It's good for morale!
A Scottish brewer appears to have torpedoed a German rival's claim to the world's strongest beer, by bottling a "quadruple IPA" weighing in at a liver-bashing 41 per cent ABV. Just weeks after German outfit Schorschbrau floated its 40 per cent Schorschbock, Aberdeenshire hop-botherer BrewDog has counterattacked with the …
..the cheapest beer in the cooler is 211, a/k/a Steel Reserve.
It is also the strongest, coming in at 8.1 ABV. Nicely, it also claims extra hops, the cousin of cannabis, so its possible to remain blissfully ignorant of the state of the Universe.
Excellence in reporting, a hallmark of El Reg!
"It is the strongest in the WalMart cooler, which probably does not include 'Sink the Bismarck!'"
So why did he refer to the usual "excellence of reporting" of El Reg in a snide way like he was making a correction to their error?
No......I think he misread or misunderstood and made a complete idiot of himself.
"Nicely, it also claims extra hops, the cousin of cannabis, so its possible to remain blissfully ignorant of the state of the Universe."
Uh ... dude(ette??), hops don't contain THC ... but I'd pay a dollar to watch you run a cone or three of my home-grown varietal thru' your <insert-dope-pipe-of-choice> ... Should be good for a giggle.
That said, Malt Liquor isn't beer. It's inebriation in a container for people who want to get drunk on the cheap, and don't care what it tastes like.
For some reason I misread "Soda Stream" as "cream soda": the thought of a sort of weird barley wine whisky hybrid mixed with cream soda is... well, it's... actually, words fail me.
Words don't fail the Soda Stream contraption I had as a kid, though: it was made of fail, as was that horrid, bitter, syrupy diarrhoea substitute that you'd get in place of cola. That the perpetually almost empty CO2 cylinder would half-heartedly make even more flat than before it started. The '70s were great, but the Soda Stream didn't really contribute to their greatness.
Er, where were we? Oh yeah, frightening beer. I think I'll view that one as a spectator sport.
"Won't it go flat?"
It is probably a still brew, unless they are force carbonating it. This kind of thing isn't designed for your average Friday/Saturday night session ... rather, it's designed for me to provide as a sip or three at some point in a formal meal when I'm cooking when my inlaws are visiting.
I thought that the normal brewing process topped out at about 12 or 13% ABV, because the alcohol poisoned the yeast that produced it. Maybe this is what they mean by 'amplified'. The standard way to make a beer stronger is to freeze it just below zero, and scoop off the ice that forms. This removes some of the water, while leaving the alcohol behind. I wonder if this is what they've done. I would have thought that this would have a detrimental effect on the taste. At 40 quid a bottle though, I don't think I will take a taste.
A real mate - not some bloke in the street, or a copper arresting me - once bought a half bottle of vodka in the offy, then went in the pub and got a pint (probably bitter) each. When we'd downed half we emptied the vodka into our glasses, then downed the rest.
Then we went on a pub crawl. Ended up on Newky Brown chased down by Southern Comfort. That was about thirty years ago and the thought of vodka still makes me queasy. And I reckon this stuff sounds just as disgusting.
"Then we went on a pub crawl. Ended up on Newky Brown chased down by Southern Comfort. That was about thirty years ago and the thought of vodka still makes me queasy."
Wasn't the vodka, mate, nor the bitter ... I can't imagine what possessed your to mix the broon & sudden discomfort ... That's a recipe for a really, really bad following morning ...
"And I reckon this stuff sounds just as disgusting."
Nah. This kinda thing is good in sips, sometimes drops on a plate. It's just pushing the ancient art of brewing, using modern technology.
...as reading back, it wasn't clear...a half bottle of vodka added to our remaining half pints of bitter. Basically the problem is the taste and smell of neat alcohol mixed with that of the beer (which I remember now was 'Director's'). Of course, we didn't 'sip' the resulting fortified pints, we quaffed them like we would have without the vodka. I knew before we'd left the first pub that talking to Huey was on the cards - which I very rarely did, mostly because I'd tell myself not to. That night my command of mind over matter seeped through the cracks in the floorboards (to dry on the heat of the radiator pipes below).
Anyway, for £40 I'd rather have 2 bottles of Jack Daniels! One thing I suspect is that good or bad it would have to be better than Red Stripe's 'Crucial Brew'! That was one it almost gives me a migraine to think of. As for why the mixing, the answer is probably "because it was there!".
"I thought that the normal brewing process topped out at about 12 or 13% ABV, because the alcohol poisoned the yeast that produced it.
Yeast mutates (if you let it), and brewers/winemakers have been selecting for alcohol resistance. I make a near-clone or Dogfish Head's India Brown that comes in at 16% ABV, over twice the original (was a fortunate mistake). The yeast involved started out as champagne yeast ... I don't normally make high alcohol brews, but this one is pretty good. I may go commercial with it. Last time I looked, the highest ABV commercial brew made with traditional brewing processes was just over 25%
"Maybe this is what they mean by 'amplified'."
I think "amplified" is a non-regulated variation on "fortified".
"The standard way to make a beer stronger is to freeze it just below zero, and scoop off the ice that forms. This removes some of the water, while leaving the alcohol behind."
AKA "fractional distillation by crystallization". A friend of mine used to make pretty good Apple & Pear brandy using this technique. It's quite illegal in the USA if you don't have a license, so don't try it at home.
"I wonder if this is what they've done."
"I would have thought that this would have a detrimental effect on the taste. At 40 quid a bottle though, I don't think I will take a taste."
Not detrimental, rather concentrated. This is a sipping thingie, and/or a flavo(u)ring agent in a meal, not a so-called "session" brew. If your palate can't handle a high-alcohol, very concentrated beer, don't waste your money.
