The craft-beer explosion means that beer has been crafted from some unexpected ingredients: Toffee apples. Sake. Coffee. And that's just one company. Now southeast England's Wild Beer Co. has unveiled its latest creation, Of the Sea, which was made with 30 live lobsters — no more, no less, and alive. For a while.
“We’d far rather brew something genuinely interesting and one that gets an emotional reaction from people than just another beer,” the brewery's co-founder, Andrew Cooper, told The Huffington Post. He was not referring to the lobster's fates.
The new brew was inspired by the founders' fondness for lobster bisque. So they essentially created a giant soup, boiling 30 snappers in a giant vat of water, after which they ate the meat, then grilled and re-boiled the shells. Adding yeast, they let it ferment for one week and mature for two. The resulting brew was flavored with cockles, dulse seaweed and sea herbs, and seasoned with Cornish sea salt, saffron and star anise for a "briny hit and rich smoothness which accentuates the taste of the sea."
One reviewer had a simpler take: "A weird experience that really works.”
The beer has a hefty 7% ABV and is a limited run of 8,000 bottles, available for about $4.40 apiece. Wild Beer Co. exports to 20 countries, but if you can't find Of the Sea near you, Maine's Oxbow Brewing Co. offers the 4.5% ABV lobster beer Saison Dell'Aragosta, and Delaware's Dogfish Brewing Co. has a chocolate-lobster hybrid Choc Lobster, which has a 5.6% ABV and a greater following than you'd expect; it's been brewed every summer since 2012.