NOT IN MY BEER

With the explosion of the craft beer movement in recent years, brewers have gone to increasingly greater lengths to differentiate their offerings. This has resulted in some great, or at least interesting, innovations (e.g. new styles such as the CDA), and some that have perhaps not been as successful (Cave Creek Chili Beer?). Ramping up styles to Imperial levels has become a common practice, and of course has seemed to work better for some styles (IPAs, Stouts) than for others (Pilsners, Cream Ales). Adding non-traditional ingredients (i.e. other than water, barley, hops, yeast) has become another fairly common way to create unique beers. The problem, from my perspective, is that tossing random stuff into the fermenter may make a beer unique, but it often doesn’t make it good. You may sell a pint to a customer because they want to see if there’s any possible way you could have made Beaver Tail Ale (with real beaver tails!) remotely drinkable, but you’re probably not going to sell two.

We’ve all had beers in which the non-traditional ingredients improved the beverage (perhaps a good espresso porter, or a saison brewed with sour cherries). But we’re the Aleheads. Given the option, we prefer to jump up and down on stuff. So fellas, what non-traditional ingredient do you think should never be added to another beer?

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BROTHER BARLEY MCHOPS

Rice.

Why?

Because fuck you, Anheuser-Busch. That’s why.

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HERR HUMULUS HORDEUM

Mice.

Why?

Because take off, Elsinore. That’s why.

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KID CARBOY JR.

Water that took more than one continent’s travel to access.

Why?

Because Sam Calagione is a D-bag. And because it’s water. That’s why.

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DR. RIPPED VAN DRINKALE, III

Nutmeg.

Why?

Because only then will the world be rid of Harpoon Winter Warmer. That’s why.

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BEERFORD MCBREWIN’

Wow. I have no idea how I managed to get the Aleheads to embrace brevity and concision, but if I could put THAT into a beer it’d sell like hotcakes during a long Minnesota winter. As for me:

Any ingredient derived from a conifer tree (spruce tips, etc.)

Why?

Because it’s fucking stupid when my beer tastes like Pine-Sol.

That’s it.

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8 comments

  1. Can you believe that nobody’s ever made a rice mice, antarctic water nutmeg spruce beer?

  2. San Luis Valley Brewing in Alamosa Colorado has a Green Chili Beer I sampled at last year’s Brew Ha-Ha. Tastes exactly like green chili. Just one sip and I knew my belly was heading for bloat city. I don’t even want to think what horror would’ve come eekin’ out my ass if I drank a whole glass. It just ain’t right! I want my green chili in a bowl, and my beer to taste like beer.

    As for the Cave Creek Chili Beer, I get asked for that all the time. My distributor hasn’t gotten any from the brewery since the end of December. What- they have to wait for the chili’s to grow before they brew? Nobody thought to freeze some chili’s so they could stay in production? I tell people to toss a jalapeno into a Corona if they want that kind of beer so bad.

    Yuck, yuck, and YUCK.

  3. Resie, I can’t believe people actually request that Cave Creek Chili monstrosity. By all reports it’s utterly horrific.

  4. When I used to manage a package store a few years back people would come in all the time asking for the Cave Creek and Dixie’s White Moose (A white chocolate abomination of a beer). I just chalked it all up to a dare, which is how I got conned into trying both of those beers in the first place. Just awful.

  5. Have you guys actually had beers with chiles that you liked? I’ve had a few that weren’t bad and a few that were awful.

    And when I say “with chiles,” I mean as a principle adjunct and not as “one of the things in Cigar City Hunahpu”.

  6. commander pint o. chug · · Reply

    Saliva from a toothless Peruvian villager didn’t make the list? Or are we limited to one Sam Calagione call-out per week? You could fill this whole post with his forays into bad beerdom.

  7. […] from the rye, one from peppercorns. Problem is, peppercorns should be added to the list of “ingredients you should never use in the brewing process.” 1.5 hops. . . . . […]

  8. EGADS! I finally tried the Cave Creek monstrosity! The horror! The FLAMES! The tears! I think I killed my taste buds! I tried killing the god-awful taste with Claymore Scotch, but it was ruined. Finally got out the Mad River Double Dread, & the hops cut right through it. Phew!

    I can eat habanero salsa straight up, but this beer? Judas Priest! If I had a dick it’d be on fire!

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