BOOZED UP HOODIE KIDS ON BEER STRONGER THAN VODKA WREAK HAVOC AND TERRORISE KIDS! WON'T SOMEBODY THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
...without a single reference to it costing £40 a bottle. Although they may get confused when they try to tie in the anti-Boche angle. perhaps they'll run that one on a different page...
GOOD OLD BLIGHTY SHOWS JOHNNY KRAUT HOW IT'S DONE!
On a saner note, BrewDog beers are generally fucking excellent - well worth hunting out, especially their Punk IPA.
Ironically, I was recommended the Punk IPA and it was absolutely rank. I'm a real ale fan, and I brew my own, so I have a fair appreciation for a decent beer, so I can only assume it's brewed with a target audience of lager drinkers. I do like the slogan on the side of the bottle though: "if you don't like this beer then f**k off" or words to that effect!
Had something similar in Germany, obviously to be drank in small portions and very slowly, as you would a whisky. It resembled a very thick guinness, and was actually very tasty. But most people would struggle to have more than a very small glass, just as you would struggle with more than a dram or 2 or bog standard 12 year old malt.
I think the bottle style maybe makes it seem that it's promoting abuse, but I assume it has a twist and re-shuttable cap, rather than your typical beer cap?
In moderation, most food-stuffs are fine.
I had a similar German beer at a UK beer festival.
It was served in 1/3 of a pint measures and if you bought one, they marked your hand with permanent marker (the bastards) to make sure no-one sat getting too messed up on it...
It tasted quite good - a bit like Guiness original (not draft!) and 'tis a shame I can't remember the name (due to having imbibed an awful lot of beer that evening!)
You don't need to fortify or distill to get to 40%. Just like Tactical Nuclear Penguin (high 30s) this will almost certainly have had the alcohol content increased with the aid of a freezer.
I never managed to try Tactical Nuclear Penguin on the grounds that I couldn't get it in the US, but I was told by a UK beer drinking buddy that it was actually pretty nice.
"You don't need to fortify or distill to get to 40%. Just like Tactical Nuclear Penguin (high 30s) this will almost certainly have had the alcohol content increased with the aid of a freezer."
That's distillation. It's known in the trade as FDC, or "fractional distillation by crystallization".
These days, you can get to around 25% +/- with traditional brewing.
Made plenty of super strength 'home-brew' over the years, you can get special yeast with a high tolerence to alcohol that's good to around 20%.
Did try a couple of Hardy's Ale down the local, now that's 11% and quite frankly like drinking cold diesel through a cigar. Eagerly awaiting to Sink a Bismarck.
So what is it? Ale or beer. It's called a beer in one paragraph and an IPA in the next. IPA is ale and ale != beer. Where do your yeast live, up top or down under?
As to how it's done, they state "frozen four times to create at a staggering 41% ABV". So in essence it's freeze distilled or more accurately recrystallized to get the ABV that high. That also explains the price and also means you can likely do this at home* starting with about 10 bottles of stock for every one bottle you want to make. Other ferment only products can use one of the various "turbo" or champagne yeasts to reach near 17-18%. So there you have it, don't sweat the bubbles it's likely quite flat already.
*IANAL but it is likely that this could get you thrown in the pokey since gubbermint frowns on people who concentrate alcohol without paying the appropriate royalties to the tax man.
I used to work at an adhesive manufacturers (glue factory to the layman) where IMS Alcohol was delivered in 45 gallon drums. My job was to verify the contents.
It was ethanol mixed with a bit of methanol to make it undrinkable which was wise considering the smell was very reminiscent of gin. The stuff was crystal clear and the surface did not refract the light as water does so the drum appeared to be empty in low light conditions.
Produced by industrial process and very cheap (compared to spirits). I believe that when alcopops talk about vodka what they actually mean is this type of industrially produced ethanol.
I notice you missed this line from the BBC story, which they've now pulled, but it's been retained in The Huffington Post's story...
"It is important that you be careful with this beer and show it the same amount of sceptical, tentative respect you would show an international chess superstar, clown or gypsy."
That's nothing ... See:
It's actually a pretty good brew, for a commercial product. I almost always have a pint or four in my beer fridge ... The advertising is aimed at the BMC crowd (Bud, Miller, Coors ... roughly the equivalent to lager-louts, to you Brits). With reason. If your palate can't tell the difference between hops, malt and yeast, AB isn't a brew that you will enjoy.
I've just held a quick straw poll in the immediate vicinity and everyone thinks that the German fun-poking here is both amusing and entirely justifiable.
Then again I am English and sitting in a Dutch* office at the moment, so I may not have surveyed a representative sample of the population as a whole.
*Special request. My colleagues would like their bicycles back if it's not too much trouble.
Have you been at the sauce already?
Insulting the Germans is what we do best. The Bismarck was a battleship designed to dominate it's theatre of operations, and we sunk it. This pathetic german alcoholic water was designed to dominate IT's theatre of operations, so we sunk it again.
Seems perfectly factual and not at all daily mail to me.
"There was no reason to INSULT the Germans, it could have been done in just as effective a way. All they did was create hard feelings from the insult, and justifably so, in my opinion"
See THAT'S how you create justifiably hard feelings :D
Yeast can't survive in 40% alcohol. So it's not beer. So they shouldn't call it beer (or ale, or IPA) and neither should you.
Aberdonians are a highly confused and primitive bunch anyway. When they mention "ale" they are talking about soda-pop, not anything alcoholic. I suppose they could use this revolting-sounding concoction to wash down the deep-fried batter-coated mealie puddings which they huddle and gnaw to keep body and soul together through the harsh winters in their litter-strewn, municipally vandalised wreck of a formerly proud and beautiful city.
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