10 super strong beers you need to try
Strongest beers

The battle for ‘world’s strongest beer’ is raging hard, with brewers from all over Europe getting in on the action. In 2009, Scottish brewers Brewdog set the cat amongst the boozy pigeons when they released the world’s strongest beer to date – Tactical Nuclear Penguin.

Even at a whopping 32%, it only beat the previous forerunners, German brewery Schorschbräu by 1%. With this, the competition for the title of World’s Strongest Beer had begun.

Continuing our special Beer Week on WOW, beer lover Kate Major presents ten of the strongest beers that you’d be mad not to try (cautiously, mind).

Freeze the Penguin

Revelation Cat Craft – 35%

The battle started aggressively, with Italian brewery Revelation Cat Craft being the first to take Brewdog’s crown.

Black Damnation VI

De Struise Brouwers – 39%

Although Belgian brewery De Struise Brouwers didn’t explicitly enter the competition, their beer took top spot briefly. This super strong imperial stout was brewed solely intending to be enjoyed for its flavour, and not just ‘cos it’s ridiculously strong.

Sink the Bismarck

Brewdog – 41%

Brewdog didn’t take kindly to being pipped by other breweries, including Schorschbräu again (this time with a 40% beer which has never been seen again). This quadruple IPA was named with reference to its German competitors, and couldn’t sound more like a war-cry if it tried.

Schorschbock 43

Schorschbräu – 43%

Schorschbräu didn’t take long to retaliate. The third Schorschbock was brewed, beat Brewdog (again), but apparently wasn’t very tasty, so they never brewed it again.

End of History

Brewdog – 55%

Surprise surprise, Brewdog fought back. This time they only made 12 bottles, and displayed them inside taxidermy squirrels, because they could. Considered to be the world’s most expensive beer at over £500 a bottle, this stuff would certainly put hairs on your chest (pun intended).

Schorschbock 57

Schorschbräu – 57%

The tagline for this beer was “Finis Coronat Opus” – the end crowns the work. This was Schorschbräu’s final hurrah. If there is one thing the Germans take seriously, it’s beer. The purity laws protecting brewing wouldn’t allow them to brew any stronger than this 57%, making this their last entry into the competition.

Start the Future

‘t Koelschip – 60%

It wasn’t long until Dutch brewer ’t Koelschip jumped in, having had their previous beer Obelix (45%) swiftly beaten by Brewdog’s End of History. Brewdog still haven’t retaliated.


Brewmeisters – 65%

After Brewdog seemingly stepped down, Scottish newbies Brewmeisters decided to wade in and show their mettle. At 65% it could be suggested that these beers are getting a bit silly, but apparently it actually doesn’t taste too bad, and should be supped like a fine whisky.

Snake Venom

Brewmeisters – 67.5%

Brewmeisters weren’t happy to just hold the top spot at this point; they wanted two podium positions! A year later they trumped themselves by 2.5%.

Mystery of Beer

‘t Koelschip – 70%

And finally, the current number one, the world’s strongest beer! Whether a beer this strong can actually be called beer or not is still a contentious subject, but one thing can be said – this drink will certainly knock your socks off.

[Main Image: Tavallai Flickr CC]