There's a little bit of mad scientist hiding in most brewers. And at last week's Great American Beer Festival, several of them had the chance to let it out.
While most of the approximately 800 breweries at the festival had an IPA, stout or lager available for tasting, there were several offerings that veered sharply off the traditional path, resulting in beers that were anywhere from unusual to the downright bizarre.
In many cases, these are stunt beers that are brewed specifically to capture the attention of an overwhelmed audience. But by using that to lure in consumers, brewers also have a chance to showcase their flagship offerings and build a core following. And that core following is the first step in becoming an industry icon.