I’m not telling porkies, honest! Yesterday I found a beer that tastes primarily of bacon. Bacon is well known for its hangover curing properties but could it double up in order to get you drunk as well? The cure turned source of the problem!
Smoke, from the aptly named Weird Beard Brewing Company isn’t actually made of bacon. In fact, it’s vegan friendly. However, the aroma is dominated by the smell of smoked bacon, the sort of smell normally associated with luring the most hungover of humans down the stairs for breakfast after a long night in the pub. A smell so well associated with the morning after the night before that I found it difficult to imagine that this smell could accompany something alcoholic. The taste is slightly more subtle but the bacon theme continues. At 6% the beer is strong and smoky with meaty flavours running across your palate. The cause for the strange flavour profile of this insane beer is the style, the Rauchbier as Beer Advocate explains:
The Rauchbier style is an old German beer style, its origins go back to the 1500’s and to the district of Franconia and the town of Bamberg. It’s typically of dark colour and has similarities of the Oktoberfestbier. Green malts are literally dried over an open fire of beech wood, imparting a unique smokiness (“rauch” is German for smoke), the usage of which produces beers of an acquired taste. Imagine a smokiness so robust, so assertive, that it tastes of spiced, smoked meat.
It is perhaps of little surprise that this style of beer hails from Germany, a country renowned for Bratwurst and other smoked meat delicacies. Smoke packs a punch at an impressive, if slightly woozy-headed 6% it comes in 330ml bottles and would be the perfect accompaniment for cheese and crackers after an evening meal.
Weird Beard were formed in 2013 and have produced a number of beers based on the premise of creating some of the most experimental beers you could imagine. A quick scroll through Weird Beard’s beer selection reveals, amongst an array of interesting offerings: A mint chocolate stout, an IPA registering at 8.1% with tasting notes of bubblegum and another Rauchbeir this time with chillies for extra heat! There is nothing middle-of-the-road about a bottle of Weird Beard’s finest but that is what makes them such an interesting brewery. Until yesterday I had no idea that Weird Beard existed yet after tasting Smoke I am keen to find out more about this most experimental of brewers!