As the craft beer market gets more and more crowded, brewers have to pull all sorts of hijinks to stand out from the pack—throwing Mangalitsa pigs heads into the boil, for example, or fermenting with yeast harvested from a dude’s beard.
With all the exceptional offerings out there, it can sometimes feel silly to order a wacky ale that’s good for a laugh, but doesn’t satisfy down to the bottom of the pint glass. But if there’s one time of year to enjoy some offbeat brews, it’s Christmas. They’re great stocking stuffers; they’re more fun to share with non-beer geeks who aren’t going to get hyped about, say, an exceptionally well-balanced pale ale; and some of them are actually really, really tasty.
Here are some of our favorite offbeat brews to break out during the holiday season.