Smoked beer (bacon beer)
When I was at the Great American Beer Festival this year, I only came across one smoked beer. There may have been other smoked beers, but it’s easy to get lost among the thousands of other beers. The funny thing was, the server did not want to pour the beer for me. He said the beer tasted like an ashtray. I already knew what I was in for and requested a pour.
Actually I thought the beer tasted much more like bacon than ash. The beer was a smoked Märzen, similar to the Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen from the 500-year-old brewery in Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany. It’s made with Rauchmalt (smoked malt). If you haven’t tried this beer, it has a VERY smokey flavor and will remind you of bacon. People either love this beer, or they hate it. I haven’t met anyone who didn’t have a strong opinion of this beer.
Lambic really isn’t that unusual until you’ve seen it ferment. Normally you would ferment a beer with yeast, but lambics also include any random bacteria that happens to be floating by. The bacteria creates some very ugly and scary looking fermentations. The resulting beer is sour and often is accentuated with tart fruits like raspberries or cherries. Many people have tried Lindemans Lambic, which I think tastes like liquid sweet tarts, but other lambics have a more unique flavor (sometimes good, sometimes not so much).
This is as horrifying as it sounds. Usually when I’m thinking of interesting ingredients to add to beer, fish is not the first ingredient to come to mind. I’m not sure it’s on my list of top 100 ingredients to add to beer. Tosa Kuroshio Karyudo Beer, located in Konan City in Japan’s Kochi Prefecture, created a beer only the Japanese could love.
The fish beer is a 5% ABV beverage created with rice flour and hops in a 4 to 1 ratio. The brewers then added dashi, a fish stock also used in miso soup. I’m not sure if they decided to create this beer after drinking too many normal beers, or as a challenge from Iron Chef Brewer Edition. The dashi is made from dried konbu seaweed and dried Bonito, a fish similar to tuna. So if you like the aftertaste of fish in your beer, this beers for you!
Beer for kids!
The Japanese will remarket just about anything for kids. In a move which would shock the alcohol control boards in most countries, Japan’s Sangaria Beverage Company introduced a beer for kids. It’s not alcoholic, but the beer was designed so children could join in the fun while their parents were getting hammered. Sangaria has a whole line of the fake alcoholic beverages sold individually or in 6-packs, and marketed for children. Some of the “near beers” are golden in color while others are dark brown, and both produce a nice head of foam.
I’ve seen green beer served at St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, but that beer is usually some light beer like Budweiser with green food coloring added. This beer (again created by the Japanese) starts out blue. They also have a lime green and bright red beer. These beers are brought to you by the Abashiri microbrewery located Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido. They are also the came company which brought you great beers like Scallop Beer and Bilk.
Speaking of Bilk , this beer might turn your stomach a bit. I think when Abashiri thought of this beer the conversation went something like this:
“We need more women buying our beer. What do women like drinking?”
“Lets make a beer that tastes like milk!”
“What do we call it?”
And after the conversation bilk was born. Bilk is a beverage one-third milk and two-thirds beer. The idea actually was suggested by a liquor store manager who sought to use large surpluses of milk from a local dairy. The drink is reported to have a sweet flavor, probably from the lactose in the milk which brewer’s yeast cannot ferment.
Boza for boobies!
There’s a rumor going around that beer will increase the bust size of women. One beer called Boza beer from Bulgaria claimed to be the best beer at turning “sweater kittens” into “watermelon-sized cats”. There is no science behind the claim, but it didn’t stop European men making the drive to Bulgaria for the breast-enhancing beer. I guess they figured, “just in case”.
Someone orders a few too many beers at a pizza joint, and the next thing you know someone at the Pizza Beer Company is throwing pizza into the beer. Mamma Mia! Pizza Beer includes oregano, basil, tomato and garlic as adjuncts in the beer. The reviews seem to be quite mixed for this beer, ranging from “very pizza-like” to “pizza flavored Pringles”. I’d love to hear what others think of this beer.
“The Thing” beer
You’ve probably heard of aging beer. How about making beer from old yeast – really old yeast? The Fossil Fuels Brewing Company, having never seen a sci-fi movie about reviving ancient micro-organisms, harvested yeast from inside a Lebanese weevil covered in ancient Burmese amber which lay dormant for up to 45 million years. That is some very old yeast! Tasters say the beer is actually good, and has a very spicy aftertaste.
I once made a clone beer of Old Speckled Hen and called it Old Freckled Cock. Luckily this beer isn’t what it sounds like. Not that cock. Cock Ale is made with chicken. It starts out sounding innocent, adding hops, malt and sugar. Then you take a third of a well-crushed chicken, presumably the meat parts, and add it to your fermenting beer on the second day. The recipe does specify the chicken should be cooked. I can’t imagine this tastes anything other than fowl.
OPB – Original Pussy Beer
This beer is what it sounds like. Put enough drunk guys together, they will eventually try to merge their two favorite things. Scary thing is it was a girl’s idea! A Seattle woman donated a small amount of her own yeast for the fermentation of the beer. Her site claims ancient Sumerian beers made by women inspired her to add her crotch yeast, but her added yeast isn’t even the same family let alone the same genus or species as beer yeast. A completely different yeast is used for beer and bread. It is likely her yeast was quickly out-competed by the brewer’s yeast. I don’t think her yeast would give it that ‘tang-y taste you’re expecting. Still it’s very odd someone would even consider this. Is this a beer you’d want to try?
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