When I read in fredthecat's post about unusual British ales that the recipe for Devon White Ale included eggs, it got me curious about other common food ingredients I've never heard about in beer.
What about milk, cheese, fermented foods like pickles or sauerkraut, mustard, and catsup? Also, others you might think of.
thanks. while we might imagine that we modern homebrewers are more open and experimental to every taste possibility in alcohol, when you step back and look at what creating alcohol for consumption is at the most base levels we can see that there are still many things we are missing without even realizing.
some examples might be alcohol in more food-like forms, ie. lightly fermented rice porridges a la china/vietnam/japan/southern africa and more. i miss amazake a lot.
considering savory taste as a positive aspect in distilled alcohol, and perhaps fermented alcohol as well. the west generally thinks of alcohol on a baseline level as being "dry or sweet" with variations in between, but you could have alcohol theorized as a form of savory soup, like an item of a meal, fermentables prepared first and fermented, maybe with pieces of potatoes, sweet potatoes, greens in it. served in a wide bowl.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baijiu#Categorisation_by_aroma_profile
the entire world of asian alcohol is hard to truly get into. it is much more than just having a few tastings at some event and thinking one gets it.
the act of drinking it, re: mustard or even spicy peppers and chinese baiju. i feel like a poor harsh distillation is almost the desired outcome with most cheap but standardly drunk and popular er guo tuo and baijiu to add to the "manliness" aspect of drinking it. its unbelievably harsh even considering its ~55% ABV. im not personally familiar with the drinking rituals in russia and ukraine, but i know in ukraine at least it is popular to add spicy peppers to vodka.
thanks to ron pattinson, we have seen that the beer in most of europe pre 1900 had astoundingly high FGs (hitting just 40 or 50% attenuation sometimes), stuff that would likely not be considered drinkable by most people here.
i think there is still a lot of room for experimentation with some "extreme" mineral additions in beer.
you mention sauerkraut, (presumably lactic) pickles. well, it depends on the process - would you have finished pickles with lactic acid producing bacteria active, then add it to beer?? i mean sure you could, but it wouldnt be my pint of bitter by any stretch. if youre considering fermenting cucumbers in beer, im sure that could be possible, alcohol soaked cucumbers, could be a neat trick and im sure it would be a tasty enough flavour component.
hops apparently have a sedative effect, i enjoy the calming, but not sedating effect of lots of chamomile, though the taste isnt my favourite, and ive wanted to add that to some alcohol at some point. but are the chemicals that perform this soluble in alcohol?
as denny said, cheese and dairy likely not for safety reasons. blood apparently also is not a good fermentation medium. though there is milk produced vodka available, fermented through the lactose in the milk. which is also "kumis", fermented milk from the central asian countries.
i mean i guess the sky is the limit, frankly i HATE milkshake IPAs but that was a really innovative style and im sure there are some good examples out there.
at some point in the future we literally might have lab designed yeast/bacteria or extraterrestrially sourced ones.