By Aaron Ramson
Look, I get it. You throw some glitter in the keg, or you act like you made your beer out of fried chicken; maybe you even come up with a clever name first and then build a beer’s gimmick around that. It’s a way to get attention, I know. I know.
But just so we’re clear, it’s still ridiculous, and I still need to make fun of you for it.
Gimmicks in beer have existed since 1914, when green beer was created for the first time (as touched on in my article “This Is Why I Hate), and they’ve only gotten more and more over the top as time as gone by. If you thought that fried chicken beer and beard beer were ridiculous, wait’ll you see the list I’ve got for you today.
Here’s four more of the most redic beers that mankind has come up with.
4) Moonshot 69 Caffeinated Beer – 4.5% ABV, New Century Brewing Co.
Ah, the early 2000’s. A time when Four Loko, Tilt and Joose were killing the stimulant + booze game (as well as anybody cretin-ish enough to drink Four Loko till their heart exploded), Redline energy drinks were sending people to the ER with heart palpitations, and creating a craft beer whose gimmick was caffeine seemed to make total sense. As featured in the 2011 documentary “Beer Wars,” Moonshot 69 was created by a Ronda Kallman, a former co-founder of the Boston Brewing Company, after she saw a chance to exploit a niche in the caffeinated beverage market. The reason the niche existed was because no craft beer drinker wanted caffeine added to their fricken’ lager beer.
The beer was scorned and mocked upon release, and poor Ronda eventually had to give up the ghost when the FDA put a ban on alcoholic beverages that had caffeine added to them, effectively killing Four Loko, Tilt, Joose, and Moonshot 69.
EDIT: The Four Loko you see on gas station shelves in 2018 is not the same potent, liquid-crack that it used to be. It was reformulated to meet FDA standards and is now just nasty malt liquor without any of the liquid-speedball characteristics that made people want to drink it in the first place. RIP, Four Loko.
3) I Can’t Believe It’s Actually Butter – 10.5% ABV, New Image Brewing
Sigh. I’m really trying hard not to go down a rabbit hole here. This beer is a pastry stout; those new breeds of stout that all contain cocoa nibs, cinnamon, coconut, and other flavors that make it not have to actually taste like a beer. Now, some may feel like that entire trend is a gimmick, so New Image Brewing got all Inception on us and decided to go gimmick within a gimmick, and added butter flavored extracts to their pastry stout. The press release for this product states: “This will actually taste more like an authentic baked good than most pastry stouts you’ll have tried.”
Oh good! I was afraid it would taste like beer or something.
2) Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout – 7.5% ABV, Wyncoop Brewing Co.
Oh Colorado, you do not disappoint. For the uninitiated, rocky mountain oysters are the name given to sliced and fried bull testicles, and Denver’s Wyncoop brewery proudly uses three balls-per-barrel in this stout recipe. Described as “a meaty foreign-style stout, Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is an assertive, viscous stout with deep flavors of chocolate, espresso, and nuts.”
The balls this brewery must have release something like this! And the gall to use the term “nuts” to describe the flavor; oy vey what a cocky thing to write. Had enough of the puns yet? Me too. I’ll see myself out.
1) The End of History – 55% ABV, Brewdog
You say Rogue made a beer inspired by donuts? That’s cute. You think bull-ball beer is cray-cray? Aww, aren’t you in for a surprise.
Scottish brewing company Brewdog does not mess around when it comes to gimmicks. Having previously created the words strongest beer twice with Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32% ABV) and Sink the Bismark! (41%), Brewdog outdid themselves and set a new record with the 55% ABV The End of History.
Not being satisfied with making a Belgian blonde ale that’s stronger than Wild Turkey 101 (50.5% ABV), they decided to completely give no fucks, and package each bottle of End of History in TAXIDERMIED ROADKILL. The animals used were stoats and squirrels, and it seriously creeps me out to see a stoat with a beer bottle rammed up its ass. Only 12 bottles were made, and those sold out almost instantly at upwards of $900 a bottle; making this the most extreme gimmick beer ever.