Seaweed Beer

“The brittle strips of seaweed disappear into the steam. In all, six pounds of dried kelp, the equivalent of 60 pounds of wet seaweed, go into this 200 gallon batch of scotch ale called Sea Belt.”

A few years ago an owner, David Carlson, of a brewing company (Marshall Wharf Brewing Co.) discovered a beer made with seaweed from Scotland, called Kelpie. After consulting with a scientist, Sarah Redmond – Aquaculture Specialist at the University of Maine, David decided to try seaweed in a beer himself, resulting in a batch of scotch ale called Sea Belt. David knew he’d get some iodine from the sugar kelp and some salt to counterbalance the Scottish peat-smoked malt in the beer. But he worried that if the kelp introduced too much of polysaccharide that the beer would end up thick — like a milkshake. And no one is quite sure what the beer will taste like.

After a few weeks when the first batch was done, he sent it to another brewery, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, for a taste test, and the reaction was,

“Pours a beautiful, russet mahogany.”

And after a sip,

“That’s a nice beer. I get a lot of caramel notes early in the taste,” says Sam Calagione (founder of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery).

According to the brewery: The beer is more malty than hoppy, earthy like the scotch ale that it’s based on, but a bit more salty, thanks to the sugar kelp. Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. began pouring Sea Belt Scotch Ale on July 15.








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