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Beer, one of the world’s oldest and most beloved beverages, has been crafted and consumed for centuries. Over time, it’s evolved from a simple ale to an art form, with brewers constantly pushing the boundaries of taste, creativity and innovation. Here are 12 of the world’s strangest beers, where tradition meets experimentation.
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly Beer: A Nostalgic Classic
First on the list is the traditional PB&J. If you have a sweet tooth, peanut butter and jelly beer might sound like a dream come true. This beer contains roasted peanuts with raspberries and strawberries to replicate your childhood favorite — the classic PB&J sandwich. The result is a delightful blend of creamy, nutty flavors with a hint of fruity sweetness.
2. Oyster Stout: A Taste of the Ocean
Oysters and beer may not seem like a natural pairing, but oyster stouts have a rich history dating back to the 18th century. The exact origin of this strange beer remains a mystery, but rumors suggest that a London brewer named Ralph Harwood accidentally dropped a handful of oysters into a batch of stout he was brewing. Instead of discarding the oysters, he decided to continue with the brewing process.
These beers often feature briny, oceanic notes and a silky mouthfeel thanks to the addition of oysters during the brewing process. The combination of dark, roasted malts and oysters creates a unique and complex flavor profile.
3. Snake Venom: The World’s Strongest Beer
Snake Venom beer, hailing from Brewmeister in Scotland, is notorious for being one of the world’s strongest beers. This formidable brew boasts an astonishingly high alcohol content, often surpassing 67.5% ABV (alcohol by volume). To put this into perspective, most regular beers hover around 4%–6% ABV. It derives its name from the intensity of its potency, which some liken to the bite of a venomous snake.
Drinking Snake Venom is not for everyone and is often sipped in small quantities due to its strength. It’s gained a cult following among adventurous beer enthusiasts seeking to push the limits of their palate and tolerance.
4. Ghost Pepper Beer: A Spicy Twist
Ghost Pepper beer provides a fiery experience if you crave heat in your beverages. The Ghost Pepper, one of the world’s spiciest chili peppers, is incorporated into the brewing process, resulting in a beer that packs a punch. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but spice lovers will appreciate the boldness of this brew.
5. Whale Testicle Beer: A Controversial Idea
Yes, you read that right, this is definitely one of the world’s strangest beers. In Iceland, a peculiar beer called Hvalur 2 has made headlines for its unconventional ingredient — whale testicles. Brewed by the Icelandic brewery Stedji, this beer stirred controversy due to its use of fin whale testicles, which raised concerns about whaling and conservation efforts.
While using such ingredients is certainly unusual, the beer itself has a complex flavor profile with hints of smoke and a rich, malty character. However, its association with a controversial practice has made it a polarizing choice for beer connoisseurs.
6. Cannabis-Infused Beer: A Relaxing Take
With the legalization of cannabis in many parts of the world, brewers are experimenting with infusing beer with cannabinoids. Cannabis-infused beer offers the relaxing effects of marijuana alongside the enjoyment of a cold brew. These beers typically contain negligible levels of THC, ensuring a mellow experience.
7. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ale: A Dessert-Lover’s Dream
Dessert lovers will appreciate the ingenuity behind chocolate chip cookie dough beer. Breweries have captured the sweet, buttery and chocolatey flavors of cookie dough in liquid form. This dessert-inspired beer is rich and indulgent, making it a perfect after-dinner treat.
8. Saliva Beer: An Interesting Tradition
While the concept of saliva in beer might initially raise eyebrows, there’s a unique tradition associated with it in some parts of the world. In Namibia, a group of indigenous peoples known as the Himba, has a brewing method that involves chewing grains (such as maize or millet) and then spitting them into a communal container to initiate the fermentation process.
The enzymes in human saliva help convert the starches in grains into sugars, which yeast can then ferment into alcohol. This traditional method results in beer known as “oshikundu” or “oshifima,” which is an essential part of Himba culture. While the idea of saliva in beer might seem off-putting to some, it’s a testament to the resourcefulness of brewing traditions around the world.
9. Meteorite Beer: A Taste of Outer Space
This drink is a truly celestial beer that combines the elements of space and Earth’s craftsmanship. This extraordinary style uses real meteorite fragments during the brewing process, infusing the beer with a touch of outer space. While the meteorites themselves are usually sterilized before use, their unique mineral content imparts a subtle otherworldly character to the beverage.
While it remains a rare and niche creation, meteorite beer exemplifies the creative and adventurous spirit of brewers who seek to push the boundaries.
10. Bacon Beer: A Smoky Innovation
Combining the smoky, salty goodness of bacon with the crisp refreshment of beer may sound like an odd pairing, but brewers have successfully blended these two worlds. Typically brewed with bacon or bacon infused ingredients, this beer offers a unique flavor profile that appeals to adventurous palates.
11. Black Truffle Beer: A Premium Experience
Black truffle beer is a luxurious and rare creation that marries the earthy, aromatic flavors of black truffles with the world of craft beer. This unique beer style is often a collaborative effort between breweries and truffle hunters or producers. The truffle’s umami notes are infused into the brew during the brewing process, imparting a complex and savory character to the drink.
Typically, this beer is brewed as a stout or pilsner, which complements the trufffel’s richness. It offers a remarkable fusion of culinary worlds, appealing to both beer enthusiasts and gastronomers. Its limited availability and premium price make it a sought-after and indulgent choice for those looking to explore the boundaries of beer flavor profiles.
12. Pizza Beer
Last on the list of some of the strangest beers is an ode to Italian cuisine. Imagine the taste of a delicious pizza packed into a beer bottle. Some breweries have achieved this seemingly impossible feat by incorporating tomato, basil, oregano and garlic into their brews. The result is a beer that captures the essence of everyone’s favorite Italian dish.
Cheers to Strange Beers
Innovation knows no bounds when it comes to craft beer. These are some of the strangest beers and show just how many creative possibilities there are in the world of beer. So, next time you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind beer experience, consider exploring the weird and wonderful world of unconventional brews. Who knows? You might just discover your new favorite drink among the strangest of them all.
Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.