Being known for having a love of beer means that our family and friends around the world will send us all of the beer related stuff they find. Nowadays, being known as full-on beer enthusiasts, we don’t really get sent all the wishy-wash ordinary stuff (as they’re now used to us offloading that information onto them!) but we do get sent links and information about some of the more crazy beers out there; some we've mentioned before in our Craft Beer Arms Race Article. So we’ve thought it’s about high time we compiled some of our favourite standouts from our growing list of beer-related things that are “out there!” and shared them with you, our faithful, also beer loving, followers and friends.
There once was a beer -appropriately named Sapporo Space Barley- made from space barley, whose seeds had been kept on the International Space Station for five months. But they only made and sold 250 six packs, sold them for US$100 a pack and that, sadly was that.
There was also once a beer called the Celest-Jewel-Ale, brewed with bits of lunar meteorites to give them a space-y aspect. The space dust was supplied by the company who made the space suits that helped US astronauts make it onto the moon, and they also supplied Dogfish Head brewery with koozies of spacesuit material to drink it from! Unfortunately, like the Space Barley beer, it was a one-off, small batch brew and, having been brewed back in 2013, it has all vanished into the cosmos.
There is a beer, aptly named Vostok Space Beer, that has not been into space but will be heading there soon. The people at 4 Pines Brewing Co. have been working on taking their award-winning stout into outer space. It was the first beer to be served on a commercial zero-gravity flight and will soon be sold in a beer bottle that has been designed to be drunk in outer space, so that astronauts and tourists heading out of this world can soon enjoy their journey with a beer drunk from a beer bottle and not from a squeeze bottle!
Now we’d be lying if we said that we’d never had a shower beer, however that is the consumption of beer whilst in the shower. Hell we’ve even had a bath beer or two in our time! But a bath of beer? Now that’s a different story.
In the Czech Republic it is possible to go to a beer spa. The Chodovar brewery opened up their first beer baths in 2006 and since then they have grown significantly in popularity! The beer comes out at a toasty 37ºC, and is mixed with 50% mineral water, so you may not want to be drinking from the bath tap! However it does have some excellent restorative properties and is said to help with: acne, psoriasis and cellulitis; it is said to be excellent for skin regeneration and an excellent stress reliever (we can believe the last one!).
We’re not talking about the staff here. The Alaskan Brewing Company is now powering their brewery with beer! Ok so their not actually using “beer” in the widest sense, however, what they have accomplished is pretty ingenious and will lower the amount of oil they consume by up to 70%!
Alaskan Brewing has been drying their spent grain -to be used as cattle fuel in the lower 48 states- since 1995. What is neat about this part is that they designed the grain dryer to run on grain; to use up to 50% of its product as a supplement fuel source.
In 2008 they then added -and were the first in the USA do so- a mash filter press; a piece of equipment that is a great energy saving piece! Recently, in 2012, Alaskan Brewing added a custom-built spent grain steam boiler to add to their planet-saving kit. In this they use dried spent grain to fuel a combustion process to help power their brewery!
They have estimated that all of this will cut their oil usage by over half and that they expect to save over 1 million gallons of oil over the next ten years. We’ll raise a glass to that!
Now since reporting on this in our Craft Beer Arms Race article we have received many more emails and been told many more stories about brews that we missed and ones that have been created since. So here’s a quick rundown of some other wacky stuff for you to get your head around.
Nimble Lips Noble Tongue IPA - 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. Wisconsin, USA
Squid ink is the magic ingredient here, an ingredient whose popularity is growing in the world of cooking this year, and this on-the-button brewery has already added it to their brewing repertoire.
Walker - Dock Street Brewing Company, Philadelphia, USA
Now with the popularity of the TV show The Walking Dead there are many things that have taken on the title or a likeness to it. Dock Street Brewing have created a beer dedicated to it and you know how they have made it Walking Dead-like? By brewing it with fresh goats brains. We’ll let that one stew for a while with you.
Belly Button Beer - 7 Cent Brewery, Victoria, Australia
Can you guess it? 7 Cent Brewery are brewing a beer from the yeast found in the small belly cavities of their brewers. Now they only culture yeast from the belly button fluff so it is all perfectly safe for consumption, and there’s also lots of it to go around!
Bottled Instinct - The Order Of Yoni, Czech Republic
Now we’d ask you to guess at this however you probably wouldn’t be able to. A brewery in the Czech Republic is brewing a beer using bacteria procured from a woman’s vagina. What?! That was our response too. It turns out that this is possible and being done. They have selected their woman very carefully and are still searching for more models if you know anyone interested in being the proponent of a beer. For a $10,000 donation they’ll also brew a special batch, just for you, cultured from the inside of your girlfriend.
Stranger things have happened friends. They indeed have.
Indian Pale Ales (IPA) are heavy on the hop side. The red IPA hails from the United States and, therefore, they are even hoppier than their father, the English IPA. As a rule of thumb, the IPA has a higher alcohol content than its pale ale lineage, however, for the red IPA, we can also factor in the fact that red ales are also generally brewed stronger than their pale ale counterparts. This makes for a strong beer in a red IPA.
Hefeweizen is a straw coloured, usually hazy beer which is very attractive when served in the traditional Bavarian hefeweizen glass in the summer sunshine. Hefeweizens are made with at least 50% wheat in the mash and are not found to be brimming with hops, the flavours mainly come from the yeast instead. You see “Weizen” means wheat (you might remember that from our Dunkelweizen article) and “hefe” means yeast. These, as said, are the main two flavour components of a hefeweizen and the yeast used adds distinct clove and banana notes. Making these beers the perfect, easy drinking beverage in the sunshine.