The craft brewing industry has seen some real creativity in the past decade of innovation. Tons of cool new flavors, from watermelon ales to grapefruit IPAs and chocolate stouts, have been created. Some of the creations are definitely a little bit more outlandish and things you wouldn’t expect to be put into beer.
While sweet and fruity flavors pair into beer’s hoppy aromas and bitterness quite well, getting savory flavors to mesh into beer has been a challenge – despite the fact that several of those foods pair well with beer. Nonetheless, there are craft brewers making these awesome food-infused beers happen, and giving us flavor combinations we know and love – purely in liquid form.
Pastrami Pilsner – Shmaltz Brewing
Popular Mechanics got to take an in-depth look at this beverage that puts one of America’s best beer pairings into liquid form. Instead of dropping a whole pile of pastrami into a brewing vat, Shmaltz Brewing isolated flavors key to pastrami, like caraway and horseradish, to get the aroma of a pastrami sandwich to emanate from their newest lager creation. While we’d miss the juiciness of the real meat, this sounds like a tasty beer.
Sriracha Stout – Rogue Ales
We all know that one of the biggest trends right now is Sriracha, with the beloved hot sauce popping up in menus and restaurant chains all across the U.S. While there has been a Sriracha vodka developed before, Rogue Ales’s creation aims to be a lot better than the spicy spirit. Sriracha is directly added into the fermentation tanks of the brewing process, so sugars inside of the sauce contribute to the production of alcohol. The result is a spicy, familiar flavor infused into a powerful stout beer.
Mangalitsa Pink Porter – Right Brain Brewery
Photo: @anniespartyshoppe on Instagram
Gold medal winner of the Experimental Beers Category in 2011’s Great American Beer Festival, this is Right Brain’s most famous – and possibly craziest – concoction. Brewed with real pig parts (including a smoked pig head), this is definitely not a beer for vegans. Pork and beer are another amazing combination, though, and that smoky flavor goes perfectly with porter.
Fire in the Ham – Jack’s Abby
Unlike the above porky beer, this one is vegan friendly (despite the meaty name). Using a smoked malt base, Jack’s Abby is able to bring in tons of smoky flavors, including those of bacon and smoked ham, to give that familiar smoky taste to an otherwise mild beer. The porky smoke definitely is the star in this brew.
Shuckolate – Foolproof Brewing Company
The award for weirdest beer on this list definitely goes to this one. Foolproof teamed up with two different food producers in the Rhode Island area to infuse chocolate and oysters into a stout beer. Chocolate stout is nothing new, but the brininess of the oysters gives familiarity to the popular combo of sea salt and chocolate. Chocolate and oysters are both aphrodisiacs, so the brewery recommends enjoying this with that special someone.
Spear Beer – Right Brain Brewery
Photo: @mibrewers on Instagram
Asparagus is one of the more common vegetables grilled alongside meats, and grilling and beer go hand in hand. That makes infusing a beer with the aromas of grilled asparagus a great call by Right Brain, and gives a combination of sweet, nutty, and earthy to this asparagus ale.
Peanut Butter Raincloud – Foolproof Brewing Company
Photo: Beer Snob Squad
Peanut butter can be a bit sweet, so it lends its flavor well to this porter beer. The salty rich notes of peanuts play perfectly in with the milder porter beer, making this one of the more familiar and enjoyable of the beers on this list.
These savory beers may not have the familiar fruity or sweet combinations we know or enjoy in beer. However, these savory beers definitely punch up the flavor to the next level and are great conversation starters at parties or at the bar. Grab some of these and see for yourself what you think!