8 of the Weirdest Things People Have Brewed Beer With

According to historians, beer has existed for at least six millennia and has been savored on every continent (even Antarctica!). With credentials like that, it’s no wonder that brewers have occasionally turned to some highly unusual techniques and ingredients to make their beverages stand out. Here are eight of the oddest.

1. Dead Whales


Last year, an Icelandic brewing company called Steojar made headlines when word of their making a low-fat beer with processed whale meat (obtained from beached carcasses) got out, prompting outrage from conservationists. Steojar’s official website boasted that those who drank it would become "true Vikings," but their product was subsequently banned by Iceland’s health department.

2. Elephant Dung

Dubbed "Un, Kono Kuro" (a play on the Japanese word "unko," meaning "crap"), this Japanese concoction was made "using coffee beans that have passed through an elephant." How did it taste? One brave recipient said "there was an initial bitterness that got washed over by a wave of sweetness."

Unfortunately, this limited edition treat sold out within minutes (even at the heavy price of $100 a bottle), so if you want to get your hands on some elephant poop beer, you’re going to have to get your hands dirty and start from scratch.

3. Human Beards

Plenty of brewers claim to put a little bit of themselves in their bottles, but only Rogue Ale’s The Beard Beer takes that idea so literally. As the name implies, the beer is created thanks to a beard—specifically, the beard of the company’s master brewer, John Maier. The Oregon-based company was looking for a new source of yeast when someone joked Maier’s beard might be a perfect place to grow it. Sure enough, it worked. "John has had the same old growth beard since 1978 and for over 18,000 brews, so it is no great surprise that a natural yeast ideal for brewing was discovered in his beard," Rogue proudly boasts.

4. Dead Christmas Trees

Spruce-based beers have been around for centuries, a practice some believe should be revived to help curb the wasteful discarding of Christmas trees en masse after the holidays.

5. "Rocky Mountain Oysters"

"Fried bull testicles—or 'Rocky Mountain Oysters'—are a Colorado favorite. This makes them the perfect ingredient to showcase the new style of beer we’ve created that really pays tribute to one of Colorado’s unique culinary jewels," Denver’s Wynkoop Brewing Company says in this hilarious (and slightly NSFW) video for their eyebrow-raising "Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout." The beer, which started off as an April Fool's Day prank, became a reality when some viewers mistook the video for a true advertisement. Wynkoop did a limited edition brew with three bull testicles per barrel, and they kept up the testes-in-cheek humor with their online publicity: "Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is an assertive, viscous stout with a rich brown/black color, a luscious mouthfeel and deep flavors of chocolate, espresso and nuts." Heh. 

6. Actual Oysters

Rest assured, seafood fans: you can also find beers that contain real oysters. Their meat and shells have been used in stouts since the 18th century, giving the beer a silky, salty finish and becoming regional favorites in countries such as Belgium and New Zealand.

7. Hemp

Two drugs for the price of one! Flavored with hemp seeds, Joint Effort beer is, as Washington's Redhook brewery calls it, "a dubious collaboration between two buds." Made to celebrate the legalization of marijuana in the state in 2012, the beer tap was fittingly shaped like a large yellow bong

8. Frankincense & Myrrh

Fittingly called the Gift of the Magi, this gold-colored seasonal ale from The Lost Abbey is flavored with frankincense bark and "the smallest amount of myrrh."

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Pop Chart Lab
New Pop Chart Lab Poster Is a Boozy Blueprint For Making Classic Cocktails
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Pop Chart Lab

Pop Chart Lab's posters combine design with data, and their latest offering—a full breakdown of the ingredients in 60 classic cocktails—is no exception. From the exact ratio of gin and tonic that should go into a G & T (2 ounces and 4 ounces, respectively) to the garnishes you'll need to make a proper Tom Collins (a maraschino cherry and a lemon twist), the 3-foot-by-2-foot "Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" artwork teaches mixology basics you'd typically learn in bartending school, sans tuition fee.

In addition to mainstays like the Negroni and the Whiskey Sour, the poster also includes relatively obscure drinks (ever heard of the Golden Dawn, or the Journalist?), which you can attempt after drinking your way through your favorite concoctions. Before you know it, you'll be explaining to your friends the intricacies of why you should stir martinis instead of shaking them (sorry, James Bond), or the difference between a highball and a Collins glass. Bottoms up!

"Constitutions of Classic Cocktails" costs $37, and is currently available for pre-order. Shipping begins on Friday, October 20, 2017. (To see the poster's details up close, visit Pop Chart Lab's website and click on the diagram.)

Pop Chart Lab

Pop Chart Lab's
Pop Chart Lab
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Attention Beer Lovers: A London Brewery Is Hiring a Professional Taste-Tester
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Beer lovers aren’t given many chances to discuss their passion for imbibing at job interviews. But a new open position at London's Meantime Brewing Company lists that expertise as one of the top qualifications. As Fortune reports, the brewery is seeking a professional beer taster to help improve its products.

The brewery’s part-time employee will “join the panel brewers as they taste, discuss, and pass opinion on a range of different beers,” according to the job listing on LinkedIn. On top of steady access to free booze three hours a week, the taster will receive a competitive salary “with beer benefits.” As the description reads: “Yes, this could just be the best job in the world.”

Meantime isn’t just considering any casual beer drinker for the role. Their ideal candidate will have a precise palate that can distinguish “chocolate malt from dark malt” and “Fuggles from Cascade hops.” They will also have an understanding of global consumer markets, a functioning knowledge of English, and an extensive beer vocabulary. The brewery is located in the London borough of Greenwich, so applicants who aren’t local should be willing to relocate.

Founded in 1999, the Meantime Brewing Company made its name on the beer scene with signature beverages like their London Lager, London Pale Ale, and Yakima Red. If you’re interested in joining the team, post 30 words on your LinkedIn profile explaining why you deserve the gig, along with any photos or videos that may help your case, with the hashtag #pickmemeantime. The company will narrow down the pool to three candidates for an in-person beer tasting before deciding their top pick. Meanwhile, you can prepare for the job by brushing up on your beer facts.

[h/t Fortune]


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