by Kyle Pogue
I love beer. We throw that word around a lot in our society. Love. It becomes meaningless in overuse. I am not using it that way. When I tell you that I love beer, I am telling you something real and deeply felt. I am telling you about a love that makes me a better person. I don’t drink casually. I drink passionately. So much so, that sometimes the passion overcomes me and I don’t even remember what happened in the lustful drinking hours of the previous evening. Sometimes I have to apologize to friends for how the love of beer has made me act. I’m a romantic.
So, writing about strange brews is right in my wheelhouse. Go out and indulge in the most exotic flavors that The Capital of Beer has to offer and then tell the world about it? Don’t threaten me with a good time.
We’re going to start at Funkwerks. This tiny brewery, tucked away in the industry park area of town, is quietly making the best damn saison beers around. The very nature of a saison makes it a fairly strange brew, and the complexity of flavor in Funkwerks beers is nothing short of amazing. The beer I want to recommend to you adventurous drinkers is The Paisley. I drank it, thought about it, took notes, thought about it some more, and I still don’t know how to describe the taste and experience of this beer. I can only tell you that it is the best beer that I’ve tried this year, hands down. Go drink one and see if you can come up with the right words.
If you’re looking for a truly psychedelic experience in beer drinking, I’ll direct you to Black Bottle Brewery. I sat in their tap room and drank a beer made from Count Chocula cereal while listening to Hendrix and Pink Floyd. The Cerealicious line from BB is rad.
Want me to up the weirdness ante? No problem. Head down to Horse & Dragon Brewing and try out a beer made from cucumbers and basil: The Curious Cricket. The Perambulation Ale is made with a combination of dandelion root and leaf and a healthy dose of yarrow flower. Just try their Rum Barrel Aged Coconut Porter. H&D continues to push the envelope of strange brewing and has yet to come up short. I tell friends that if you’re only going to go to one brewery in town, make it Horse & Dragon.
These are the best beers that I found out on the radical fringe. And while I highly recommend them, I will also be the first to tell you not to trust me. No two people drink the same. Leave behind the comfort of normality and seek out your own strange brew. And don’t be afraid to go where the beer leads you, friends. Fortune favors the brave.