer.