SBS VICELAND’s new ode to home brew, Beerland, promises to be a tasty one. Presented by Meg Gill, co-founder of Los Angeles-based craft beer brewery Golden Road Brewing, the series takes viewers across the US to sample the most unique and refreshing brews on offer.
We’re going to leave the experts to enlighten you on the latest in the world of craft beer, and instead focus on the weirdest and most perplexing beers in the history of modern drinking.
Beer made from Roald Dahl’s writing chair
Yes, you read that right. To accompany the dinner theatre show Dinner at the Twits, a ghastly yet hopefully delicious menu was devised and this horrible sounding beer ended up on it. How did they brew a beer from an old chair, you ask? Well, they swabbed the wood for its accumulated yeast and took it from there. The final drink earned the name “Mr Twit's Odious Ale”. Odious indeed.
Beer made with pizza and real money
After a hard day’s work, nothing screams recreation like a thick schooner of Big Ass Money Stout, a novelty beer out of Norway brewed from frozen pizza and actual money. Take a ham-and-peppers pizza from popular Norwegian brand Grandiosa, add a homage to the nation’s currency by mixing in money after the fermentation process and you get the best — and most likely only — cash-flavoured drink in all of Western Europe.
Beer made from a brewer’s beard
John Maier, the master brewer from Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon, had been searching for a signature yeast to compliment their homegrown hops. The answer was hanging off his face the entire time. Using the wild yeast cultured from nine strands of beard hair from Maier’s face, Rogue Beard Beer hit the shelves in 2013 to a slew of positive reviews. Why anyone would agree to sample this tipple, let alone savour the taste for long enough to give it a considered review, is unclear.
Beer made from the contents of an elephant’s poo
You may have already heard of Black Ivory coffee, the luxury Thai brand that pledges to be “naturally refined by elephants”, which is another way of saying their beans are digested and pooped out by the animals. Sankt Galllen in Japan used these beans to brew a tasty stout called Un, Kono Kuro, which is apparently a pun on the Japanese word for "crap". This limited edition beer sold out within minutes and was priced at $100 USD a bottle.
Beer made from the moon
Dogfish Head is a craft brewery and distillery in Delaware known for its vast range of odd concoctions, including Celest-jewel-ale, a ridiculously expensive beer made from the mineral content of moon rocks. Apparently, the beer was brewed to celebrate the fall equinox and harvest moon, but we’re thinking there’s gotta be a cheaper tip of the hat than using crushed rocks from a lunar meteorite. It’s no surprise this was a one-off endeavour.
Beer made from bull testicles
If you like your alcohol to have balls, look no further than Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout. Wynkoop Brewing Company in Colorado advertised this rarity as “made with Colorado base malts, roasted barley, seven specialty grains, 'steerian' golden hops, and freshly sliced & roasted bull testicles”. The beer started out as an April Fools' joke, but was so popular that further rounds of brewing were implemented and it’s now one of the brewery’s main drawcards.
Beer made from an ancient shipwreck
In 1977, a shipwreck was discovered off Tasmania’s coast and on board was a 220-year-old bottle of suds. The Sydney Cove, a merchant vessel travelling from Calcutta, India was excavated for its spoils, and the ancient bottle, still sealed by wax, sat on display at the Queen Victoria Museum in Launceston. Last year, museum conservator David Thurrowgood thought the bottle’s contents required a closer look. Turned out the historic beverage contained live yeast samples, which led to Aussie scientists recreating what earned the label of the world’s oldest beer.
Watch Beerland on Tuesday 3 October at 9pm on SBS VICELAND.