Several years back, blue wine was making headlines in France. Now in 2022, it’s blue beer that’s creating a bit of a stir.

Hoppy Urban Brew (aka HUB) — based in the city of Roubaix, not far from the Belgian border — teamed up with a company called Etika Spirulina which grows spirulina, a type of blue-green algae, that is then supplied to the brewery to give the beer its blue hue, according to Reuters. The hope is that the eye-catching drink — which gets its colour from the compound phycocyanin — can also help Etika Spirulina promote its algae as a dietary supplement.

The blue beer is in demand

“It’s getting an enormous amount of interest and curiosity on the part of the public,” Sebastien Verbeke, a brewery employee, told the news outlet. HUB is reportedly already working on ramping up production after 1,500 bottles of the 3-percent ABV brew (which is called Line) sold out over the last three months of 2021.

Blue Beer
Image Credit: Courtesy of Hoppy Urban Brew

Despite its blue colour, the beer itself is billed as a session IPA. “It’s quite disconcerting,” HUB’s Mathilde Vanmansart explained while tasting the beer, “because since it’s blue, our brains expect a certain note, but, no, we really have here a session IPA, a very light beer, and the flavours of the beer really come through. We can taste that it has a light alcohol content with quite the taste of hops, with slight notes of citrus. And in the back of the mouth, there’s a slight taste of lychee. It’s quite refreshing.”

Of course, after 40 years of craft beer, seemingly everything has been done before. We’ve seen a blue beer coloured with blue seaweed in Japan, covered a green “algae” beer in Ohio (though it wasn’t actually made with algae) — and, yes, a quick search on Untappd shows that, indeed, breweries have tossed spirulina in beers before to help coax out a blue hue. But when it comes to convincing people to consume algae, every bit helps, right?

This story first appeared on

(Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of Hoppy Urban Brew)

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