USA Today has an article on extreme beers—for some values of "extreme."
Though smarter marketing and better quality control have laid the foundation for the surge in interest, the true excitement is generated by brewers unleashing their creativity and honing their craft. Recent brewing trends include aging beers in wood barrels to give them winelike complexity; incorporating unusual ingredients such as maple syrup, raisins, chocolate and sweet potatoes; and boosting the level of hops and alcohol to achieve more powerful, intense flavors.
Some so-called extreme brewers, such as Sam Calagione of Delaware-based Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, are doing things that are unclassifiable. His Midas Touch Golden Elixir beer is inspired from an analysis of residue found on crockery in King Tut’s tomb; his Pangea incorporates ingredients from each of the world’s seven continents; and he’s working on a version of tej, an African beverage flavored with hops and honey.
It’s mostly one of those somebody-discovered-an-interesting-beer puff pieces, but it’s not all bad. Of course, extreme is relative; most homebrewers wouldn’t bat an eye at maple syrup, raisins, or chocolate (props to the sweet potatoes though). And we’re not even close to truly extreme like Sam Adams Utopias or the guy who wants to brew a poultry ale…