This may sound super gross, but allow me to explain. Beer is typically made from malted barley, but other things is also used, for the most part various types of grains. What they all have in common though is that they are all plant materials. The reason for that is pretty obvious; you need a source for starch for the fermentation process.

It struck me that it is possible to find starch-like polysaccharides in non-plant material too, particularly in liver, where the concentration of glycogen is high. Wikipedia says it is about 5-6% percent of raw liver, meaning dried liver should offer a reasonable concentration.

I am for obvious reasons not going to try to brew anything from liver, the potential health risk being an example of a show stopper. But in theory, would brewing something from liver be possible?


3 Answers 3


Anything can be an "ingredient" but as a source of fermentable sugar that takes a little more thinking.

As you said liver only contains about 5% glycogen (polysaccaride with a protein core and glucose)

Problem 1: 5% useful isn't very much. You really need to think about the other 95% and how it would adversely effect the concoction. IE large amounts of Iron

Problem 2: The glycogen molecules need to be broken down into sugars yeast can use. The liver wouldn't have any enzymes for this and would need to be added.

Typically Amylase does this for us in the mash and it is naturally occuring in the grain, measure by (diastatic power)

While very impractical, I guess you could ferment liver into alcohol. But please don't call it Beer. :-)


There is a tradition of adding a small amount of meat to cider in a barrel that is slow to start fermenting.

  • There is also a savoury tea made from Bovril in the UK and British commonwealth. It is not unheard of.
    – Neil Meyer
    Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 11:40
  • please add references
    – Mr_road
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 16:02

I would salt and air dry the liver before I add it to any not salted liquid. You would have to dehydrate it too the point where no unwanted bacteria would grow in it. You can basically then use it in a similar way as how beef stock cubes are used for soups.

That being said Bovril is another alternative. There is already a tea made from it and it gives a strong meaty flavour. You could probably use that as an adjunct.

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