by SethPlattner, October 03, 2007
Finally, Fall is upon us, and that can mean only one thing: Beer! Well, that shouldn't be your only concern, but with football season in full swing and the commencement of Oktoberfest, a lot of us out there have beer on the brain. With that in mind, we here at Inventor Spot bring you 10 of the ballsiest beers we could find.
What makes them so noteworthy?
Well, the beers on this list push the limits of conventional brewing in a number of ways. Whether they are the stoutest of the stout, or the odd brainchild of a Japanese liquor store owner (milk beer anybody?), these ales definitely have some gusto that the rest of the beer world lacks.
10. Midas Touch Golden Elixir- The King's Beer
Besides the stout 9% ABV(alcohol by volume),Dogfish Head's Midas Touch Golden Elixir boasts a pretty interesting story behind it. Under a huge mound at the ancient Phrygian capital of Gordion in central Turkey, a University of Pennsylvania Museum expedition in 1957 excavated an intact burial chamber which likely belonged to King Midas himself. Also found inside was an ancient drinking set that, when examined, exhumed residue that revealed an ancient alcoholic beverage. Those determined brewers at Dogfish Head "recreated" this elixir--a mixture of wine, beer and honey--and got their very own Midas Touch Golden Elixir. The taste is rife with fruity notes and is served best in a clute or sniffer.
9. Mamma-Mia Pizza Beer- The Foodie's Beer
Upon hearing the name of this beer, my immediate reaction is to cringe. Although I like to drink beer with my pizza, I'm not sure how I feel about having my pizza in my beer. However, Tom and Athena Seefurth of Campton Township, Illinois claim to have created the first "culinary beer," hinting at an air of sophistication. Created in 2006, The beer contains what you would expect: tomatoes, onions, garlic, oregano, basil—everything you would find on a pizza. Locals claim it tastes pretty much like those ingredients, but there is still the flavor of beer as well. A ballsy move to use such unconventional ingredients? I'd say so. But, who knows, maybe it will catch on.
8. La Terrible - The Purist's Beer
Contrary to the name, there is nothing terrible about this French ale crafted by Unibroue brewery. Well, the 9% ABV might be a little on the dangerous side for the average drinker, but, other than that, this beer performs well. Part of Unibroue's rare collection of beers brewed with 100% raw materials, meaning that it's flavor is rich and powerful. Look out for a rather thick head on this ale, and enjoy the fruity yet malty tastes that last you all through Oktoberfest.
7. EKU 28 - The German's Beer
In the early 1950’s, the EKU brewery of Kulmbach , Germany set out to make the world's “biggest” beer. But, with traditional malt brewing techniques being a little too sissy, the beer-crazed Germans at Kulmbach doubled and sometimes even tripled the malt concentrations giving the yeast more fuel for alcoholic conversion. And, after an unheard of nine month cold storage period, the brewers got the end result: a robust beer, very sweet beer with an 11% ABV that will slap you in the face. Though not the biggest beer by any means, EKU 28 still packs a wallop and is not for the timid drinker.
6. Samichlaus - The Christmas Lush's Beer
Schloss Eggenberg brings us Samichlaus, which, as you might have guessed, means "Santa Claus" in Swiss German. The beer is only brewed once a year, on December 6 (which is the day of Saint Nicholas), which makes it a relatively rare brew. It is in the style of a Bavarian bock, and is fermented slowly over ten months so there is very little sugar left in the final beer. The process also allows for the development of a mind-numbing 14% ABV that goes perfect with those dysfunctional family holidays. With one of the highest ABVs in the world, this beer will make you forget all about your dead-beat brother and senial grandfather.
5. Westvleteren 12 - The Monk's Beer
The Westvleteren 12 beer brewed by Westvleteren monks pushes the envelope not only because of it's flavor and alcohol content, but because of the strictness under which it's produced. The Westvleteren Monks don't take no crap from no body when making their beer, and, despite their distributors nail biting, they take their time to craft and delicate beer that represents their dedication to brewing. And they're so successful at it that the Westvleteren 12 consistently ranks among the best beers in the world—even taking the #1 spot on BeerAdvocate.com —and there is even a black market for most of their ales. The Westvleteren 12 is so named due to its 12% ABV and it runs deep with rich aromas and tastes of cocoa, raisins and dates. Gotta find some way to stay entertained in the monastery, right?
4. BILK - The Weird Guy's Beer
Bilk. What do you think that means? If you guessed beer + milk...then you're right! Oh yes, a Japanese liquor store owner has fused beer with milk to make Bilk. What a name, right? The mix is roughly 30% milk and 70% beer, and was conceived to help alleviate the amount of overproduced milk in the region. The process of making Bilk doesn't differ much from that of regular brewing, and the result is actually quite similar to normal beer, but with a strong taste of milk and something fruity. Though only available in Japan, Bilk has been receiving a lot of media attention, and the beer is often sold out. If that keeps up, we might see it stateside yet.
3. Smoked Porter - The Hunter's Beer
As you may have gathered, the Smoked Porter from The Alaskan Brewing Company has an unconventional flavor mixed in with the normal brew of barley and hops. One would think that a smokey flavor would be intrusive in a beer, but this beer has actually won numerous awards and wowed audiences at beer festivals all over the country. They get their signature taste by taking selected malts prior to brewing and smoking them in small batches under carefully controlled conditions in a commercial food smoker using local alder wood. The resultant beer is definitely different, but good nonetheless, and they only produce a limited amount in vintage years, so start looking now if you want to try it.
2. Kelpie - The Salty Dog's Beer
Taking their cue from Scottish coastal and island farmers, Heather Ale Ltd. developed Kelpie, which is brewed with seaweed. Nearly 400 years ago, these farmers used seaweed beds to grow their barley crop, thus the resulting beer ingredient made for a beer with a distinct taste of the ocean. It caught on with locals and visitors alike, so Heather Ale Ltd. kept producing and it still remains a favorite of certain Scotsmen.
1. Utopia - The Extremist's Beer
This is easily the ballsiest beer on our list because of one simple fact: It has a 24% ABV, which rivals some liqueurs. Not carbonated and meant to be served at room temperature, Utopia is part of the Samual Adams Extreme Beer collection and has a warm sweet taste of vanilla, oak and caramel. But rest assured that this beer, who's ABV smashes records and gets stronger and stronger every year, is only meant for the serious beer drinker who knows a thing or two about the complexities of ales. Wine Enthusiast Magazine gave Utopia its highest rating back in 2003, but this beer still stands the test of time due to Sam Adam's dedication to quality brewing.
And there we have a stout list of a few beers that are guaranteed to tantalize and intrigue your taste-buds. As you've seen, they range from the weird to the wonderful (and maybe even worrisome), but they all deserve to be called a beer with balls.