To say that American brewers are having fun with their beer is a massive understatement.
In the last few years, Harpoon came out with a stout brewed with real oysters and Dogfish Head experimented with a Peruvian beer that required chewing and spitting the grain before mashing.
Sometimes it seems like one big competition to see who can brew the weirdest, craziest, most bizarre beer ever.
Have you tried any of these experimental beers? What's the weirdest beer you've ever had?
I am a big fan of the spirit behind these beers and will try even the craziest-sounding brews at least once. Some of them are complete flops, to be sure, but I admire the creativity and enthusiasm that go into making them. And hey, some of them are really fantastic!
Many of these beers are actually based on traditional or historic brews, like Dogfish Head's Peruvian chachi. Others, like the kombucha-blended Lambrucha, are wholly new creations. I think it's great that brewers are pushing the boundaries of the "normal" beer styles or abandoning them altogether.
I also love that brewers are moving beyond using bourbon barrels for aging and are branching out into other kinds like pinot noir barrels, chardonnay barrels, and sherry barrels. They're playing with infusions, like the star anise-infused Imperial Russian Stout that Stone Brewing Co. just released or the Mocha Plum Stout from Columbus, Ohio's Elevator Brewing Company.
Here are a few to keep an eye out for:
• Island Creek Oyster Stout from Harpoon Brewery
• Chachi from Dogfish Head
• Lambrucha from Vanberg & DeWulf
• Stone Belgo Anise Imperial Stout from Stone Brewing Co.
• Chipotle Ale from Rogue Brewery
What's the weirdest beer you've ever come across?
(Image: Emma Christensen)