I find most "add some bark" or "keep it in that barrel" beer dumb bad. Dead-end-y. We don't have to go too much into that. But I really like this idea:
Saskatoon brewery Prairie Sun is helping that effort with Meewasin 80 ale, and it’s quite authentic. The custom brew not only adopts the name of the trail, but some of its flavours. It is brewed with branches from spruce and pine trees. The branches come from trees along the Meewasin Valley. “It doesn't taste like spearmint gum. It's more of an aroma thing. It's a very refreshing light-tasting beer,” said Prairie Sun's Heather Williams.
See, making up phoney history to pretend you are making a historic beer is dumb. First, it is easily found out and, second, the true historic retro-brews are far better. Similarly, adding an odd ingredient makes a beer... wait for it... taste like that ingredient. But making a beer that tastes like a place? That is cool.
Why? Because places are full of smells, sounds and colours. And memories. And taste and alcohol tickle our memories. So, could a beer organize those things to recreate enough experience of a place and time that it becomes replicable? That it would work for most people, evoke the desired response through organic natural process? Maybe not terroir beer as in beer from a patch of soil in Stan's sense - but still beer of a place, a beer that expresses geographically. How complex could it get without being about the needy brewer, just the landscape?