Scientists develop seaweed-based beer

Thursday, 14 March, 2019

Scientists develop seaweed-based beer

University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) scientists and Newstead Brewing Co have partnered to develop a beer brewed with ‘sea lettuce’ from Moreton Bay in an effort to promote seaweed as a nutritious, locally grown resource.

To create the Moreton Bae Resalinated Gose beer, Newstead brewers steeped 25 kg of iron-rich ulva sea lettuce in cold water to extract the salt characteristics and flavours to add to the ‘gose’ style beer. With origins dating back centuries to Goslar, Germany, gose is historically a lightly sour, wheat-driven beer with coriander and salt flavours, said brewer and former marine microbiologist Dr Evan Goulden.

“For this beer, we used desalinated water from Seqwater — which is completely salt-free — and instead we used seaweed to ‘resalinate’ and reimagine the gose style with a natural briny character. We also left out the coriander because we wanted some of those marine volatiles and the spiciness from the seaweed to shine.”

The partnership will help drive public awareness of responsible and sustainable farming of seaweed, which is a fast-growing, plentiful resource that can help address food security concerns. USC Associate Professor of Aquaculture Dr Nick Paul said the seaweed used for this project was grown at USC’s research facility at Bribie Island in just one week. As consumer interest in seaweed is growing rapidly, he said it made sense to consider applications for Australia’s food, beverage, health and biopharmaceutical industries.

“Seaweed will actually filter out the very best minerals from the ocean, so it has nutritious elements like potassium, magnesium and in this case zinc and iron.

“We actually have thousands of species of seaweed off the coast of Australia and none of them are being used commercially, so there is this huge bounty of opportunity.

“Different seaweeds have different properties and it’s all about finding the right seaweed for the right application and working with the right partners to do that,” Dr Paul said

For example, he said ulva has more iron than spinach, while other seaweeds have more potassium than bananas.

The beer is available in Queensland.

Top image: The Moreton Bae Resalinated Gose with fresh ulva seaweed.

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