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Strange Brew


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Doralynn Ivy



When it comes to exploring new destinations and immersing yourself in different cultures, food and travel go hand in hand. And what better way to experience the essence of a place than through its cuisine? But for those adventurous souls who are always on the lookout for unique experiences, there’s a whole world of food travel that goes beyond just trying traditional dishes.


Food travel enthusiasts are now taking it a step further by seeking out the unusual and offbeat in their culinary adventures. From strange brews and unconventional ingredients to bizarre techniques and obscure traditions, there is a whole realm of food and drink experiences that cater to the adventurous palate.


In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of strange brews and uncover the hidden gems that await those willing to step out of their comfort zones. We’ll explore the unusual ingredients used in brewing, the bizarre techniques employed to create one-of-a-kind beverages, and the weird beer styles that are sure to leave a lasting impression.


We’ll also take you on a journey across the globe to discover the strange breweries that are pushing the boundaries of beer production. From remote corners of the world to bustling cities, these breweries have mastered the art of turning ordinary ingredients into extraordinary libations.


But it doesn’t stop there. We’ll also uncover the controversial brewing practices that have sparked heated debates within the industry, as well as the odd beer-related traditions that have stood the test of time. And to top it off, we’ll share some quirky beer facts that will surprise and delight even the most seasoned beer enthusiast.


So get ready to expand your palate and open your mind as we embark on a journey into the world of strange brews. Whether you’re a beer lover, a foodie looking for unique experiences, or simply someone with an insatiable curiosity, there’s something for everyone in this captivating exploration of food and travel.


Unusual Ingredients in Brewing

When it comes to brewing, most people are familiar with the classic ingredients like water, malt, hops, and yeast. But for those looking to push the boundaries of flavor and creativity, breweries around the world are experimenting with some truly unusual ingredients.


One such ingredient is fruits. While fruits are commonly used in brewing, it’s the unconventional ones that catch the attention. From exotic tropical fruits like passion fruit and guava to more surprising choices like pumpkin or even bacon, these ingredients add a unique twist to traditional beer recipes.


But it’s not just fruits that are making their way into the brewing process. Some breweries are taking inspiration from the kitchen and incorporating spices and herbs into their beers. Think lavender-infused IPAs or basil-flavored stouts. The result is a harmonious blend of flavors that takes beer tasting to a whole new level.


And then there are the truly unexpected ingredients. Have you ever imagined sipping on a beer brewed with seaweed? How about one that incorporates oysters? Yes, these are real creations, and they offer a truly intriguing and adventurous experience for those willing to give them a try.


But it’s not just about the exotic or unexpected ingredients. Some breweries are also turning to local and foraged ingredients to create unique brews that capture the essence of a specific region. Whether it’s using wildflowers, mushrooms, or even insects, these ingredients add a sense of place and authenticity to the beers.


While experimenting with unusual ingredients can be seen as a risk for breweries, it is also a way for them to stand out in a crowded market. It allows brewers to unleash their creativity and offer consumers something they have never experienced before.


So the next time you visit a brewery or browse the beer selection at your local bar, don’t be surprised if you come across a beer that boasts some truly unusual ingredients. Embrace the opportunity to try something new and expand your beer-drinking horizons. You never know, you might just discover a new favorite brew that defies expectations and challenges your taste buds.


Bizarre Brewing Techniques

While traditional brewing methods have their merits, some breweries are taking a more unconventional approach to crafting their beverages. These breweries have mastered the art of bizarre brewing techniques, resulting in beers that are truly unique and full of character.


One such technique is known as “souring.” Sour beers, also known as wild ales, are made using a process called spontaneous fermentation. Instead of adding cultured yeast to the wort, these beers are exposed to the natural bacteria and wild yeasts in the air. This method creates tart and funky flavors that are reminiscent of sour candies or even certain types of wine.


Another peculiar brewing technique is known as “barrel aging.” This process involves aging the beer in wooden barrels, typically made from oak. The barrels previously contained spirits like bourbon or wine, imparting complex flavors and aromas to the beer. This technique adds depth and richness to the brew, creating a truly indulgent experience.


For those looking for a truly mind-boggling experience, some breweries have embraced the concept of “steep mashing.” This technique involves steeping grains in hot water, just like brewing tea, to extract flavors and aromas. The resulting liquid is then used as the base for brewing beer, resulting in a unique and flavorful beverage.


If you thought beer and coffee were an unlikely combination, think again. Breweries have started using “coffee-infusion” techniques to create beers that boast the flavors and aromas of your morning cup of joe. Whether it’s aged in coffee barrels, brewed with coffee beans, or infused with cold brew, these beers offer a delightful combination of roasted malt and coffee flavors.


