For the most part, weirdness is a pretty arbitrary thing. What might be weird to you might not be weird to someone else. But there are some select things that are just extraordinarily out of the norm. The things we can all agree on and say, "Yeah. Pretty damn weird."
As connoisseurs of both beer and weird, we sought to merge the two in our most recent research project. We've compiled a list of 10 of the weirdest beers to have hit the pallet. From pig heads to beard yeast, we won’t be surprised if these brews turn some heads, and maybe even curl a lip or two.
1. Key Lime Pie by Shorts Brewing Company (Michigan), 5.5% ABV, BA Score 78
For the inner retired Floridian in us all. Made with fresh limes and actual marshmallow fluff (yes, you read that right), this sweet treat won a gold medal at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. It’s a little bit sweet, a little bit tart, and you might even catch some hints of graham cracker.
2. Mangalitsa Pig Porter by Right Brain Brewery (Michigan), 6% ABV, BA Score 88
We vowed not to include anything bacon-flavored in this list (been there, done that), but these ingredients are not something you don’t include on such a list. Brace yourself...this beer’s brewed with smoked pig heads and bones! But before you go running to your mother, you should know this hog took home a gold medal from the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.
3. Wells Banana Bread Beer by Wells & Young’s Brewing Company (U.K.), 5.2% ABV, BA Score 79
Bananas are notorious for overpowering any flavors they get paired with. Just ask about any fruit smoothie ever made. But this brew is right in the sweet spot. Delicately balanced with lemon and peppery hops, it stands alone after dinner or pairs nicely with a roast. It’s available seasonally as a cask draught.
4. Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout by Flying Dog Brewery (Maryland), 5.5% ABV, BA Score 83
If slurping down a slippery oyster isn’t your cup of tea, then you might want to move onto number five. Brewed with local Rappahannock River oysters, this stout takes the aphrodisiac to a whole new level. It’s available all year, and proceeds from sales actually go to the Oyster Recovery Partnership, an effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay. Horseradish optional.
5. Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout by Wynkoop Brewing, 7.5% ABV, BA Score 82
No deja vu here. You may be saying, why include two oyster-based beers on the same list. This isn’t an oyster-based beer though, friend. Brace yourself, it was in fact brewed with 25 pounds of sliced and roasted bull testicles. Bull testicles! Let us just say that once more--this beer was brewed using bull testicles. There are no words for this except, “Why?”
6. Noble Rot by Dogfish Head Brewery (Delaware), 9% ABV, BA Score 87
There’s no need to take sides here. They say not to mix different types of alcohol, but if you can’t decide between a bottle of brew and a smooth pinot grigio, then this one’s for you. It’s made with a benevolent fungus found on wine grapes, helping to provide an incredibly equal blending of beer and wine flavors. Pairs well with shellfish and fancy parties.
7. Lips Of Faith Coconut Curry Hefeweizen by New Belgium Brewing (Colorado), 8% ABV, BA Score 77
This hazy Hefeweizen will front-load your senses with cinnamon, coriander, ginger, lime and (of course) cayenne pepper before the alcohol smooths out the finish. The challenge with curry in general is bringing in those robust flavors while not overpowering the rest of the dish (or in this case, beer), but New Belgium Brewing got the job done.
8. Ghost Face Killah by Twisted Pine Brewing Company (Colorado), 5% ABV, BA Score 71
The name alone earned this brew a spot on our list. Simply put, this brew burns. Ghost peppers, habaneros and a host of other heaters make this the spiciest brew we’ve ever heard of. If you need to prove your manhood, this should be your go-to. Pairs well with milk. Note: No actual Ghost Face Killah’s were harmed in the production of this beer.
9. Mamma Mia Pizza Beer by America’s Brewpub (Illinois), 6.1% ABV, BA Score N/A
For those select few who’ve always wanted to eat and drink pizza, this brilliant brew uses actual pizza in the mash (entire pizzas get steeped in the beer). Who would ever think to combine such flavors? An oddball homebrewing couple in the midwest, Mike Rybinski of Walter Payton's Roundhouse and award winning homebrewer, Tom Seefurth. Pairs well with (drumroll, please)--pizza!
10. The Beard Beer by Rogue Ale (Oregon), 5.6% ABV, BA Score 80
You knew we’d save the best for last. This is by far the strangest beer we came across. Where’d they find the yeast to brew this unique ale? Right under their noses, in the brewmaster’s beard. Sounds unsanitary, but after a long boil all they’re left with is a balanced ale. You might ask, “Why does the brewmaster have yeast in his beard?” After 15,000 brews, you just might too. Don’t judge.
Ever try one of these beers?
These are some wild beers, and we're interested in hearing about any of them you may have tried.