Crazy, Over The Top Craft Beer Releases in 2013
Unique and Unusual Craft Beers Releases
Craft Brewers are continuously experimenting with new techniques and ingredients which sometimes leads to extreme and unusual beer releases. Spontaneous fermentations with wild yeast, Oyster Stouts, and barrel-aging, are par for the course right now, so we had to find other unusual beers. Our quest to seek out some of the strangest beers produced, led us to some very unique beers.
First up is Duck Duck Drunk Porter, brewed by Breakside Brewery out of Portland, Oregon. A Robust Chocolate Porter brewed with 100 lbs. of roasted Muscovy duck, real duck meat. The dark roasted malts of the porter help balance gamey meat flavors. The beer’s texture was slightly oily from the duck meat, but actually worked ok with the thick and dark body of the beer.
Meat was apparently on the minds of Portland brewers this year, as Upright Brewing released Captain Beefheart. A Scottish Style Ale brewed with bay leaf, salt, pepper, and charred beef hearts. Haggis in a glass for the less bold. The beer’s flavor was very savory, with some malty sweetness and herbal spice notes.
Moving away from the meat beers and on to Colorado Springs, where Trinity Brewing resides. Their Red Swingline is a low ABV (4.1%) Barrel-Aged Sour Beer with an intense 100 IBUs of hop bitterness. An unheard of bitterness level for a sour beer, where bitterness is typically nominal or non-existant. The beer is flavored with coriander and tangerine zest, and barrel-aged in French oak with wild Brettanomyces yeast and souring Lactobacillus cultures. Another unique beer release from Trinity is Little Death Ride Saison Apocalyptique. A strong (13% ABV) Saison brewed as a celebration to Mayan culture. The beer is flavored with red aji chilies, anatto seed, tomatoes, anasazi bean, fresh maize, pumpkin, cacao nibs, honey, hoja santa leaf, and wild white cinnamon. To top it all off the beer is aged on clay. A massive explosion of aromas and flavors.
Staying in Colorado, Crooked Stave, out of Denver, released Wild Wild Brett Violet. A 100% Brettanomyces wild yeast fermented ale, flavored with pomegranate, lavender, and passion fruit. Herbal, floral, fruity, earthy, and sour.
Jumping up to Everett, MA, where Night Shift Brewing is producing some very unique and flavorful ales. Their Rose, is a Saison flavored with rose hips, rosemary, and honey, then aged on crushed pink peppercorns. Very floral and herbal with sweet beery spice notes.
Skipping over to Blind Bat Brewery on Long Island. Their Vlad the Inhaler is brewed in the style of an extinct Polish Grodziskie. A light-bodied ale brewed with 99% house Oak-Smoked Wheat Malt. Intensely smoky and refreshing at the same time.
Burnside Brewing, out of Portland, Oregon released a Smoked Rye IPA, which is a bit unusual, but when you tack on 93 IBUs of bitterness the combination gets really interesting.
The Bruery, out of Placentia CA, produces quite a bit of unique beers. Their Or Xata release this year was inspired by the Mexican Horchata beverage. An ale brewed with rice, milk sugar, rolled oats, vanilla beans, and cinnamon.
Cigar City out of Tampa, FL, released a Cucumber Saison, code-named the Pickle Beer. A Farmhouse Style Saison brewed with cucumbers and flavored with dill.
Wrapping up in Scotland, BrewDog released Watt Dickie, which they refer to as an ice-distilled beer, which started out as an IPA. The beverage is un-carbonated and weighs in at a whopping 35% ABV.