An Icelandic brewery has revealed that its Hvalur 2 beer, which has been produced for the country’s annual mid-winter festival, is made with smoked fin whale testicles.
Stedji, which last year caused outrage by producing a beer containing whale meat for the Thorri festival, is likely to stir up a similar uproar this year given that fin whales are classified as endangered and are on the conservation Red List.
Whale and Dolphin Conservation anti-whaling campaigner Vanessa Williams-Grey insisted that Stedji’s move was “calculated” as it aimed to dishonor the fin whale by using its “most intimate body parts as a marketing tool” and send a message to the conservation community that they didn’t care what was thought of their actions.
Conservationists have repeatedly claimed that as Iceland’s whaling industry was on the decline, key players have been trying to think of new marketing ideas for its products.
Williams-Grey insisted that any “right-minded” person would never consider drinking a beverage brewed with whaling testicles, insisting that it would be akin to drinking something made with elephant, rhino or tiger testicles. She added that she hoped no visitors to the country would even think about trying it.
However, Stedji’s Dagbjartur Ariliusson explained that they were from a country where whaling was permitted but well controlled by the government. He described the fisheries there as “self-sustainable and responsible”, insisting that research showed the fin whale in the North Atlantic was no in danger of extinction.