Sea Belt isn't the first seaweed beer the world has seen. Marshall Wharf owner David Carlson discovered a beer called Kelpie from Scotland a few years ago, which inspired his locally-sourced version. The brewery also isn't a stranger to unique beer flavors. Every year in honor of the Pemaquid Oyster Festival in Damariscotta, Maine, Marshall Wharf makes Pemaquid Oyster Stout, which is made with live oysters.
With the explosion of craft breweries across the country in recent years and the growing demand for small-scale, limited edition beers, it's no surprise that brewers have been getting creative. Peanut butter jelly beer has been making a splash from Charleston, South Carolina to Northern Michigan, and California-based Island Brewing company makes an avocado ale. That's just the tip of the iceberg, too. NPR reported just last week that an amateur fossil hunter has developed "bone beer, or beer made from yeast scraped from a 35-million-year-old whale fossil, to be precise." Now seaweed beer doesn't sound so crazy.
But will seaweed beer hit big? The Japanese have long used seaweed in their cooking, and in Nova Scotia dried red seaweed called dulse is a popular snack. Seaweed has just recently become a mainstream snack in America -- a breakthrough many people may have been skeptical about just a few years ago. Today, however, dried seaweed like Annie Chun's and Trader Joe's roasted seaweed snacks have permeated American consciousness and are now a regular sight at grocery stores everywhere. Could seaweed beer do the same?
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