This week in poop-smoked beer
July 18th, 2014
10:15 AM ET
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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.

This sort of madness isn’t exactly new—witness Beer Geek Brunch Weasel beer from Denmark craft beer superstar Mikeller, which derived some of its flavor from Vietnamese ca phe chon coffee (beans harvested from civet cat poop). But, you know, it’s still not exactly mainstream.

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.

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The $50 cup of cat poop coffee

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Filed under: Beer • Sip • Stunt • Taboos • Weird News

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Berk Demirbulakli

    As a coprophagist, this sounds delightful.

    August 22, 2014 at 10:59 am |
  2. Janie Avila

    I get it. You will never know until you try it! As a direct supplier of Kopi Luwak I understand using a product like this to add to any recipe. The misconception is that it is poo but coffee has a hard shell around it that protects the bean that will eventually get roasted so when he is using a product like civet coffee, the coffee has been civet picked to be the sweetest of the beans. Understandable that it would be good or at least interesting.

    Our beans available at
    Good Beans – read our story

    July 22, 2014 at 8:35 am |
    • Jack r

      Civet coffee is great stuff.

      July 22, 2014 at 9:12 am |
  3. Kat Kinsman

    It's all about context. There's egregious and superfluous poop, and then there is contextually appropriate poop. This was the latter.

    July 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
  4. mjplatt2014

    Once came across a home brew recipe for beer that called for chicken stock.....guess anything is possible.

    July 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
  5. Doug

    Oh come on, you weak bellied sops. The heat of the fire comes from the fuel of sheep dung. It isn't "smoked" in the same way as meant is. The smoke isn't "swirled" into the brew. And even so, if it was, and makes for a interesting taste, I say "Baaa (d)" to you detractors.

    July 20, 2014 at 2:05 am |
    • AleeD®

      To which I'd reply, to each his own. Eat (sh!t) your heart out. I choose otherwise.

      July 21, 2014 at 7:37 am |
  6. Thinking things through

    I am hoping I didn't read this too closely... (Nope...) Okay, I'm going to carry on in my life, and without beer...

    July 19, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
  7. Jerv

    "a beer that gets its unique taste characteristics from, yes indeed, sheep dung. "

    U 1st!

    July 19, 2014 at 4:12 pm |
    • AleeD®

      ... and even then ...

      July 21, 2014 at 7:35 am |
  8. White House Photographer

    This is my favorite photo of Barack and Mooochele at Camp David while on vacation.

    July 19, 2014 at 8:06 am |
  9. SixDegrees

    I'm going to market a beer smoked with crematorium fumes.

    July 19, 2014 at 4:06 am |
    • jesse

      Get it licensed by the Greateful Dead

      July 20, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
  10. Commojoe

    Hey, this can't be worse than the snake urine soup.

    July 19, 2014 at 3:00 am |
  11. AleeD®

    This is about as appetizing sounding as kopi luwak coffee. ThanksI'llpass.

    July 18, 2014 at 12:57 pm |
    • A. Nonymous

      I've had the original free range Kopi Luwak and it was very, very good. Most of the ca phe chon in Viet Nam today is made using vats of synthetic luwak digestive enzymes or from force-fed caged luwaks and is of a much lower quality.

      July 18, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
      • AleeD®

        Still the same as sh!t thru a goose. ThanksI'llpass.

        July 21, 2014 at 7:35 am |
  12. BeerBrewerDan

    Hmmm...I also thought Budwieser tastes like sh!t.

    July 18, 2014 at 11:21 am |
  13. Pepe Le Pew

    Le merde? sacre bleu!

    July 18, 2014 at 10:55 am |
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