Howard Stern Meets Craft Brewing. Enter The Era of Shock Brews

A few weeks ago I was reading about that Finnish brewery that’s recreating a beer salvaged from a 200 year old shipwreck.  Dogfish Head has been doing that kind of thing with much, much older historical brews – the Ancient Ales Series  – for years, so the Finn’s brew concept seemed downright tame.  Move on.  So I did, soon landing on the description of an upcoming brew from a nanobrewery in Iceland.  I figured this would be good.  Any country that produced Björk could probably turn out an avant guard brew.

The brewery was Egill Skallagrimsson (probably not on ABInBev’s acquisition list) and the beer, to my only slight amazement, was Björk Stork Special Lager.  Seriously? First of all, she’s a first class loon.  A modern day Yoko Ono but without the politically-laced soft porn with John Lennon side project.  Makes Lady Gaga look like Taylor Swift during the infatuation phase with a new boyfriend.  Her fans are certified wackadoos and if the country that celebrates her as a national hero wasn’t already physically detached from every other country in the world, we’d figure out how to make it so.  Anyway, here’s what Egill Skallagrimsson said about their upcoming brew:

Magnús Per Magnússon moving an entire brewery

Magnús Ver Magnússon moving an entire brewery

Brewed in honor of our beloved Björk with all of the essence and wonder of her angelic thunder.  Aged 18 weeks atop shavings of footwear worn during her 2011 Biophilia World Tour for a unique flavor experience.  The clarity of this finest lager comes from the waters of revered Vatnajökull Glacier.  A grand lager to quench the thirst of a thousand Magnús Ver Magnússons.  In the shadow of Eyjafjallajökull we bring you Iceland’s most prideful premium lagers.

Her idea of Dress Down Goose Day duds

Her idea of Dress Down Goose Day duds

I won’t be pestering my local craft beer shops to stock this stuff and won’t try to track down those 2 art students down the hall in our dorm who I was convinced were from Iceland due to the mannequins in their….never mind.  Actually, I won’t be trying to get this beer because nobody can.  Harder to get than Westy XII because it doesn’t exist.  But one day it might.  It might because there are already some outrageous brews out there.  The goose-wrapped freak up there would probably pair Icelandic Hákarl (cured shark) with one of them.  So? What would Björk drink?

In other words, what tremendously stupid craft beers are actually being brewed, bought, poured, and…*clears throat…enjoyed right now?  Two ridiculous examples immediately come to mind (excuse the horrific pun – you’ll understand in a minute unless you save yourself and stop reading right now).  Both turned out by otherwise legitimate, respected, award winning craft breweries who apparently thought it might be fun to put on the idiot caps and design the following brews:

Exibit 1:  Wynkoop Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

Trust me, it bothered me to post it too

Trust me, it bothered me to post it too

To make matters worse, they recently started canning and packaging it in two packs.  I wish I was kidding.  Brilliant marketing or idiocy on a grand scale? You know the Bud Light Lime crowd is howling at this one.

Exhibit 2:  Rogue Beard Beer

a,k,a, Shark Jump Beer

a.k.a. Shark Jump Beer

I didn’t believe this one either until I had no choice.  Well, I have a choice not to go anywhere near it.  I don’t know what they were thinking aside from the fact that they weren’t.  Perhaps a cry for attention from Rogue Nation.  Maybe they felt as though they were being left in the dust by more adventurous craft brewers.  This is their way of saying “Hey! Look at us now! We can be morons too!” Meanwhile, fully aware of my own opinions on this beer, I bought a bottle of their new VooDoo Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ale earlier today AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE THE COMBINATION OF PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA! So who’s the moron?

There are others.  These are just the two that annoyed me the most.  I assume this trend of shock brews is just in its infancy.  The gauntlet’s been brewed and bottled.  What’s your take? Should I just chill out with a sedate Ruination or am I somewhat justified?  Let me know what you think.



14 thoughts on “Howard Stern Meets Craft Brewing. Enter The Era of Shock Brews

  1. The newest trend in hair care is also the rocky mountain oyster — mixed with almond oil, bananas, oatmeal, it turns out a lovely paste that makes dry, frizzy hair smooth, lustrous, and best of all, grow faster! So, maybe like the Ent water in Lord of the Rings, this ale is best for the parched, vertically challenged seeking greater height in the world?! (the beard one just grosses me out!)

  2. I actually find the concept of Beard Beer interesting, though I’m not a big fan of Rogue itself. Kind of an interesting concept to source the supposedly new strain of yeast from his beard. At least it was sent to a lab to be cleaned up and reproduced first – I’d be a bit more worried if they just shaved him into the fermenting tanks!

    • You have a point there but I’m not sold on the whole spit shined and replicated yeast thing – seems almost as wrong as fermenting with a few plucked strands from the source.

  3. There’s most definitely a relationship between clever packaging, novelty and consumer behavior (something I’m coincidentally looking into right now), but for something like the Wynkoop stout, you may also end up with a pretty good beer. I had that at GABF this year and while it wasn’t amazing, it also didn’t taste like a humid locker room.

    Luckily, these “innovations” seem to be more one-off brews than anything. Money talks, I guess.

    • Full disclosure, I have actually eaten the real things (Rocky Mountain Oysters) in Ft. Worth but it was New Year Eve dinner (2001) with my college roommate and there was 30yr Glenfiddich involved. I’ll have to add “doesn’t taste like a humid locker room” to my tasting notes as a good thing from now on.


      • Monkey Man fed you Bull Testicles? Why am I not surprised? 😉

        Regarding Bjork, I kinda like her, though she is definitely freaky.

  4. ha ha go Rocky Mountain Oysters! I think it is absolutely hilarious. Some won’t taste it at all and others try to trick friends into tasting this local beer…I have yet to try it so I can’t say. The beard beer seems a little odd…at least with the oysters that is something people eat! ha ha (maybe I am being bias since I live in Denver 😉 ).

    I reviewed the Voodoo beer a couple weeks back…i love the combination of those flavors but not all of them are very prominent in the beer.

  5. I’ll certainly keep an open mind when I pour the latest VooDoo. I’d like to think I don’t intentionally buy beers that I suspect I won’t like. I’ll check out your review as well. Not surprised to hear that you think the flavors aren’t too aggressive. I felt that way about the Bacon Maple VooDoo. That was a bit of a disappointment. Very modest bacon note and a bit more maple.

    Probably a good thing that some friends aren’t tricked into drinking the RMOS – that would be grounds for a violent reaction if I was duped into a sip.

    Thanks for the visit and comment!


  6. Pingback: Dock Street Walker – A Beer Not Reviewed (leaving that to the real Walking Dead) | The AleMonger

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s