This issue marks the 36th issue we’ve printed—that is a full six years of magazines. In each issue, we’ve ran this column and have come across some really weird beers. However, this beer makes all of those other beers look mostly commonplace.
Iceland’s Stedji Brewery set out to make a beer to celebrate Thorri. Thorri is the fourth month of winter according to The Old Icelandic calendar. Today, it’s a month-long celebration that starts on “Husband’s Day” and ends on “Thorri’s Slave.” There happens to be a bunch of food items that are traditional to Thorri. These include soured ram’s testicles, pickled whale blubber, pickled and non-pickled sheep head jelly and a variety of other equally delicious-sounding dishes.
In keeping with the Thorri theme, Stedji has brewed Hvalur 2, a beer brewed with the testicles of fin whales. The testicles are cured in an old traditional way and then salted and smoked. One testicle is added per batch of Hvalur 2. Each testicle weighs in at about 5-15kg or 11-33lbs. Roughly 150 testicles were used in the process, producing about 20,000 bottles of beer. The best part, however, is this isn’t even the first time Stedji has brewed such an “interesting” beer. Fin whales have been an endangered species for quite some time and in 2013, the whaling of them became legal again. Right after this, Stedji brewed a beer using bones, intestines and other parts of fin whales, in a move that did not bode well with conservationists.
For those interested in trying Hvalur 2, you’re not likely to ever see it in the States. You’ll have to book a trip to Iceland during Thorri, but at least you’ll have an assortment of like-minded foods to pair with it.