The art of craft brewing has been around for centuries, and as time goes by, crafters are coming up with more and more creative ways to make their brews. Some of them may be by-the-book, but others will have you thinking, “they added that to beer?”
One of the best things about beer is that you can make it super weird, but there is still a great chance it’ll taste great. Premium U.S. Strata hops are among the best varieties for craft brewing, and you can add an extra kick to your beer by mixing in other ingredients.
Here are some of the strangest ingredients that people add to beer:
1. Mustard seeds
Before you turn your nose up at a beer that tastes like mustard, it may be just what you need for a summer barbecue while you cook hot dogs on a grill.
Browerij Smisje Wostyntje Mustard Ale is a beer made from barley malt, Munich malt, and two kinds of hops. The most distinct ingredients of this Belgian beer are dark candy sugar and mustard seeds. Tasters have varying reviews about this beer, but the general consensus is that it is best as a warm beer.
A meal and a drink all in one? Mamma Mia Pizza Beer is the creation of homebrewers Tom and Athena Seefurth. It is a high-carbonation beer, consisting of hints of dough and spices, as well as a garlicky tomato aftertaste—making you feel like you’ve just eaten a slice of Margarita. And although it may seem redundant, Tom and Athena recommend pairing their beer with an actual pizza.
If you’re looking for a tropical beer flavor, the banana beer is perfect for you. Brewed by the Sprecher Brewing Company in Wisconsin, the Sprecher Mbege Ale is a fire-brewed, unfiltered beer made from bananas with 7% alcohol by volume (ABV). Unsurprisingly, the beer has a bright yellow tinge to it.
The Porterhouse Brewing Company crafts specialty beers, including the famous Oyster Stout, which is one of the company’s bestselling stouts. To make the beer, they shuck the fresh oysters into the conditioning tank as the brewing occurs, which gives the stout an extra sweet taste.
Drinkers describe the stout as having a balanced and smooth taste without blandness.
5. Beard yeast
Perhaps the strangest beer on this list, the beard beer is the invention of John Maier from Newport, Oregon, and the company’s president, Brett Joyce. Beginning as a joke, a laboratory technician swabbed John’s beard while they were finding new ways to source their yeast. It turns out beard was a viable source of yeast, and the company has cultivated it since then.
6. Cat poop coffee
You’ve heard of the infamous cat poop made from the feces of the civet cat, a Southeast Asian cat breed that eats a diet of only ripe coffee berries. Now, we have cat poop coffee beer, thanks to the Mikkeller Brewery in Denmark.
Cat poop coffee is one of the most high-end coffees globally despite its origin, with a rich, intense finish. Mikkeller turns it into beer with its Imperial Oatmeal Stout.
7. Bull’s testicles
What started off as an April Fool’s joke turned into reality at Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver. After a strong reaction to the joke, the company decided to formulate the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, a stout made from bull’s testicles mixed into beer mash.
According to drinkers, the beer gives off a foreign-style taste, is slightly viscous, and has deep flavors of Kahlua, chocolate syrup, and espresso. While it’s definitely not the first choice for most stout enthusiasts, the locals seem to love it.
8. Goat brains
The Dock Street Brewing Company’s Walker beer decided to cash in on The Walking Dead wave when it was still extremely popular in the U.S. Made from goat brains, the Walker beer features a dark and smoky flavor and, of course, the peculiar feeling that comes with drinking a beer made from goat brains.
9. Barley tikka
The Sharp Brewery’s head brewer, Stuart Howe, is known for crafting unique and original beers. Along with Doom Bar Bitter, Howe created a beer with chili powder, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, and fennel—the key ingredients for curry—and introduced the world to barley tikka vindaloo.
While these beer formulations may be peculiar, they show just how diverse this beloved drink can be. From cat poop coffee to bull testicles, the world certainly has a huge variety of beer ingredients to choose from—and some of them may just make it to your next brewing batch.