Brewmeister's Snake Venom just set a new record for world's strongest beer at a ridiculous 67.5% ABV. To celebrate, we took a look at the top 5 strongest beers in the world and got drunk just thinking about it. Each of these beers is freeze fermented, a process through which only the strong survive. For you purists out there, Sam Adams Utopias is the strongest naturally fermented beer at 29% ABV.
BrewDog can be credited with starting the quest for stronger beer. People were outraged when BrewDog released the 18.2% ABV Tokyo*, so the they responded by spitefully making the even stronger Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32% ABV) and Sink The Bismarck (41% ABV). End of History is notable for a few reasons. First, it was created to reclaim the record for strongest beer taken from them by Dutch brewery 't Koelschip. It's $780 price tag also made it the most expensive beer in the world. The most obvious reason though is that the bottle comes in a dead squirrel. I'm a sucker for cool packaging, and taxidermied rodents make BrewDog peerless.
Schorschbräu was the first brewery to top the BrewDog record with their Schorschbock 40. They did it again with a stronger version of the same beer, the Schorschbock 43. What they lack in creativity they made up for in persistence because they once again claimed the title with the Schorschbock 57. It's like they have a spy in the BrewDog brewery just waiting to hear what the final ABVs are and then immediately froze their beer a few more times.
Every new record means that someone is the loser. When The End of History was released, Oblix from Brouwerij ‘t Koelschip's was on the now irrelevant end of the battle. While Schorschbräu snuck their momentary champion in between, Start the Future is clearly a response to BrewDog. It was released just a week after End of History, and the names are clearly tied. While they both have similar approaches to increasing the strength of beer, Start the Future departed in terms of price. Instead of aiming for a new record, they made it a comparatively meager $46.
A new challenger has entered the tournament! The Scottish brewery aptly named Brewmeister, decided it was time for BrewDog, Schorschbräu, and 't Koelschip to quit their bickering. Brewmeister unleashed Armageddon in fall 2012 at a whopping 65% ABV. Each of the beers so far have been stronger than almost every liquor you've consumed, but now we've reached the same level as cask strength Bookers. Is there nothing sacred left in this world?
There must really be nothing to do in Scotland because Brewmeister didn't even wait for someone to break their record. They just released Snake Venom, the new strongest beer in the world at a ridiculous 67.5% alcohol. I guess that's a good way to put the industry on notice that you're not screwing around. You can buy a 9-ounce bottle online for about $80 if you want to give it a shot. While that sounds like a ridiculous price, it's the equivalent of a $220 bottle of whiskey. The difference is that it's probably stronger than the spirit. Brewmeister claims it still tastes good though.
Unlike Armageddon, Snake Venom is not designed to mask the taste of the alcohol. The alcohol is very strong but the beer still tastes like a beer rather than a spirit. It's hoppy, malty and very pleasant.
UPDATE: There are reports that Brewmeister is full of shit, and neither of their beers are the strength the purport to be. I demand testing before every ABV claim. This isn't boxing, dammit!
To sum things up, here are the strongest beers in the world in order of release. Who will be the next to take the record, and more importantly, how high can the ABV go?
BrewDog - Tactical Nuclear Penguin, 32%
Schorschbräu - Schorschbock 40, 40%
BrewDog - Sink The Bismarck, 41%
Schorschbräu - Schorschbock 43, 43%
't Koelschip - Oblix, 45%
BrewDog - The End of History, 55%
Schorschbräu - Schorschbock 57, 57.5%
't Koelschip - Start the Future, 60%
Brewmeister - Armaggedon, 65%
Brewmeister - Snake Venom, 67.5%