The independent beer revolution has led to the creation of some truly strange and wonderful beers, with a completely different focus than that often seen by large brewing conglomerates.
Whilst small breweries have arguably existed since the very first beers were made tens of thousands of years ago, the rise of the independent brewery that began in the 1980s and rapidly accelerated in the 2010s has allowed for very different kinds of beers.
Whether an avid craft beer drinker wants a fine artisan ale, a healthy beer, a Trappist beer or any kind of unique IPA or flavour, chances are there is a microbrewery that caters to that specific need.
As a result, there have been some truly bizarre beers that have ever been made.
The Hymn To Ninkasi
The Hymn to Ninkasi is one of the oldest surviving pieces of writing in history and dates back to around 2500BC, although it is highly likely that it existed for a long time before this and was only committed to writing later.
It is both a song of worship to the Sumerian goddess of beer and also a recipe for how to make beer, a drink that at the time was drunk as much to avoid being poisoned by water in an age before filtration.
This is itself fascinating, but in 2013, a team made up of University of Chicago archaeologists and Great Lakes Brewing Company brewers worked together to recreate the recipe as close as possible with recreations of ancient tools.
The resulting drink was found to be a bit too sour but given that beer was often sweetened with honey and dates back then, that might be a case of tastes changing over 5000 years.
The Beard Beer
Beer requires a source of yeast that is used in the fermentation process, which can come from a range of odd sources, some of which are too salacious to be published here.
However, one of the oddest was the yeast strain grown in the beard of a microbrewery’s master brewer. After someone joked it would be a great place to grow yeast, The Beard Beer was brewed and is exactly as odd as you would expect.
Hello Kitty Beer
Sanrio’s adorable cat mascot has been the face of a lot of strange and bizarre products owing to the crossover success of the mouthless cat. One of the most bizarre, and the least likely product to ever be
Given the issues with having cartoon characters on beer cans and bottles
Sapporo Space Barley
On the face of this, Sapporo Space Barley looks and largely tastes like any other beer. However, the difference is that whilst most barley used in beer is grown on terra firma, this limited edition brew uses barley grown from seeds stored in the International Space Station.
The seeds were originally stored in the Russian module as part of an experiment, and when they made it back to solid ground they were brewed into a beer, with proceeds going to help advance science education.