Craft breweries have been using odd ingredients to set them apart from the competition for a while but one brewery in Maine caught our attention when we learned they have a brew coming up made with seaweed.
The Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Belfast, Maine, already has one brew sourced from the sea in a stout made with local oysters, and set their sights on crafting a brew using seaweed locally and sustainably sourced.
Brewery owner David Carlson came across a beer from Scotland, called Kelpie, made with seaweed and used that as the inspiration. Using sugar kelp to provide not only the sugar for the yeast to convert to alcohol and carbonation, the seaweed also adds iodine and some salt to counterbalance the Scottish peat-smoked malt in the Scotch ale dubbed “Sea Belt” they are brewing.
Around six pounds of dried kelp, the equivalent of 60 pounds of wet seaweed, are added to each 200 gallon batch. According to the NPR article, the beer is more malty than hoppy, earthy like most Scotch ales, but a bit more salty. Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. began pouring Sea Belt Scotch Ale on July 15.