Back when the craft beer scene in the States was still in its infancy, brewers could raise an eyebrow—and generate some PR—by integrating unexpected ingredients into their brews, even if some of some of those items actually trace back to tried and true European styles. Now it’s common for brewers to use fruit and spices and brett. With near dizzying speed, the new normal has quickly expanded to include things like hemp, sage, and chili peppers. Rogue even made it okay to harvest yeast from a brewer’s beard. But there are still a handful of breweries pushing the limits of oddball ingredients. Here are a few that still manage to stand out.
Mikkeller Beer Geek Brunch Weasel and Dung-Filtered Coffee Beans
Using coffee beans while brewing an imperial oatmeal stout makes perfect sense. Those rich flavors perfectly complement each other. But Mikkeller upped the ante by sourcing one of the world’s most expensive coffees, which is…processed…by a Vietnamese variety of a weasel-like civet cat. Apparently these felines only eat the best, ripest coffee berries they can find, and enzymes in its digestive system breaks down the bean. Workers collect the bean-rich droppings and use it to process the rare Civet Coffee. It should be noted that Japan’s Sankt Gallen Brewery followed a similar sourcing path for their Un Kono Kuro stout, only they get their coffee beans from Thai elephant dung.
Captain Lawrence Brewing and Carvel Ice Cream
Marketed as a special New York-only release from Captain Lawrence Brewing, the Cookie O’Puss stout made with Carvel Ice Cream’s chocolate crunchies dropped this March in honor of St. Patty’s Day—the cocoa flavor being a natural fit for this style. This release partnered with the more-evenly-distributed Cook Puss Birthday Beer, which incorporates vanilla ice cream to make a sweet, smooth-drinking Milkshake IPA.