Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
In this week’s do-not-miss world of beer news, it appears the Icelandic brewery Borg Brugghús has created a beer that gets its unique taste characteristics from, yes indeed, sheep dung.
The malted barley that goes into their Fenrir Nr. 26 is smoked over burning Icelandic sheep excrement for several hours, resulting in a brew that is, according to brewmaster Sturlaugur Jon Björnsson, “Þetta er í raun léttur IPA bjór með sítruslegt og ferskt bragð og lykt frá humlunum. Síðan kemur svolítið þyngri, taðreyktur fílingur í þetta en þetta gengur allt saman upp.”
For the non-Icelandic among us, that more or less translates as “It’s a lightweight IPA with fresh citrus and hop notes, then comes a bit heavier taste from the...” Well. You get the idea.
There are certainly plans import the Fenrir Nr. 26, as soon as the FDA approves it, but it isn’t here yet. To whet your thirst, though—and in honor of St. Arnold’s Day, July 18, since St. Arnold is the patron saint of brewers—it’s worth checking out the extremely amusing video the lively guys at Borg have produced. Because how often do you get to watch bearded brewers trying to light sheep dung on fire with Bic lighters in a windswept Icelandic pasture.