German beer purity law be-damned, modern brewers can’t be confined by the basic four ingredients of beer (water, barley, hops and yeast). Our creative beer-makers are visionaries, creative thinkers who want to put weird stuff in their beer and see what happens. And I’m not just talking about cocoa nibs and jalapeno peppers here, people. I’m talking about poisonous arachnids and beard yeast. Yes, beard yeast. We found eight beers with really off the wall ingredients. Read this list, then ask yourself, would you rather have a beer with testicles in it, or scorpions?
Unknown Brewing Company
The full name of this beer is La Jordana del Escorpion en Feugo Hasia la Casa del Chupacabra Muerto. Say that three times fast. It’s a viciously potent imperial Mexican lager that clocks in at 10% ABV, but what you really need to know is that it’s brewed with 99 scorpions. Yep. Scorpions. They also used agave nectar and Serrano peppers, but I stopped reading after I saw scorpions.
Great Lakes Brewing Company
Great Lakes used a 5,000-year old recipe found in a Sumerian text to recreate what many believe is the World’s Oldest Beer. Working alongside archeologists from the University of Chicago Together, they used ancient tools and brewing practices to brew a really, really sour beer that Great Lakes felt was too sour for modern palates.
So, Rogue’s master brewer John Maier has a beard. John Maier’s beard apparently cultivated some yeast. Rogue used that yeast to brew a beard. I don’t know about you, but I think I want the 99 scorpions back.
Beer is part science, especially when you start incorporating ingredients from outer space. Dogfish Head used dust from lunar meteorites for this beer, which apparently enhances the fermentation process. They brewed it as a small batch release in their Rehoboth Beach brewpub to honor the Fall Equinox in 2013.
Wynkoop Brewing Company
Bull testicles, people. Bull testicles. That’s what Wynkoop puts in this stout. Three bull testicles per barrel, because four would be too much, and two wouldn’t be enough.
Redhook and Hilliard
Hemp is practically hops with just a couple of different letters. Right? There’s no THC in this collaboration, but you’ll definitely find a distinct dankness associated with the popular herb. The best thing about this beer, though, is the bong tap handle.
Slippery Pig Brewery is actually run by farmers in Washington State, using only local ingredients for their beer. Sometimes, they get jiggy with those local ingredients, like in this pickle beer. Their beers rotate often (yes, there’s a pickle season), and right now, if you make your way to their tasting room, you’ll find a beer brewed with stinging nettles and another brewed with “turbo dance moves.” Awesome.
The Lost Abbey
What did the three wise men bring as presents for brand new baby Jesus? Gold, frankincense and myrrh. The Lost Abbey thought it would be appropriate to use all three of these biblical gifts in a beer, creating a “golden beer that is bittered with the bark of Frankincense and also contains a small amount of Myrrh.” To be honest, I don’t know what Frankincense and Myrrh are, but they sound like lousy baby gifts.