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Brief Published: 1 Aug 2014

Extreme Beer Flavours

Moody Tongue truffle-flavoured beer

According to Colorado-based trade group the Brewers Association, sales of craft beer rose by 18% in the US in the first half of 2014. Showing no sign of slowing down, in June, the category comprised 3,040 domestic craft breweries, with almost 2,000 more set to open in the near future.

To stand out in this saturated marketplace, creative brewers are looking to unconventional, and sometimes extreme, flavour iterations.

  • Luxe Lager: Chicago-based brewery Moody Tongue launched its Shaved Australian Black Truffle Pilsner, priced at $120 for 22oz. The truffle-infused drink aligns with the company's 'culinary brewing' philosophy – where recipes for brews are treated as if the end product were a meal. The truffles are hand-shaved and added to the brew at varying temperatures to create a complex flavour profile.  
  • Into the Blue: Marshall Wharf Brewing Co. in Maine produces Sea Belt Scotch Ale – a seaweed-infused beer made with the brewery's MacFindlay Scotch Ale and dried Maine sugar kelp. The locally harvested seaweed adds a salty kick to the malty flavour.
  • Extreme Brew: Pushing ingredient innovation to its limits, Virginia-based Lost Rhino Brewing Company launched its Bone Dusters Paleo Ale – a beer brewed with yeast scraped from a 35-million-year-old whale fossil. The concept was conceived by Jason Osborne, co-founder of Paleo Quest – a US non-profit organisation dedicated to advancing paleontology and geology.

For more trends in the alcohol sector, see Alcohol Trends 2014, Drinks Development: Alcohol and Carlsberg x Nordic Food Lab.

Also see Forgotten Foods, which explores the resurgence of ancient ingredients, and look out for Extreme Ingredients (which highlights extreme edibles and preparation processes).