At this point, beer nerds are getting a little tired of the who-can-brew-the-most-alcoholic-beer-in-the-world game, because let’s be honest—if you really wanted some delicious 60%-ABV booze, you should just get some cask-strength bourbon and call it a day.
Still, it makes for good headlines, and it’s fun to see what lengths maniac brewers will go to in the quest to turn their brews into industrial-strength paint stripper. The latest entry in the category: Snake Venom, a 67%-ABV beer from Brewmeister, made with smoked peat malt and Champagne yeast. If the name sounds familiar its because the Scottish brewery broke the same record last year with its 65%-ABV Armageddon.
For those keeping score at home, here’s a brief history of the race to brew the world’s strongest beer:
- 2008: German brewer Schorschbraeu makes a beer that’s 31% ABV.
- 2009: BrewDog releases Tactical Nuclear Penguin, a 32% imperial stout.
- 2009: Schorschbrau fires back with a 40%-ABV brew.
- 2010: BrewDog pulls its “beat you by 1% trick” again with the 41%-ABV Sink the Bismarck.
- 2010: Schorschbrau bounces back again, getting up to 44% ABV.
- 2010: BrewDog goes balls to wall with The End of History, a 55%-ABV ale sold in taxidermy for $1,000.
- 2010: The Dutch get in on the act—’t Koelschip drops Start the Future, clocking in at 60% ABV.
- 2012: Brewmeister displaces BrewDog as the ABV-chasing rabble-rouser of Scotland when Armageddon comes out.
- 2013: Snake Venom.
Here’s our question: If the term imperial is used in the craft beer to describe boozier examples of a particularly style (e.g., imperial IPA, imperial stout), what do you call a 67.5%-ABV beer? A Cosmic Overlord ale? God pilsner? Yeezus IPA?