Bull Testicles & Craft Beer: When an April Fool’s Joke Becomes Reality

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Tony Maples Photography


It all began as a jest created for April Fool’s Day by a brewery in Denver. Wynkoop Brewing Company joked that they were using “one of Colorado’s unique culinary jewels” in a special beer. Known as Rocky Mountain or prairie oysters (often called calf fries in Texas), bull testicles are the star of recipes and songs, and there are even festivals that are dedicated to this comestible whose origins are based on complete utilization of animal processing. But when this beer gag when viral, real requests for a real brew started coming in through the front door and online. So the brewery rose to the challenge, and the joke became a reality!

Bull Testicles & Craft Beer: When an April Fool's Joke Becomes Reality

Photo: Facebook/Wynkoop Brewing Co.

After some experimentation, the recipe has been fine-tuned. Making Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout includes slicing and roasting the ‘parts’ before mixing into the mash. About three testicles are used per barrel. A smidge of sea salt is also added to enrich flavor. Once brewing is completed and a glass is poured, the coloring is thickly dark, the taste is dry and chocolatey, with coffee notes. Overall considered to be a well-balanced craft with velvet mouthfeel, it’s worthy of being made year after year. As an added bonus, Rocky Mountain oysters are rich in vitamins, minerals, and protein, with no effect on human hormone balance.

Bull Testicles & Craft Beer: When an April Fool's Joke Becomes Reality

Photo: Facebook/Brad Waldera

Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout is a foreign-style stout made with roasted barley, seven specialty grains, Styrian Goldings hops, and freshly seared bull testicles. The beer has a 7.2% ABV and an IBU of 52. Available seasonally at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, located in Denver, Colorado, at 1634 18th Street. Their hours are Monday through Thursday 11:00 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m., and Sunday 11:00 a.m. to midnight. Try just a taste, enjoy a cold goblet, or crack open a can. The full kitchen onsite serves lunch and dinner, so drink the ‘oysters’ then try the bison meatloaf!