The Weirdest Things Beer Can Be Made Of

Craft beer is fast replacing mainstream beers, but are some craft brewers being a little too risqué with their ingredients?

According to ABS data, Australians are guzzling 1.7 billion litres of it annually. That’s enough to fill about 670 Olympic-size swimming pools.

So it’s safe to say, Australians love their beer. Now with the emergence of brewing craft beer, the traditional ingredients of beer; water, starch, yeast, and hops have evolved. Brewers are now starting to experiment with different flavours and yeast sources. Below is a list of some of the stranger, more experimental ingredients that go into craft beer.


The beer, known as Flying Dog Pearl Necklace Oyster Stout, draws the natural salinity of the oyster by adding them to the beer kettle when brewing. The result: a beer with brackish undercurrents that contributes to the roasted, chocolate flavours of the stout.


The beer, Birrificio le Baladin Al-iksir, uses Scottish whiskey yeasts harvested from the island of Islay to ferment the ale. This particular yeast gives the beer a drier flavour profile with far more carbonation.


Italian scientists discovered that hornets store grape-skin yeasts in their stomach in the winter months. This fungus is potent enough to ferment wine, bread, and beer. The research led Birreria Calabrona to trial different brews until they came up with their final product: hornet’s yeast beer.

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