Jay Brooks has saved me the trouble of reporting on the latest bit of high alcohol idiocy, and countless others, including the Canadian Mother Corp and the New York Times, have chimed in on the latest efforts of our good Scottish friends at BrewDog. But enough, please, I beg of you, is enough.
Beer concentrated through repeated freezing is not the product of brewing, but freeze distillation. But that’s not even the point. The point is whether or not the stuff actually tastes good.
I’ve not sampled any of the Schorschbräu efforts, nor have I tasted BrewDog‘s End of History or Sink the Bismark, but I did try Tactical Nuclear Penguin and was singularly unimpressed. And as for Het ‘t Koelship‘s Start the Future, well, I too can make a strong beer by dumping a lot of overproof booze into it.
It’s time to stop this silliness. So far as I’m concerned, the strongest beer that is purely the result of fermentation remains Boston Beer’s Sam Adams Utopias. And what’s more, I actually enjoy drinking it!
11 Replies to “Enough! Enough!! ENOUGH!!! with the High Alcohol Crap”
Perfectly said Steven. I too think Utopias is amazing, Tactical Nuclear Penguin and the rest are “stunt beers” and all of this silliness needs to stop.
Unfortunately, I can’t seem to stop blogging about it, which means the evil do’ers win.
Time to put peckers back in pants and get on with making more good, drinkable, beer available to more people.
I enjoy high alcohol distilled beer myself.
It’s called Bourbon!
But doesn’t Utopias, like any cask-finished beer, pick up some of its %abv from the various casks that it’s aged in?
True enough, Zak, but that pick up is very small, not quite negligible but close. And with the latest edition being a blend of several beers, some as old as sixteen years, it would also be pretty much impossible to calculate, to boot. Suffice to say that even if we allow a significant alcohol pick-up of 2%, Utopias is still the world’s strongest fermented beer by a healthy margin.
Sure, I’m not arguing against the fact that once you get to freeze distilling (or simply fortifying), it stops being beer. I keep meaning to get in touch with BB and ask about what the final %abv before cask finishing is – or perhaps you know it to be around 25% (which is very high for any fermentation to go)?
I don’t know the 25% to be fact, Zak, but I would guess it’s somewhere up there. Don’t know how they do it, but they do!
It’s not only the high ABV, but the high price these beers have.
A bottle of TNP or Sink can be bought here in CZ for 1500CZK. If I want something that strong, for that money I can buy a 0.7l bottle of a pretty good Scotch or French Brandy knowing very well that I will like it, and if it is beer what I want, for that money I can buy quite a few bottles of top of the range brews that I also know I will like or at least, it is very likely that I will.
When did Eisbock not become beer?