Sacrebleu! French beer is hoppy, fruity—and blue | Inquirer News

Sacrebleu! French beer is hoppy, fruity—and blue

/ 05:32 AM February 05, 2022

ALGAE-TINTED A glass of Line blue beer, which is made with spirulina algae, is displayed on a table inside the Hoppy Urban Brew brewery in Roubaix near Lille, France, on Jan 31. —REUTERS

ROUBAIX, France—A French brewer has started using algae with a naturally occurring pigment to turn their beer blue.

The beer, with the brand name “Line,” is the result of a tie-up between a firm that wants to popularize the algae as a dietary supplement, and a nearby craft brewery that was looking for a way to make its beverages more distinctive.


The beer is selling well, said Sebastien Verbeke, an employee of Hoppy Urban Brew, which makes the drink.


“It’s getting an enormous amount of interest and curiosity on the part of the public,” he said.

BOTTOMS UP A Hoppy Urban Brew worker gets to enjoy her French company’s unique product, which has been enjoying brisk sales since October last year. —REUTERS

The blue tint comes from spirulina, an algae that is grown in basins by a company called Etika Spirulina in northern France. The component of spirulina that gives the blue color, called phycocyanin, is then added to the beer during the brewing process.

Tasting a freshly produced bottle of the beer, brewery employee Mathilde Vanmansart described it as hoppy, light and with fruity notes, while the only evidence of the added algae was the distinctive color.

Xavier Delannoy, whose farm provides the spirulina, said after several test batches, the brewery had found a blend that appealed to customers.

He said 1,500 bottles of the blue beer were sold between October and December last year, and the brewery is now preparing to ramp up production to meet demand.

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TAGS: beer, French, line

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