Last week, well-known craft brewery Dogfish Head announced that it would be making a beer using mace — both the red tendrils that cover nutmeg and the pepper oils used in the assault-dettering spray — as the main ingredient. Obviously mace (both types) make a really strange ingredient for beer. But if the mad scientists at the Delaware-based brewery decided to use it, we can trust that it’s not pure awful. Dogfish has a rep for being experimental, but their experiments are typically successful too.
The announcement led us to wonder what other strange beer ingredients brewers are using to make beer. From beard-based yeast, to bull testicles, to cat poop coffee, breweries all over the country have gone full-f*cking-wierdo. Sometimes to the benefit of the beer drinking masses.
Rogue Brewing — Beard Beer
Rogue Beard Beer is exactly what you think it is. It’s a beer made using “wild” yeast that is procured from a fairly strange place — the beard of Rogue Ale’s brewmaster John Maier. He’s been growing his beard since the late 1970s and he’s brewed more than 20,000 batches of beer so there’s definitely a lot to work with and this 4.8% ale benefits from that yeast diversity.
Fossil Fuels Brewing Company — Saison
Back in 1995, microbiologist Dr. Raul Cano found some prehistoric organisms frozen in amber. Among the organisms, Cano also found a few ancient yeast strains. And, instead of using the DNA to clone dinosaurs like in Jurassic Park, he and colleague Chip Lambert decided to team up with some brewers to create a truly unique beer made with 45 million-year-old yeast. Awesome and ancient.