The latest bug beer

13 December 2019

9 December 2019

Belgium Beetles beer leads the shift in the way we think about insect-based food

Muriel Cozier

You may be surprised to know that insects have found their way into brewing, though many a home brew may well have had an insect or two floating around.

Belgian Beetles Beer is described as a real Belgium blond beer.  Its creators say that the flavour is ‘Rich in taste, light sweet, a little bitter with seductive hopped flavours.’

The promotional material adds ‘The golden character was obtained by the secret mix of “novel foods,” full of proteins and vitamins which gives the strength to the Beetles beer and finishes the beer sensation to the fullest.’

Patrick Fiore owner and creator of Beetles Beer tells SCI ‘We have created a novel beer enriched with insect vitamins and proteins. But we certainly cannot claim that the beer is healthier, due to the alcohol, but the protein adds a certain flavour. The exciting thing for the customer is the experience of tasting a totally new product while challenging their ideas.’

Like many start-ups Belgium Beetles Beer began in a garage, and like many new products the beer was a result of an ‘accident.’

‘As scientists,’ says Fiore, ‘we were drying and sterilizing hops with a self-made radio frequency machine. If suddenly a beetle flew into the process, it came out as a dry powder.  We now had a miracle of science. This pile of powder was given to a team of professors and experts where all the nutritional facts were examined.’

‘It was found that these small bombs of protein and vitamins which play an important role in the food chain, gave a specific and unique taste to the product.’

But apart from creating new flavours, Fiore says that there is a need for a shift in the way we think about food. ‘We know that there must be a change in the diet of the population, and we are convinced that insects will form part of that. Of course the conditions under which these are introduced must be right and this will depend on the demands of industry. In addition the income of farmers will play an important role.’

Looking to the future Fiore adds ‘We are currently fully engaged in research in the sector with a growing group of passionate pioneers. If all this succeeds the picture will be right to change this sector and the diet of the population.’

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