Inventive breweries are going to wild ends in their attempts to make beer better (or at least, weirder). We've told you about an ice cream-flavored beer, one made with real Sriracha, beer that's been to space, and even iced coffee that tastes like beer. But this latest offering, from Oxbow Brewery in Newcastle, Maine, pushes the boundaries of what you want wetting your whistle. Their new brew, called Saison dell’Aragosta, is made using live lobster.
Tim Adams, co-owner and head brewer at Oxbow, explained to Boston.com that the quirky beer was part of a collaboration with Giovanni Campari, the brewmaster at the Italian brewery Birrificio del Ducato. According to Adams, the initial plan was to create "an esoteric German beer that was low in alcohol and used wheat along with barley." But first, since they were in Maine, they went for lobster rolls.
"Giovanni turns to me and says, 'We gotta put some lobster in the beer we’re brewing,'" Adams said. "I was slightly taken aback and hesitant, but I couldn’t say no to him. The guy traveled all the way from Parma to Maine."
They purchased a dozen live lobsters and cooked them in the boiling wort—the pre-fermented mash of sugar and yeast that's created at the start of beer brewing.
"We cooked the 12 lobsters until they were done, and then we pulled them out and we ate them," Adams said. And if you have some boiling wort lying around, you might want to consider making lobster because he attests that, "I grew up in Maine and I’ve eaten plenty of lobster. But this was the best lobster I’ve ever had in my life."
But what about the beer?
After finishing it with some Maine sea salt, the flavor profile featured "a balance between the sweetness of the lobster, the sharpness of the acidity, and the salinity of the salt."
If you're interested in this crustacean-inspired brew, about 3,000 bottles-worth is available at Oxbow’s brewery in Newcastle, their Portland storefront, and select Maine bars and restaurants.