A Maine Craft Brewery Is Pouring Scotch Ale with Seaweed
by Owen James Burke
Marshall Wharf Brewing Company in Belfast, Maine, has a reputation for including strange ingredients in their beers, like jalapeno peppers and oysters. Now, they’re working with sugar kelp on a beer called Sea Belt Scotch Ale.
David Carlson, the company’s owner, was influenced by a beer in Scotland called Kelpie, which is brewed with seaweed that once functioned as a fertilizer for Scotland’s cereal (and barely) and incidentally used to give ales brewed from those grains a briny finish.
All in all, they ended up putting 6 pounds (60 pounds wet) of dried sugar kelp into a 200 gallon batch of scotch ale, and the Sea Belt Scotch Ale is available now.
“We’re taking a risk,” says Carlson, “because when you build a recipe, you want to know everything that’s going into it. You don’t want to fly blind.”
Carlson enlisted the help of a foremost seaweed specialist, Sarah Redmond of the University of Maine, to conduct the brewing experiment, and Sam Caglione of Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware to provide the first taste test.
Read more on NPR: –OB