Skip to content
All articles
  • All articles
  • About whales & dolphins
  • Create healthy seas
  • End captivity
  • Green Whale
  • Prevent deaths in nets
  • Scottish Dolphin Centre
  • Stop whaling
Humpback whale playing with kelp

Why do humpback whales wear seaweed wigs?

Alison Wood Ali is WDC's education projects coordinator. She is the editor of Splash! and KIDZONE,...
Japanese whaling ship

WDC in Japan – Part 5: The meaning of whaling

Katrin Matthes Katrin is WDC's communications and campaigns officer for policy & communication in Germany...
Risso's dolphins off the Isle of Lewis, Scotland

Unravelling the mysteries of Risso’s dolphins – WDC in action

Nicola Hodgins Nicola is WDC's cetacean science coordinator. She leads our long-term Risso's dolphin research...
Save the whale save the world on a tv in a meeting room.

Saving whales in boardrooms and on boats

Abbie Cheesman Abbie is WDC's head of strategic partnerships. She works with leading businesses to...
Outcomes of COP28

Outcomes for whales and dolphins from COP28

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...
Taiji's cove with boats rounding up dolphins to be slaughtered or sold to aquraiums

WDC in Japan – Part 4: A journey to Taiji’s killing cove

Katrin Matthes Katrin is WDC's communications and campaigns officer for policy & communication in Germany...
Blue whale at surface

Creating a safe haven for whales and dolphins in the Southern Ocean

Emma Eastcott Emma is WDC's head of safe seas. She helps ensure whales and dolphins...
We're at COP28 to Save the Whale, Save the World.

We’re at COP28 to save the whale, save the world

Ed Goodall Ed is WDC's head of intergovernmental engagement. He meets with world leaders to...

Vat-ever next? Icelandic whaler’s new product is hardly a barrel of laughs

At a time of year when most of us are busy making resolutions to give up chocolate and alcohol, comes news of a brand new product designed to tempt Icelandic beer drinkers from New Year abstinence: whale beer.

‘Whale beer’ is the brainchild of the Steðjar brewery and fin whaling company, Hvalur hf. and claims to contain whale meal.  Its launch is timed to coincide with the Icelandic mid-winter festival of Þorrablót (Thorrablot) held in honour of the Norse god, Thor, a time when hearty food is served.

Brewery owner, Dabjartur Arilíusson, declared: “This is a unique beer, brewed in collaboration with Hvalur hf.  Whale beer will 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.”

Asked if he was concerned that the product would fall foul of anti-whalers, he commented: “Doubtless some people won’t like it, there is a certain risk and we are aware of that ….. we hope Icelanders will like it as we’re naturally addressing it to Thorrablot, when people eat and drink various things which they normally wouldn’t.”

It is clear that the hand of Hvalur boss, Kristjan Loftsson is firmly stirring the vat here. Always on the look out for a new marketing angle to offload his fin whale meat – and invariably happiest when in so doing, he can provoke outrage from the conservation community – this is a man who boasts of running his whaling vessels on fin whale oil and who kills fin whales to make treats for dogs in Japan. 

Surely then, we cannot expect him to feel a shred of remorse for turning a beautiful and endangered whale into an ingredient on the side of a beer bottle?