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Strange Brews (But Real)

Bier Stein

I enjoy beer, ale and the like. I’ve tasted some great ones, some not so great, and some I’m embarrassed to remember. So when the Elves found an article recently about weird beers, I thought that would be right up my alley.

After reading the article, I’m changing my address.

Man, we’re talking Very Weird in some instances. Take Bulls Bay Oyster Stout by Coast Brewing. Yep, in this case the oyster’s not merely clever marketing; it’s an ingredient. Described as an Irish dry stout gone grainy, I’d say it’s gone completely around the bend.

Have you ever drunk a tree? (I don’t mean hit a tree when drunk, or slept in one when tipsy.) Well, then you need to check out Alaskan Winter Ale by Alaskan Brewing. Spruce tips go into the boil, and that adds a light, resiny overtone. Spruce has substituted for hops in many northern brews, so this one’s not so strange; unless you’re from Texas, of course.

Beer for dessert? One of my favorite ideas, actually. But how about dessert IN your beer? Those crafty folk at Southern Tier Brewing have learned how to make a milk stout that tastes like a premium crème brulée. Yum! That’s totally not weird. (But on the list.)

Two brewing firms, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales and Maui Brewing Co., have combined forces to make a sour ale that has a novel duo of ingredients: Cherries and passionfruit. Each brewer makes their own interpretation, however, so it’s really two beers in one. No, make that two; there are two different cans, one from each brewer, with their variation inside. Only the true maven if weird brew would attempt to collect both cans.

And finally one that’s not weird at all, but actually quite good: Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale. Made in Kentucky, Alltech’s Lexington Brewing and Distilling Co. have found a natural taste combination in their Kentucky Ale. (Clever name, that.) This product is an English-style strong ale, at 8.2% alcohol; so don’t drink more than a six or two. In one go, I mean. Sitting down. (If you’re not sitting down when you start, you will be at the end.)

The list also has a chocolate ale (with real chocolate), an Egyptian-style brew, one with lemon verbena in it (sounds good, actually), an autumn Belgian with yams in it (and a kick-ass 10% ABV), and one that uses stinky-cheese yeasts. So if you like beer that smells like sour socks, go for it…

Enjoy the (Odd Toxicants) Heat!

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