Portsmouth Brewing Created a Seaweed Beer (Yes, Seaweed)

Portsmouth Brewing Created a Seaweed Beer (Yes, Seaweed)

Of all the new flavors in craft beer, Portsmouth Brewing in coastal New Hampshire may have just created the most notable — from seaweed.

Portsmouth Brewing’s new seaweed beer is called Selkie, a Scottish red ale brewed with sugar kelp straight off the New England coast.

“I would say this is at the top end of the weirdness scale for brewing,” said Matt Gallagher, Portsmouth’s head brewer.

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The brewery partnered with the University of New Hampshire Aquaculture program, which harvests different varieties of kelp.

“It’s sort of like super kale of the sea,” explains Michael Chambers, an aquaculture specialist at UNH. “It’s full of vitamins and nutrients. [It has] trace elements in plants we don’t get from our gardens.”

UNH provided 60 pounds of the sugar kelp, which the brewery washed in a fresh watert, then boiled for about an hour in their kettle.

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Gallagher says his team put a lot of thought into how exactly to create an enjoyable flavor around the seaweed.

I don’t want it to taste like low tide,” he said.

They landed on a Scottish red ale, where the sweetness of the barley would balance the briny quality of the plant.

Selkie is now on tap at the brewery’s Portsmouth taproom.