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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2006, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Greenland ice cap beer launched
People taste Greenland beer in Copenhagen
The new beer is said to taste cleaner and smoother
A brewery in Greenland is producing beer using water melted from the ice cap of the vast Arctic island.

The brewers claim that the water is at least 2,000 years old and free of minerals and pollutants.

The first 66,000 litres of the new dark and pale ales are on their way to the Danish market.

The beer from Greenland - a semi-autonomous Danish territory - costs 37 kroner (3.40; five euros) per half-litre bottle.

It is the first ever Inuit microbrewery - located in Narsaq, a hamlet 625km (390 miles) south of the Arctic Circle.

The beer is shipped to Stralsund, on Germany's north coast, to be bottled.

Iceberg in Disco Bay, Greenland
Greenland is famous for its pristine, desolate landscape

With a capacity of 400,000 litres a year, the brewery has ambitions beyond the Danish market.

"We've got enquiries from the US and from Germany and we will probably be launching it on the German market in, let's say, six months," Steen Outzen, the brewery owner, told the BBC's World Today programme.

It is claimed that the Greenland beer, officially launched in Copenhagen on Monday, has a softer, cleaner taste than other beers, because of the ice cap water.

The gigantic island of Greenland measures 2.2 million square km (844,000 square miles) - 85% of it covered with ice that is up to 4,000 metres (11,000 feet) thick.

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