As always lots has been happening in the brewing world with the most interesting news story we came across an update on which brewer holds the title for the world’s strongest beer. For those of you who haven’t heard about it yet, experimental European brewers have created a 60% alcohol (ABV) beer! That’s no typo and no joke either!
Over the last 12 months the battle to own the title of champion extreme brewer has been fierce with three brewers fighting for bragging rights. Here’s a quick snap shot of the action:
Nov 09 – Tactical Nuclear Penguin by Scottish brewery BrewDog (32% ABV; $180/330ml)
Dec 09 – Schorschbock by German brewer Schorschbrau (40% ABV)
Feb 10 – Sink the Bismark by Scottish brewer BrewDog (41% ABV; $210/330ml)
May 10 – Schorschbock by German brewer Schorschbrau (43% ABV)
Mar 10 – Oblix by Dutch brewer ‘t Koelschip (45% ABV)
Jul 10 – The End of History by Scottish brewer BrewDog (55% ABV; $800/330ml)
Jul 10 – Start the Future by Dutch brewer ‘t Koelschip (60% ABV; RRP $45/330ml)
So how do you get a beer to 60% I hear you ask?
Reasonably simple…. brewers start with a high alcohol beer such as a double or even quadruple IPA (Indian Pale Ale) and freeze distil it – effectively the opposite to how spirits are distilled. Water is frozen out of the brew, with a higher concentrate beer remaining. This is done a number of times to create a very high ABV beer. These beers are designed to be sipped like a spirit and enjoyed in small quantities.