‘Strongest Beer In The World’ Sells Out In Hours…But Is It Truly A Beer?

Beers have a wide array of alcohol content, but generally speaking, beers have average alcohol by volume (ABV) of 4.5%. On the high side of ABV, the highest spectrum is typically something like Dogfish Head’s 120 Minutes IPA at 18% or a Goose Island Bourbon County Stout at 14.7% ABV. A new fall-down-strong beer has been released, and it has an ABV equal to that of whiskey.

A pair of breweries teamed up to create the strongest beer in the world. Scotland-based BrewDog partnered with German brewer Schorschbräu to create the new Strength In Numbers beer, a brew that packs a mighty punch at 57.8% ABV. Strength in Numbers features a blend of BrewDog’s already super potent 26% ABV Death or Glory beer, an ice distilled Belgian golden ale that’s been happily sitting in Scotch whisky casks for 10 years. That beer was sent to Schorschbräu in Germany so they could make the powerful beer even stronger through a special process.

Strength in Numbers was released in the U.K. on September 17 at £ 29 per bottle or about $37.50 in the United States, according to Fox News. The powerful beer sold out in hours.

The international effort developed the world’s most potent beer, or so they say. Strength in Numbers is an eisbock beer, which was fabled to have been initially created as a mistake.

“According to legend in Germany, the Eisbock came about as a result of a simple oversight. Just before the turn of the 19th Century, a brewery worker at the Reichelbräu Brewery in Kulmbach, Bavaria, purportedly left a cask of strong bockbier outside on a particularly frigid Bavarian night,” Beer Connoeisseur writes. “When workers discovered it the next day, the contents were frozen solid. Once the cask was cracked open, they discovered a rather large ice cube with dark liquid suspended within. As punishment for his mistake, the errant brewery worker is said to have been ordered to drink up the remaining beer. Much to his surprise, and assumed delight, the residual beer had extraordinary taste. All of the appealing aspects of the bock were concentrated, including the alcohol content, and a new beer style, of sorts, was born.”

That’s the greatest mistake ever.

Eisbocks start out as a bockbier or doppelbock, but then undergoes a freeze distillation process. Water freezes at 32 F and the freezing point of pure ethanol alcohol is -173.2 F, according to ThoughtCo. The frozen water is removed, and the liquid that is left has a higher alcohol content, is thicker, and has more flavor. Eisbocks are often sweet, slightly syrupy, malty, and have low carbonation levels.

Herein lies the problem, many beer experts don’t consider eisbocks to be beers because of the freeze distillation process. The water is removed, and beer traditionalists argue that beers should only be judged by fermentation.

Technically, the U.S. government considers beers that have a certain amount of water removed as a form of distillation, which makes the liquid hard liquor and no longer a beer, as reported in The Philadelphia Inquirer via Mashed.

Then there is another issue with the claim that BrewDog and Schorschbräu have the world’s strongest beer – a different brewery maintains that they have the most potent brew. Scottish brewery Brewmeister offers Snake Venom, which clocks in at a perilous 67.5% ABV and is so strong that it’s not even carbonated. However, their claim to the strongest beer on the planet might not be justified either since they add ethyl alcohol during the brewing process.

The battle to make the world’s strongest beer wages on.