Australian brewer to launch ‘fossil beer’

Canberra: An Australian brewer has announced of launching a “fossil beer” to commemorate 10 years of regional fossil research.

Mike Holden, an independent brewer based on Kangaroo Island, South Australia, said the ale was filtered through fossil-rich shale, a type of sedimentary rock dating back more than 500 million years, reports Xinhua news agency.

“We just thought for this one, why not let the millions of years of shale rock speak for itself and see what comes through?” Holden told Australian media on Friday.

“The beer definitely has a unique flavour to it, but it is not something that is off-putting or maybe something that people will not even recognise.”

Kangaroo Island, a third of which is protected nature reserves, has been identified as something of a “hotspot” for palaeontologists with researchers from the University of New England collecting 6,000 specimens from the island since 2007.

In 2014, the island made international headlines when “alien-looking” fossils from 500 million years ago were uncovered.

John Paterson, leader of the University of New England’s dig on the island, said that the shale used in brewing the beer was around 514 million years old.

Holden said that innovation was necessary in Australia’s competitive craft beer industry with an estimated 400 independent brewers now operating in the country.