11 Strange Beers You'll Actually Want to Try
When it comes to beer, are you tired of the same old, same old? So are some brewers.
These days, beer companies are experimenting with unique mixes of flavors to give an extra kick to your cold one.
READ: Beertails: Good for What Ales You
Whether you’re looking to curb that bacon craving or sample a sweet treat, the following breweries have got you covered with 11 offbeat brews you’ll want to savor tonight.
Hop to it!
Key Lime Pie
Those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth may want to crack open a bottle of Shorts Brewing Company’s Key Lime Pie. According to the Michigan-based brewery company, it's made with fresh limes, milk sugar, graham crackers and marshmallow fluff. The prominent sweet-meets-tart flavor won a Gold Medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival.
(Shorts Brewing Company)
Bacon and Maple Syrup
Does everything taste better with bacon? Oregon-based Rogue Ales seems to think so. Calling their brew a “collision of crazies,” their Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale features applewood-smoked bacon and maple syrup from Portland’s Voodoo Doughnuts. Rogue Ales recommends drinkers pair this with pork or pastries.
Can’t decide between grapes and hops? Go ahead and have both, insists Delaware’s Dogfish Head. The Noble Rot brew highlights fermentable sugars from two wine grape sources, resulting in a beer with a white wine body and a tart finish. “This is the absolute closest to equal meshing of the wine world and the beer world that’s ever been done commercially,” says Dogfish’s Sam Calagione. We're told it pairs well with shellfish or Gouda.
For the lazy days summer, there’s Tex Mex Beer’s seasonal Siesta Prickly Pear Lager, which is made with local fruits from the fields of Texas. According to the brewery, Siesta is more carbonated than their other beers, perfectly refreshing for warmer weather.
(Tex Mex Beer)
Michigan’s Right Brain Brewery took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in 2011 in the Experimental category when they presented this dark-hued porter made with Mangalitsa pig heads and bones. Only made once a year, we’re told the Mangalitsa Pig Porter is rich, chocolatey and “infused with a symphony of salty, smoky and savory flavors.”
(Right Brain Brewery)
Got chocolate milk stout? That’s what Colorado’s Odell Brewing was asking patrons when they debuted their Lugene Chocolate Milk Stout. Brewed with milk sugar and milk chocolate, “Lugene boasts roasted malts and milk chocolate that mingle with just a hint of vanilla,” says the brewery. “The rich flavor and creamy mouthful create a beer that is reminiscent of a glass of chocolate milk.” If you want to raise a glass to your childhood, act fast as it’s only available through the end of March.
Yeast from a Hornet’s Abdomen
This golden Birra Calabrona was developed after research in Rome revealed that yeast found in a hornet’s abdomen could survive and be stored for a long period of time, says Peter Hepp, master brewer at New York City’s Eataly.
"When we were looking to make a unique, entirely Italian beer, we wanted to find a brewing yeast native to the land, so we pulled it from the abdomen of a hornet that was in a vineyard,” Hepp explains.
Don’t expect any honey notes here. Hepp says this beer, developed in collaboration with Dogfish Head Brewery has very “spice-forward notes,” thanks to ingredients, like myrhh resin, “which produces a very rich, old world perfume.”
U.K.-based Wells Young’s Brewing Company offers a beer “with the subtle flavor of banana.” It also highlights a hint of lemon, and light, peppery hops. Rick Boyd, owner of Brewforia Beer Market in Idaho, says Wells Banana Bread Beer tastes exactly like the sweet stuff. “It’s exceptional as a stand-alone or dessert beer or paired with roast pork,” says Boyd. It can also be found at Total Wine & More.
(Total Wine & More)
Looking to spice things up? You may want to consider Rogue’s Chipotle Ale. The company says their spicy brew is dedicated to Spanish author Juan de la Cueva who, in 1575, wrote about a Mexican dish featuring seedless chipotles with beer. According to the beer experts at Total Wine & More, “the roasted chipotle peppers in Rogue Chipotle Ale produces an eye-opening chile flavor in this deep golden ale with a malty, smoky aroma and a smooth, crisp flavor.”
(Total Wine & More)
Austin’s Craft Pride tells us its Independence Convict Hill Oatmeal Stout, which includes English roasted barley, Belgian chocolate and flaked oats, has a rich, creamy body. “Convict Hill is a part of South Austin close to the brewery, whose name refers to the convicts that died quarrying rock to rebuild the Texas State Capitol,” explains Craft Pride’s beer guru Chris Booth. “The beer originally started as a seasonal release, but proved far too popular and is now available year-round.”
Maryland’s Flying Dog Ales initially launched their Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout — brewed with local Rappahannock River oysters — as a limited edition creation, but eventually decided to offer it beyond the short season. “We decided to brew it year-round not only because the beer itself was well received, but also because it supports a cause essential to our backyard,” announced the brewery. “Proceeds from the beer benefit the Oyster Recovery Partnership (ORP), one of the region’s leading nonprofits restoring oysters back into the Chesapeake Bay.”
(Flying Dog Ales)