After knocking back a few 11+% imperial stouts and Triple IPAs we got thinking, just how strong do beers get? It turns out that in the last few years, there has been a fierce battle raging between a few renegade brewers: The battle to brew the strongest beer
In 2008, German brewer Schorschbraeu was awarded a world record for the world's strongest beer and hence was one of the very first breweries to be recognised for their high alcohol brews. This traditional Eisbock clocked in at a modest 31% ABV.
It was this event that grabbed the attention of the lads from Brewdog over in Scotland. Renowned for their clever marketing strategies and creativity, they decided to rise to the challenge. The result was the 2009, 32% imperial stout known as Tactical Nuclear Penguin.
Since most brewing yeasts can't survive at such high alcohol levels, brewers have to get imaginative with their brewing techniques, using different yeast strains and freezing cold temperatures to make their brews stronger and stronger.
Brewing such a strong beer in an otherwise quite conservative beer market gained Brewdog an awful lot of media attention and a lot of it was negative. In typical Brewdog fashion they hit back by creating a 0.5% ABV “worlds weakest beer”, cheekily naming it “Nanny State”.
For years, Schorschbraeu and Brewdog continued to go punch for punch: 40% led to 41% then 44%, until Brewdog released “The End of History”.
Packaged inside real roadkill (yes, you pour the beer from actual dead squirrels) “The End of History” clocked in at a staggering 55% ABV. At $780 a bottle, the beer containing hints of juniper berries, mead, and nettles is also the most expensive.