Brewers add a lot of things to beer besides barley, hops, and yeast—fruit, spices, nuts, and even weirder things, such as peppers, carrots
, stag semen
, and even fish bladders
. And while fish bladders, more accurately isinglass, don’t add flavor, some breweries have used another fishy product that does: squid ink.
Go to most any Italian restaurant and you’ll find squid ink pasta on the menu; the ink from cuttlefish adds a delicate brininess and a dark sable color. Some breweries have adopted the practice for their beers. Marin Brewing Co.
, in Northern California, has partnered with Monkey Paw Brewing
from San Diego to make a gose (a sour German beer) with squid ink
. While gose is traditionally made with saline water, adding salty finish to balance out the sour and brightness of the beer, Marin has substituted it with the similarly briny squid ink. The result is a dark black beer with a white head, and a subtle fishy aroma, but no strong fish flavor.
Other breweries, including 3 Sheeps Brewing Co.
, have used squid ink to make a black IPA. Both breweries have found that, while the beer might be well received from those who drink it, it’s still a tough sell for anyone who has yet to try it. It might not be the future of brewing, but it’s still an interesting trend for a bold drinker to try.
Photo via Marin Brewing
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