Odd beer flavorings - that weren't bad

So last night I had an odd experience. I had some onion-flavored beer.

Now I’m a big one for saying that you don’t mess with beer. Beer need not be improved on. But I’ve tried wheat beers with a hint of blueberry and other flavors.

So when I was offered this beer I though - even though it sounded nasty - what the heck, I’ll try it.

It was surprisingly not bad. I enjoyed it with chips so much I decided to buy fries and see what that was like. Fries and onion-flavored beer went very well together.

I don’t see it catching on, and I doubt I would purposely buy a case, but heck, it was something different.

How about you, what beers have you had?

Tommyknocker has a lemon grass beer that it all right.

I’ve had a good blueberry beer. I’ve also had a bad one. A good beer in that regard uses the fruit for a hint of flavor, and a good touch of acidity. They shitty ones make the beer taste cloying and like a malty wine cooler.

But, lemongrass is probably the oddest beer I’ve had.

Last fall I had some raspberry- and banana-flavored beers (this one, actually) that my friends had bought in Belgium. The banana-flavored one especially was surprisingly good. The raspberry beer tasted like müsli.

It was not good, but I feel that I must post this as a warning. Do not, I must insist, try any smoked salmon beer. It is not right, although it is quite memorable.

Pizza beer, brewed with garlic, basil and oregano.

It wasn’t bad, and you really couldn’t taste the spices. But it wasn’t great, so I likely wouldn’t get it again.

I’ve had a couple of pepper beers (jalapeno, I think). One was a special brewing at a brewpub; I think they toned it down too much for mass appeal, and this is coming from a guy who isn’t a real heat-freak. Another was brewed by a friend and it was just right.

That sounds like a beer that would go very well with a steak, or even be a good marinade for fajitas or something.

I tried some Pumpkin-flavored beer from Trader Joe’s that I thought was really good. It was really good with cheese/sausage/crackers.

I just tried that the other night. Nicely done, well balanced even though the oregano is mostly what you taste. I don’t know if I’ll ever have another, but it was alright. Gives you the rotten wind something fierce though.

Shipyard Brewery makes some great blueberry and raspberry-flavored beers. The blueberry one actually smells like blueberry muffins! My friends all swear by their seasonal pumpkin-flavored beer, but I’m not a big fan of pumpkin-flavored anything.

I had a few sips of a coconut beer at a bar in Brussels that bragged about having 3000 beers. Even more impressive, they had the right “glass” for it: a coconut shell.

It wasn’t horrible.

One of my favourite beers is a wheat beer with apple flavour produced by a Quebec-based microbrewery (Unibroue’s Ephemere Pomme). We stock up on the stuff anytime we happen to be visiting La Belle Province.

I’ve also tried an orange-flavoured ale (Great Lakes Brewery’s Orange Peel Ale), which was surprisingly pleasant and not overwhelmingly citrusy.

…but I guess neither of those counts as particularly odd, in a grand scheme of things (esp when compared to smoked salmon - where’s that pukey smiley when you need him?)

Belgian witbier, of which Blue Moon is a surprisingly good American example, is traditionally flavored with coriander and bitter orange peel. I enjoy them from time to time.

21st Amendment does a Watermelon Wheat that I really like. It’s interesting and refreshing on a summer day.

Pyramid does a decent Apricot Weizen, but one of our local brewpubs does a better version, IMO.

This same brewpub (Third Street Aleworks) has also done other interesting fruit beers; cherry, blueberry, raspberry, but my favorite beer by them is definitely their Chile Ale, Cerveza de Santa Rosa. It’s got a real kick to it. It makes my lips tingle and then cools them down at the same time! A really neat beer.

Russian River makes a sour blonde ale with pluots, that I tried for the first time a couple of weeks ago with my son on his 21st birthday. He ordered their sampler, and of all of their (awesome) beers, he liked the Compunction the best and ordered a glass of that one. It was interesting. Almost like drinking vinegar, but in a good way.

Buffalo Bill’s makes two great beers - a Pumpkin Ale and an Orange Blossom Cream Ale I never miss picking up a six pack of either one when they hit the shelves.

Oops forgot one. My husband and I did a tasting tour of all of the brewpubs in San Francisco a couple of months ago. One of the neatest beers I tasted was the Golden Vanilla at Thirsty Bear. I’ve never been a big fan of the food or the beer at Thirsty Bear, and I expected this beer to be disappointing, but it was really great. It kind of tasted like a cookie in a beer. Sounds odd, but was very tasty.

I have had several brands of Espresso Stout that were very good.

Lime (juice) and lager hits the spot on a hot summer’s day.

I don’t know about smoked salmon beer, but I’ve had Rauchbier in Germany, and I think it rocks the house.

O’Fallon Brewery in O’Fallon, Missouri, makes a smoked porter that’s pretty damned tasty.

Owing to a lack of hops, some colonial era brewers made beer flavored with spruce tips. I found a recipe for it (you have to use new tips, gathered in early spring). The resultant beer was surprisingly good, but did not age well. It was like a porter, with a dash of turpentine!

I tried a double chocolate stout that was smooth and tasty. I would have that again any day - and I am not a chocolate junkie!

I got an awesome blueberry beer (on several different occasions during the same week) at Boston Beer Works by Fenway Park. It actually had blueberries bobbing around in the beer and smelled like a blueberry muffin. Normally, I would have expected it to be horrendous dreck, but it was a little slice of wonderful.

The watermelon beer on the other hand…nasty.

Also, Saranac makes a good caramel stout