And then there’s the art of “dry hopping.” This technique involves adding hop additions directly to the fermenting beer. By skipping the boiling process, breweries can achieve more intense and aromatic hop flavors without the accompanying bitterness. The result is a beer bursting with fresh, hoppy goodness.


These bizarre brewing techniques not only challenge the traditional norms of beer production but also offer beer enthusiasts a chance to indulge in new and exciting flavors. By embracing experimentation and pushing the boundaries of brewing, these breweries are bringing innovation and creativity to the world of craft beer.


So the next time you crack open a bottle or pour yourself a pint, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and ingenuity that went into creating that beer. Cheers to the breweries that dare to be different and keep us coming back for more!


Weird Beer Styles

Beer is an incredibly versatile beverage, with countless styles and variations to suit different tastes. While many beer enthusiasts are familiar with classic styles like lagers, ales, and stouts, there are some truly weird and unique beer styles out there that are sure to surprise and intrigue even the most seasoned beer connoisseur. Let’s delve into the weird and wonderful world of unconventional beer styles.


One peculiar beer style that has gained popularity in recent years is the “Gose.” Originating from Germany, Gose is a tart and slightly salty beer that combines the flavors of sourness and saltiness in a refreshing and unique way. It’s a style that’s perfect for those seeking a more adventurous and unusual beer experience.


If you’re a fan of smoky flavors, then “Rauchbier” might be just the beer for you. This traditional German style has been brewed for centuries and is known for its distinct smokiness, which comes from malt that has been dried over an open fire. The result is a beer with an intense and robust flavor profile.


For those who enjoy the combination of sweet and savory, “Pastry Stouts” are a must-try. These stouts are brewed with ingredients like chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and even pastries to create a rich and indulgent flavor reminiscent of desserts. It’s like drinking a liquid version of your favorite sweet treat.


Ever thought of beers that taste like fruit smoothies? “Fruited IPAs” are a relatively new addition to the beer scene and have gained popularity for their tropical and juicy flavors. These IPAs are brewed with copious amounts of fruit, resulting in a beer that is bursting with fruity goodness and a hoppy kick.


For those looking to venture into the realm of strong and potent beers, “Barleywines” offer a unique and robust drinking experience. These beers, with a high alcohol content, boast rich malt flavors and often have notes of caramel, toffee, and dried fruits. They are perfect for sipping and savoring on a cold winter’s night.


And if you’re looking for a truly unusual and eccentric beer style, “Sake-Inspired Beers” might be just what you need. These beers are brewed using ingredients and techniques traditionally used in sake production. The result is a delicate and nuanced beer with a distinct fusion of flavors.


These are just a few examples of the weird and wonderful beer styles that exist in the world of craft brewing. With the ever-growing creativity and passion of brewers, new and unique styles continue to emerge. So, the next time you’re at a bottle shop or brewery, be sure to explore the adventurous side of beer and indulge in some truly unconventional styles. Cheers to the innovation and diversity of the beer world!


Strange Breweries Around the World

When it comes to breweries, some establishments truly stand out for their unconventional concepts, stunning locations, or eccentric brewing practices. These strange breweries offer visitors a one-of-a-kind experience, blending the art of brewing with a touch of quirkiness. Let’s take a virtual tour and explore some of the most unusual breweries around the world.


In Belgium, the Delirium Café holds the Guinness World Record for the most extensive beer selection, boasting an astonishing 2,004 different beers. Located in Brussels, this quirky establishment is a paradise for beer lovers, with its lively atmosphere and walls adorned with beer memorabilia.


Heading to the United States, Oregon is home to the Voodoo Doughnut Brewery, where the love for donuts and beer collide. This unique brewery creates beers inspired by Voodoo Doughnut’s famous donut flavors, resulting in innovative and tasty concoctions like their Bacon Maple Ale or their Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Banana Ale.


If you’re craving a beer with a side of rock and roll, the Brouwerij ‘t IJ in Amsterdam, Netherlands, is the place to be. This brewery, housed in an old windmill, not only offers a diverse range of craft beers but also hosts live music events, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.


Traveling to Japan, the Yo-Ho Brewing Company in Nagano stands out for its unique brewing location: the foot of the Japanese Alps. This picturesque setting not only provides pristine water for brewing but also offers breathtaking views for visitors as they enjoy the brewery’s award-winning beers.


In the heart of Australia’s wine region, you’ll find the Lobethal Bierhaus in South Australia. What makes this brewery special is its commitment to incorporating local ingredients and flavors into its beers. From stout aged in Shiraz barrels to honey-infused lagers, their brews capture the essence of the surrounding wine country.


For those seeking a truly bizarre brewing experience, the Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware, USA, is known for pushing the limits of experimentation. They have brewed beers with ingredients like lobsters, oysters, and even truffles, resulting in unconventional flavors that challenge the norm.


