There’s a fine line between creativity and madness. What can start out as playful experimentation can sometimes take bizarre turns that lead you down very dark paths.
What I’ve learned from my years exploring craft beers is that brewers epitomise this more than most.
So to celebrate their wonderfully idiosyncratic wackiness, here’s a look at some of the weirdest creations from the world of beer-making.
Mama Mia! Pizza Beer
Ever thought – as you get ready to tuck into your extra large cheese and pepperoni double deca-thingy – what if I could just drink this pizza? Why go through the whole tiresome rigmarole of chewing and digesting it.
The crazy folks at Mama Mia pizza clearly have, however. Their pizza flavoured brew is a crazy recipe of everything you’d expect to go into our favourite Italian snack: wheat crust, flour, tomato topped yeast, oregano, basil and garlic… it’s “just like ma mama used to brew it!”
Wynkoop Brewery’s Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout
I love a good stout. At their best they are rich, creamy and satisfyingly heady. At their worst they contain 25 pounds of freshly sliced bull bo***cks. Yes, that’s right – bull bo***cks. The Wynkoop Brewery of Denver had the funny idea of running an April fools gag about a beer of theirs that contained the testicles of a bull. The joke got such an overwhelming response however, that they thought it would be a good idea to actually brew the beer.
The Oyster Stout is 7.5% ABV and 3 BPS (balls per barrel)
Twisted Pine Brewing Co’s Ghost Face Killa
Sorry to disappoint all the rap fans out there, but this isn’t a beer brewed by the Wu-Tang Clan legend. That’s not to say it isn’t a gritty, edgy beer. Containing the arse-collapsing Bhut-Jolokia chilli: this brew is one of the spiciest beers in existence.
It’s really only for the masochistic drunkards out there – as one or two sips of these explosive suds will surely have you clambering for a curry to cool your mouth down.
Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Brunch Weasel
There was a time when having a little tipple at brunch meant a fruity cocktail or a refreshing dash of Pimms.
Not any more.
Danish brewing rebels Mikkeler have other ideas as to what constitutes a little drinky poo at brunch. I use the term drinky poo quite literally actually, as the secret ingredient in this delicious oatmeal stout is coffee beans that have been ingested by Vietnamese weasels then “processed” back out of their bodies.
And I thought I’d already had a sh*t pint or two in my time…
3 Floyds Brewing Co’s Permanent Funeral
I’ll have a Permanent Funeral, please barkeep?
Doesn’t sound quite right, or even safe for that matter, but 3 Floyds Brewing Company’s Permanent Funeral is frequently mentioned as being one of the top 100 tasting beers in the world.
This bottled beer, which is labelled with a blood-dripping, gruesome one eyed monster, is a 10.5% ABV pale ale, brewed with the help of American death-metal band Pig Destroyer.
Rogue Ales Voodoo Doughnut: Bacon and Maple Beer
Rogue Ales is one cracking brewery.
The Oregon based beer makers have been churning out unusual tasting ales long before the craft explosion reached UK shores – back when we thought Budweiser was an exotic alternative to Tennents.
Their newest sudsational incarnation really takes the biscuit…or should I say doughnut. This big, bold pink bottle of brown ale is brewed with apple-wood smoked bacon, pure maple syrup and three types of smoked malt to resemble the sugary sweetness of the ring shaped treat.
I think Homer Simpson might have to move on from the Duff stuff…
Brewdog’s End of History
Brewdog are the absolute masters of marketing…
…is what I said before they released the ethical minefield that was their End of History batch.
The bottles (which contained a staggering 55% AVB alcohol) were made from dead animals. Well, I say made from dead animals – what I really mean is the bottles are dead animals.
It’s staggering that this idea ever made it past the drunken conversation that clearly gave birth to it.
Upon its release it was blasted as cruel, perverse and pointlessly disgusting… I think it’s fair to say this one was a thoroughly brewtal concept.
Sankt Gallen Un’s Kono Kuro
Imagine you’re in your local bottle shop and find yourself quite allured by this beautifully designed little beer. You take a step closer and have a look, reaching out to pluck it from the shelf…then you stop, strain your eyes and fix on one of the images. Is that an elephant shi**ing you ask yourself. Surely not. What’s elephant dung got to do with beer?
Well in the case of Sankt Gallen Un’s Kono Kuro it’s got way too much to do with it.
The Japanese brewing company’s weird concoction is brewed with the droppings of elephants.
Surprisingly it has gone down a treat with certain beer experts and has been described as having a “smooth earthy quality” that has the “perfect combination of bitter and sweet”
Just like those sh**ting elephants, you’ll never forget this beer.
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