Beer has come a long way since your grandpa shared one with your dad when he was back in high school. In those days, brewers didn’t get too crazy with their recipes. They used barley, hops, water—you know, the primary ingredients in beer-- to make something the masses could enjoy.
Back then, brewing beer was a noble vocation. But in today’s world, it has become so much more.
Beer is no longer about the hops and barley. It’s about any of the thousands of ingredients brewers have discovered can be used to make a pretty good beer. I’m not just talking about the different types and variations of hops, barley, and yeast. I’m talking about all kinds of fruits (limes, passionfruit, raspberries, and apples-- just to name a few), spices, sugars, honey, coffee, chocolate—the list can go on and on.
The only limit to a craft brewer’s list of ingredients is his or her imagination. Thanks to some of the imaginations out there, some pretty weird beers have been created.
When I say weird, I’m not just talking about stuff like bacon or wasabi. Those are strange ingredients for a beer, but at least they are food items intended for consumption. I’m talking about some ingredients that are literally out of this world.
The following is a list of beers made with things that can only be described as weird:
Celeste Jewel Ale: pulverized pieces of a meteorite.
• Beard Beer: with yeast from the brewer’s beard (yes, some person’s beard).
• Walker (an American Pale Stout): smoked goat brains. Thirsty?
• Mangalitsa Pig Porter: pig’s head and bones; don’t laugh—it won gold at the Great American Beer Fest.
• Mr. Twit’s Odious Ale: yeast found in the custom-made chair author Roald Dahl (his works include classics like James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Matilda) used when he was writing.
• Big Ass Money Stout: frozen Hawaiian pizza and money.
• Pisner: brewers used 50,000 gallons of urine collected at Denmark’s Roskilde music festival in 2015 to fertilize malted barley that was then used to make beer.
• Sheep Dung-Smoked Whale Testicle Beer: they brewers must have used up all their creative juices coming up with some of the most bizarre ingredients ever used to make beer that they couldn’t come up with a catchy name (yes, they used sheep dung-smoked whale testicles).
• Jurassic Saison: Yes, someone actually found a 45-million-year-old piece of prehistoric, fossilized amber and thought to look and see if it contained yeast—it did.
• Un, Kono Kuro: If you thought the whale testicle one was weird, this one used coffee beans that Thai elephants have digested and then pooped out.
• Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout: Drink one of these and your drinking a beer that contains three bull testicles per barrel.
The creativity of brewers around the world is indeed limitless. But one can’t help but wonder why in the world someone would think it was a good idea to make beer with some of these things. Hawaiian pizza should be eaten after you use money to buy it.
All the beers using animal body parts—that’s just wrong. The meteorite and prehistoric ones sound interesting. But as novelties—not as something I want to quench my thirst with on a hot summer day.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong with getting a little creative when brewing beer. Some of the best things in life were found by accident.
Really-- who knows what is out there just waiting for someone to be brave (or crazy) enough to make beer with it. There could be someone right now brewing a beer with the wildest, weirdest, most-insane ingredients ever.
And it could be delicious.
But beer doesn’t need to be that complicated.
So-- if you just want to Kraken into a Cold One without wondering if you’ll be drinking some animal’s – you know what; if you want something For Cultivated Taste or something that Goes Down Easy or will not make you feel like The Odd Can Out, remember this:
Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beer-Holder and crack open a NoCoast today.