The Quest for the Highest ABV Beer

I’m already tired of this “Strongest Beer in the World” battle we’ve got going on.  Occasionally, I find a good pissing contest amusing, but they’re only interesting if it’s over something reasonable (or hilarious).  I stopped caring around 4 iterations ago, back when the Sink the Bismarck came out.  Everything since then has been stupid, irresponsible, and a lame attempt at media coverage.

It was fun for a little while, quite amusing actually.

“I hear BrewDog just came out with the world’s strongest beer!”

“Really?  32%!?!  That’s crazy!  Plus it’s a penguin.  Hilarious!”

Then it got a little more ridiculous.

“Schorschbrau just topped them!”

“Schorschbrau?  Man, I’m out of the loop.”

Followed by:

“BrewDog just took the title back!”

“What’s going on?”


“Brouwerij Het Koelschip is tops now!”

“Het Koelswhat?”


“It’s in a stoat!”

“I’m done.”

I understand that these breweries are just throwing their hats into the strongest beer ring, and hoping to get some publicity from it (it worked for Sam Adams and the Utopias); but now it’s gone too far.

Many beer purists (often times beer snobs), are arguing that it isn’t even beer.  They’re not brewing it!  It’s distilled!  It’s frozen!  It’s condensed!  It’s got magical fairy dust in it!  (who knew fairy dust wasn’t one of the four main ingredients?)  But I’m not even going to argue that.  It’s beer.  Craft brewers have been pushing the envelope for years (I’m looking at you Dogfish!) and we’ve gotten a lot of very interesting beers in the process.  Honestly, if you can call something with Aztec cocoa powder and cocoa nibs, honey, chilies, and annatto a beer, then you should probably be calling these high ABV beverages beer also (German brewing law purists just flipped out).

It’s all well and good that you’ve managed to make a beer that will ignite if you get to close to an open flame, but when is it too much?  Can you really enjoy a beer that tastes like you’re swallowing rubbing alcohol?

The battle continues to rage on.  By the time I finish this post BrewDog will have probably come back with an 80% ABV beer.  I don’t care.

Besides if I want something that high in alcohol, I’ll be drinking whiskey.


One response

  1. seanldalton

    Hear, f’ing hear.

    August 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm

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