Migaloo and beer's role in saving the planet...

Posted by John Shearlock on

I thought we might follow the alternative collaboration between Megadeth and Unibroue that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago with something (arguably) more virtuous and, in doing so, ask the question, can beer save the planet?

Craft beer has long had an association with local community and forward thinking but the macro scale of so much craft brewing nowadays really does cry out for working on a global scale. Today’s superstar brewers are influential in so many ways, especially with the younger demographic, and using this sway for altruistic means is a responsibility of sorts.

The Dutch brewer Davo has certainly had a go with their Migaloo White Wh(Ale) - a beer made to support the endeavours of Team Migaloo, who rowed across the Atlantic in 2021/22 to raise awareness for the global problem of plastic pollution of our seas. This 5000 kilometre race is part of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge and the One For The Sea initiative which aims to protect and preserve one hundred million square metres of marine ecosystems around the world over the next three years.

Single use plastics and the plastination of our ecosystem through microplastic pollution is a big deal - especially for the beer industry that requires clean water to survive - so brewers are invested in this issue whether they like it or not. They might not be the cause… but they could well be part of the solution.

So, there is little not to like about today’s environmentally minded beer colab and here’s hoping it paves the way for more!

Migaloo is actually the name of an albino humpback whale which was first spotted off the east coast of Australia in 1991 and means “white fella” in Aboriginal. Naturally, the beer is a white ale or predominantly wheat beer - let’s see if the beer lives up to its virtuous cause.

It’s a pale copper colour in the glass with a white head. The nose is a classic wheat affair with bananas, cloves and clouds of citrus and leads to a sumptuous sweet and sour experience in the mouth, showing lovely body for a wheat-styled beer and which makes me think there’s a good serving of barley in there too. All the aromas appear in flavour form, but it’s more about a delicacy, and subtlety that allows the complexity to unfurl as the beer traverses the palate.

So can beer save the planet? Well, possibly not alone, but, as Migaloo shows - it has to try and can without doubt go some way to making a difference. On that thought, I’ll leave you with a couple of Moby Dick quotes…

“There is no folly of the beast of the earth which is not infinitely outdone by the madness of man.”

“I try all things, I achieve what I can.”

― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick or, the Whale

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