As today is April 1st, we set out writing this Schmoozeletter with full intention to fool you. Our thought was to promote a ridiculous style of craft beer that had yet to come into existence, but our plans were thwarted while browsing the web and discovering many of our wild creations already existed. We came across a world of beery weirdness, some which were on our radar, some which would no longer be considered weird, and some which confused, fascinated, and tempted us.
Due to their popularity today it's surprising to think that not too long ago, when they were finding a resurgence, sours were a weird ‘new thing’, along with fruited beers, oyster stouts, and pastry beers. Many beers on weird beer lists consisted of these not-so-weird-anymore brews. But not all were to be so familiar.
Fantastic Yeasts and Where to Find Them
There are common yeast sources for use in brewing, but many avenues have been explored. You can probably guess where the yeast came from in Rogue Ales’ Beard Beer. Yep, the yeast was created from Brewmaster John Maier’s beard. Today the beer is now released in November with all proceeds going to the non-profit for cancer awareness No-Shave November. In an equally fitting name, Follis Fuel’s Jurassic Saison derived its yeast from a 45-million-year-old leaf encapsulated within amber. Then there was Mr. Twit’s Odious Ale. Weird yes, but also strangely comforting to the child in us as this ale, from London’s 40Ft Brewery, uses yeast that was collected from the writing chair of Roald Dahl.
All The Beer That Money Can Make
If pastry stouts have taught us one thing, it's that there is no limit to the adjuncts available to brewers. But if we’re going to talk pretzels, cookies, cakes or candy, that’s old news. How about money?! You can always trust Evil Twin to be anything but subtle, so in collaboration with Norway’s Lervig they brewed a beer made with frozen Hawaiian pizza and Norweigan Kroners, and aptly named it Big Ass Money Stout. Still not crazy enough? After all money can be found anywhere on earth. What about sourcing your ingredient from outer space? The famous Dogfish Head brewed Celet-Jewel-Ale, a beer that uses literal meteorites from the moon that were crushed and steeped like a simple tea. WHAT?!
Then there are some choices that have been made with sustainability in mind. Water is one of the four key ingredients in beer and in danger of being one of the world’s scarce resources, so Swedish brewery, Nya Carnegie and Carlsberg Sweden, created the beer PU:REST using purified sewage water. This is the first beer of its kind in Sweden, though due to its positive effect on the environment it will likely not be the last. The style has been given the name “bajsöl” or “crap beer." Human waste can also be used to help fertilize the barley needed for brewing. There are a few beers out there that have put this into practice, but there’s one that stands out to us in music festival loving Australia. 50,000 gallons of pee was saved from the 2015 Roskilde festival to fertilise the barley for a pilsner by Danish brewery Norrebro Bryghus, aptly named Pisner.
Bored of old fashioned beer packaging? How would you like your beer served out of a taxidermized animal? In what was an extremely limited release (only 12 bottles) Scotland’s craft beer game changers BrewDog packaged The End of History, their 55% Belgian Ale brewed with nettles and juniper, in taxidermized squirrels and stoats. At the time of its release in 2010 the beer cost between 500GBP and 700GBP (that’s roughly $900-$1250AUD!), and was the most expensive beer to date! It holds that record to this day and did a second release in 2016 available only to Equity for Punks USA shareholders who invested more than $20,000USD. Good luck getting your hands on one of these oddities, though you may be able to find an empty bottle on the back bar at a BrewDog location.
There is one concept of ours we didn't find in our research: A full Thanksgiving dinner beer, complete with cranberries, turkey, gravy seasoning, Yorkshire pudding and potatoes in the mash. Go ahead, world brewers, you can have that one for free.