Try these Denver Durian beers – made with the stinkiest fruits in the world


Durian is known in many places as the king of fruits. But his smelly reputation and spiky surface made this Southeast Asian native a monarch more tyrannical than benevolent. In fact, several major cities in Asia have banned people from eating or opening the fruit in public places because of the smell, which has been compared to sewage, sports socks and rotten vegetables.

Still, durian is used in many dishes in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and other countries, from curries and fried snacks to sticky rice, pies and cakes. And on November 26, you can actually try two durian beers that are operated at Jade Mountain Brewery & Teahouse in Aurora and Wah Gwaan Brewing in Denver.

“I’ve been talking about making durian beer forever, threatening to make one, really,” said Sean Guerrero, owner and chief brewer of Jade Mountain. Originally from Aurora, Guerrero spent three years running a brewery in China, that’s when he first tried the fruit and considered it an ingredient. “But I don’t even think it’s the strangest beer I’ve ever made,” he adds. A candidate for this honor could be Player 456, a German-style gose that Guerrero recently made with squid ink.

In Wah Gwaan, head brewer Dickie Tucker, who is of Thai descent, also wanted to make a beer with durian for some time, and he recently decided to “go for it,” says brewery co-owner Harsha Maragh. While durian is not native to Jamaica, where much of Wah Gwaan’s culinary inspiration comes from, it fits perfectly with the brewery’s other tropical fruit beers, like his Trop Queen Jackfruit Kolsch.

“We used real frozen durian and made it into a puree,” says Maragh. “We wanted the real flavor of the fruit to come out, so we stuck with the real fruit instead of a concentrate or extract. It’s definitely not as potent as fresh durian. And the taste? She describes it as “super sweet, creamy, lemony and with a flavor similar to pineapple,” adding, “It also smells and tastes like sulfur.”

Click to enlarge Sean Guerrero of Jade Mountain transforms durian fruit for a beer.  - JONATHAN SHIKE

Sean Guerrero of Jade Mountain transforms durian fruit for a beer.

Jonathan shike

Once the beer is drawn, however, Maragh says the sulfur smell will have been muted, allowing the true flavor of the durian to come out. “We tend to have adventurous beer drinkers looking for more exotic flavors in beer, so I think this reception will be similar to our jackfruit beer,” she notes.

At Jade Mountain, Guerrero used six large, fresh durians, and while they’re in season, they don’t come cheap – costing $ 50 each due to their long, complicated journey across the Pacific. He spent a few hours dealing with them earlier this week, opening his brewery’s garage doors and wearing gloves.

But the smell wasn’t as bad as its vile reputation, perhaps because the fruit wasn’t overripe or because it had been frozen for import – or just because some people may not. smell the stench as much as others. . At worst, it smelled like rotten fruit mixed with old cheese, Guerrero said. The flavor is a whole different matter, however – reminiscent of a combination of pineapple, coconut, and persimmon.

The resulting beer, called Durian King, will be a mixture of sweet and sour, as Guerrero also adds vanilla, lactose, and his homemade Koji yeast strain, which is used for sake, shochu, miso sauce, and soy sauce in Asia. Many other Jade Mountain beers are also made with Koji yeast, as it imparts “clean, tropical, and sour pineapple notes,” he says. Most are around 4 to 5 percent ABV.

“Nobody messes with this fruit, so it was funny that we both did this at the same time,” Guerrero said. The beers will be typed on Friday, November 26 in their respective breweries.


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