Not to sound overly trite or cliche, but the act of brewing beer is truly a balance of art and science. Obviously, there are certain elements that must be present (hops, malt, water, yeast) and the process itself is largely dependent on precise timing and proper sanitization. That’s the science. Everything else? The balance of ingredients, the addition of unique additives, the flashes of insight that provide some small variable which results in big flavor? Artistry, through and through.
If you’re thinking “None of those sound all that appealing,” you’re not alone. To be fair, they’re all creative and unexpected, but it seems as if the brewers were seeking some sort of shock value. It’s almost as though each of these beers is a dare to the consumer. The guy who drinks a pint of goat brains knows that by the time he gets to the bottom of that glass he’s got a story to tell, right? There’s nothing that breaks the ice in a small talk setting quite like saying, “I drink goat brains.” But, really, please, can’t someone stumble upon a unique ingredient that’s actually noted for, well, you know, tasting good?
Enter Jared Rouben, a trained chef who also happens to be the brewmaster at Chicago’s own Moody Tongue Brewing Co. He looked at this landscape of outlandish beer ingredients and thought, “I can do better.” The result? Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner.
Yeah, Shaved Black Truffle. As in truffles, the rare fungal delicacy that can sell for as much as $3,600 per pound. In fact, Rouben’s brew will be retailing (on a limited basis) for upwards of $120 for a 22-ounce bottle. That’s some expensive beer to be sure. But Rouben believes that his unique recipe is worth it.
“I had the opportunity to use one of the best ingredients in the world,” he said. “It’s like being given the keys to a race car. I shaved each truffle by hand. I reached out to other chefs to get as much information as possible. I did as much homework as I could to get it just right.”
Well, consider me sold. I’d love to try this beer and get a taste of something so delicate and delicious. What do you guys think? Is Shaved Black Truffle Pilsner something you’d like to try? What other unique ingredients would you like to see included in a beer? We’d love to hear your thoughts!