The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Did you try the beer with the weasel poop?

Placeholder while article actions load

There were 274 beers to try at Saturday's Snallygaster beer festival, and even without rainfall that drove attendees to huddle beneath umbrellas, beer tents or even inside port-a-potties for long stretches of pseudo-shelter, it would have been a tall, expensive task to sample even five percent of the available offerings.

So what to do? The obvious move was to start with the most unusual-sounding beers on the list, the ones brewed with serrano chilies and tart cherry juice and juniper twigs and even yams, and skip the more common pumpkin and vanilla and coffee beers, fine as they are, for more unusual fare.

But wait, does that say Vietnamese coffee? I'll make an exception for a beer brewed with Vietnamese coffee, that bitter, smoky brew best consumed in small cups, with condensed milk for a bit of sweetness. Hello to Mikkeller's Beer Geek Brunch Weasel.

Now, I don't know everything there is to know about beer, or about coffee, apparently. I generally leave that to my colleagues. But I do know that Mikkeller is renowned for pushing the envelope when it comes to putting strange ingredients in its beer, and that the Denmark brewer's Beer Geek Breakfast series is one of its hallmarks. I definitely did not know what makes civet coffee unique.

From Mikkeller:

This imperial Oatmeal stout is brewed with one of the world’s most expensive coffees ...

Go on ...

... made from droppings of weasel-like civet cats.

Go on ...

The fussy Southeast Asian animal[s] are picky and will eat nothing but the best and ripest coffee berries. Enzymes in their digestive system aid the process of breaking down the beans which brews a strong, fist-in-the-air flavored coffee.

Interesting. Can I see the civet cat in action?

Well, look at that. So what we're talking about here is a beer brewed with weasel poop. And you know what? It tasted awesome. Like most 10.9 percent ABV beers, it's not something I'd want to drink more than a tasting portion of -- and for $8, it wasn't a cheap taste, either. But hey, civet coffee ain't cheap, and now I know why.

To quote Mikkeller one final time: "Who would’ve thought drinking beer that started its journey travelling through the insides of a weasel, would taste this good?"

Loading...