These are just a few examples of the strange and fascinating breweries that can be found around the world. Whether it’s their unique concepts, unusual brewing locations, or eccentric offerings, these establishments offer a glimpse into the vibrant and creative world of craft brewing. So, next time you find yourself in a new city or country, be sure to seek out these strange breweries and indulge in their one-of-a-kind brews.


Controversial Brewing Practices

While the world of brewing is filled with innovation and experimentation, some brewing practices have sparked controversy and divided opinions within the industry and among consumers. These controversial techniques challenge traditional brewing norms and raise moral and ethical questions. Let’s explore some of the most debated brewing practices in the craft beer world.


One controversial practice is known as “whale hunting” or “beer hunting.” This refers to the pursuit of rare and highly sought-after beers, often resulting in inflated prices and scarcity. Some breweries deliberately release limited quantities of certain beers to generate hype and create a sense of exclusivity. While this practice can be exciting for collectors and beer enthusiasts, it has also led to frustration and disappointment for those unable to obtain these elusive brews.


Another contentious practice is the use of artificial flavorings and additives in the brewing process. Some breweries resort to using artificial ingredients to mimic specific flavors or enhance the appearance of their beers. This has sparked debates about the authenticity and integrity of craft brewing, as many argue that true craft beer should be brewed using only natural ingredients.


Additionally, the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in brewing has also stirred controversy. While GMOs can potentially enhance certain characteristics of beer, concerns about the long-term effects on human health and the environment have prompted a heated debate within the brewing community.


One brewing practice that has garnered significant attention is “contract brewing” or “gypsy brewing.” This refers to breweries that do not own a physical brewing facility and instead collaborate with existing breweries to produce their beer. Critics argue that contract brewing diminishes the authenticity and craftsmanship of the beer, as it is not brewed on the brewery’s own premises.


The topic of sustainability and environmental responsibility in brewing has also become a matter of controversy. While many breweries strive to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt eco-friendly practices, others have faced criticism for their wasteful water usage, excessive packaging, and unsustainable sourcing of ingredients.


It is important to note that the controversies surrounding these brewing practices are subjective and vary depending on individual perspectives and values. What may be seen as controversial to some may be embraced by others as part of the evolving nature of craft brewing.


As the craft beer industry continues to evolve, it is essential for breweries and consumers alike to engage in open and respectful discussions about these controversial practices. By fostering dialogue and transparency, the brewing community can work towards finding a balance between innovation, ethics, and consumer expectations.


Odd Beer-Related Traditions

Beer has a long and rich history that is deeply intertwined with cultures around the world. Along the way, various traditions and rituals have emerged, adding a unique and often quirky element to the beer-drinking experience. Let’s delve into some of the odd beer-related traditions that are celebrated in different corners of the globe.


In Germany, the tradition of “Ein Prosit” is a beloved beer-drinking ritual that takes place during Oktoberfest and other beer festivals. When the band plays the famous Oktoberfest song “Ein Prosit,” everyone raises their beer glasses and sings along before taking a hearty sip. It’s a fun and communal way to toast and celebrate with friends and strangers alike.


Across the English Channel, in the United Kingdom, there’s a peculiar tradition called “wetting the baby’s head.” This custom involves celebrating the birth of a child by buying rounds of beer for friends and family at a local pub. It’s a joyful occasion to share the good news while enjoying a few pints.


In the Czech Republic, beer is taken so seriously that it has earned designation as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage” by UNESCO. The Czechs have their own unique pouring technique known as “šejk,” where bartenders vigorously shake the beer before serving it to create a dense and creamy foam. It’s a well-respected tradition that brings an extra touch of artistry to the beer-drinking experience.


Heading to Belgium, we encounter the tradition of “Beer Walking.” This involves exploring various breweries and beer-related landmarks on foot while indulging in the diverse range of Belgian beers along the way. It’s a chance to appreciate the craftsmanship, history, and flavors of Belgian beer while getting some exercise.


Across the Atlantic, in Canada, the “Société des Dix-Sept” is a whimsical tradition that originated in Quebec City. Each year, on January 17th, a group of seventeen individuals gather to indulge in a tasting of seventeen different strong Belgian ales. It’s an opportunity to honor the brewing heritage of Belgium and bond over a shared passion for exceptional beers.


In Japan, there’s a unique festival called “Kanpai Day” that celebrates the art of toasting with beer. On October 1st, people gather in parks or at home, raise their glasses, and cheer “kanpai” (meaning “cheers” in Japanese) before taking a sip. It’s a joyful occasion to express gratitude and unity while enjoying the company of friends and loved ones.


