A new Excelsior Brewing concoction takes locally sourced ingredients to a whole new level.
Now on tap is the Excelsior's latest brew called the Milfoil Lakehouse Saison Ale. It has an "exotic, invasive flavor," they say, from ingredients like Minnetonka honey and Minnesota wild rice, as well as a dash of Eurasian milfoil and zebra mussel shells.
That's right - the aquatic invasive species can be intentionally consumed for your pleasure without accidentally taking in a mouthful of lake water.
“We’ve had some raised eyebrows and people really skeptical about it. We wanted to push the envelope with this one,” John Paul Awad, one of the brewery’s leaders, told the Star Tribune. The special species are a "novelty" more than a flavor enhancer.
Zebra mussels are edible, experts say, but some federal agencies do not recommending eating them, the Star Tribune reports.
The Excelsior brew uses only a dash of the mussels with the shells; the meat is removed.
Zebra mussels have made their way into almost 200 Minnesota lakes, and Eurasian milfoil has spread to more waterways, according to the Associated Press. As craft breweries continue to pop up, some try to distinguish themselves with bold, unique flavors.
Ryan Anderson, the man behind MNbeer.com, tells the Star Tribune some flavors popping up across the country include ingredients from seaweed and "fish bladder, to the dried yeast from a brewer's beard."
So would you try it?