These are just a few examples of the odd and delightful beer-related traditions that exist around the world. They showcase the diverse ways in which beer is celebrated and cherished, bringing people together in shared enjoyment and camaraderie. So, the next time you raise your glass to toast, remember that you’re not just participating in a simple act but contributing to a rich tapestry of beer-related traditions that span the globe.


Quirky Beer Facts

Beer, with its rich history and cultural significance, is not only a delicious beverage but also a subject of fascinating trivia. Delve into the world of beer with these quirky facts that are sure to surprise and entertain beer enthusiasts:

  1. Did you know that the oldest known recipe in the world is a 4,000-year-old Sumerian poem that contains instructions for brewing beer? This showcases the ancient origins and enduring appeal of beer.
  2. Ever wondered why beer bottles are typically brown or green? The darker color helps to block out ultraviolet light, which can otherwise cause the beer to spoil or develop a “skunky” flavor.
  3. Speaking of skunky beer, the molecule responsible for that distinct aroma is called 3-methyl-2-butene-1-thiol. It’s formed when hops are exposed to light and breaks down the chemical structure, resulting in the potent scent.
  4. Beer has a surprising number of health benefits when consumed in moderation. It can help reduce the risk of heart disease, kidney stones, and even strengthens bones due to its high silicon content.
  5. The Czech Republic holds the title for the highest beer consumption per capita in the world. Czechs consume an average of 43 gallons (160 liters) of beer per person per year!
  6. Believe it or not, there is a beer brewed with a blend of coffee and oysters called “Oyster Stout.” The combination may sound unusual, but it results in a unique flavor profile that appeals to adventurous beer lovers.
  7. In Alaska, there is a beer festival called the “Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival” where attendees can indulge in beers that can have an alcohol content as high as 20%. It’s an event for serious beer enthusiasts looking for unique and potent brews.
  8. Hops, one of the key ingredients in beer, have a close botanical relationship with cannabis. Both plants belong to the family Cannabaceae, and they share similar aromatic compounds.
  9. When it comes to beer bottle caps, the lining inside the cap is typically made from a polymer called PVC. The purpose of the lining is to create an airtight seal and prevent any unwanted flavors or aromas from affecting the beer.
  10. The world’s strongest beer, with a staggering 67.5% alcohol by volume (ABV), is called “Snake Venom.” It hails from Brewmeister Brewery in Scotland and is not for the faint of heart!

These quirky beer facts highlight the captivating aspects of this beloved beverage. From its ancient origins and health benefits to unusual flavor combinations and record-breaking brews, beer continues to surprise and delight people around the world. So, the next time you enjoy a pint, remember that you’re partaking in a beverage with a centuries-old legacy and countless fascinating stories.



Food travel has always been an exciting way to explore different cultures and cuisines. But for those seeking an extra dose of adventure, the world of strange brews offers a captivating avenue to expand your horizons and tantalize your taste buds. From unusual ingredients and bizarre brewing techniques to weird beer styles and quirky beer-related traditions, there is a whole realm of experiences waiting to be discovered.


As we’ve explored the unusual ingredients used in brewing, such as exotic fruits and unexpected spices, we realize that breweries have become a playground for creativity and flavor experimentation. Bizarre brewing techniques like souring, barrel aging, and coffee infusion have pushed the boundaries of what beer can be, resulting in truly unique and memorable brews.


We’ve also ventured into the realm of weird beer styles, from the tart and salty Gose to the smoky and robust Rauchbier. These styles offer a departure from the norm and showcase the versatility and innovation within the craft beer industry.


Our journey has taken us to strange breweries around the world, where we’ve encountered mind-boggling concepts, stunning locations, and eccentric brewing practices. These establishments embody the spirit of adventure and demonstrate how passion and creativity can create memorable experiences for beer enthusiasts.


Additionally, we’ve explored the controversies surrounding certain brewing practices, such as “whale hunting” and the use of artificial additives. These debates highlight the evolving nature of the craft beer scene and the discussions around authenticity, sustainability, and responsible beer production.


But it’s not just controversy and debate. We’ve also celebrated the odd and delightful beer-related traditions, from toasting with “Ein Prosit” in Germany to celebrating the birth of a child with rounds of beer in the UK. These traditions showcase the social and communal aspects of beer and add a touch of whimsy to the beer-drinking experience.


And of course, we’ve uncovered some quirky beer facts that highlight the fascinating aspects of this beloved beverage. From the world’s oldest known recipe to the surprising health benefits, beer continues to surprise and fascinate even the most seasoned beer connoisseur.


In conclusion, whether you’re an adventurous traveler, a passionate beer lover, or simply someone with a curiosity for the unusual, the world of strange brews offers a rich tapestry of experiences to explore. So, raise your glass and toast to the fascinating world of food travel and the unique flavors and stories that beer brings to our lives. Cheers!