10 of the World's Strongest Beers

Categories: Top Lists
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​When it comes to alcohol, beer has historically been considered the responsible choice.

Just check out the photo above -- these two prints, titled Beer Street and Gin Lane, were issued in 1751 by British artist William Hogarth to contrast the evils of liquor (someone catch that falling baby, for Chrissakes!) with the nourishing, jovial qualities of ale.

Beer: the drink of moderation!

But not all brews are so tame. In recent years, mad scientist brewers have developed brewing methods that allow their beers to ferment right past the traditional alcoholic territory of ale or lager and into the realm of wine, liqueur and grain alcohol. While Hogarth might look down on them, these extreme beers have become beloved in the craft beer community.

Here in Arizona, we even have a festival dedicated to them: the Arizona Strong Beer Festival.

In honor of this upcoming celebration of inebriating ale, we present 10 of the strongest beers in the world. These brews will slap you around, insult your mother and expect you to like it.

Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout (18% ABV)

Packing as much heat as a strong liqueur, World Wide Stout's brewed "with a ridiculous amount of barley" as well as six different yeast strains that ferment the brew over seven months. It's then aged for half a year before sale. A rich, syrupy dessert beer, many find it too intense fresh, but allow it to relax in you cellar for five years and the stout becomes sublime.

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sonoranbrewing.com

Sonoran 200 (19.37% ABV)

Local boys Sonoran Brewing produce this strong ale from two-row malt and pure agave nectar, allowing it to ferment four weeks before infusing it with even more of the sugary honey. The batch was then aged in oak for six months, allowing the body and alcohol to mellow out and develop a refined flavor. Sip it in a snifter at room temperature, maybe while enjoying a book and a fine cigar in your library, you classy guy, you.

The Bruery Black Tuesday (19.5% ABV)

Though Black Tuesday has become one of the Bruery's most sought-after brews, brewmaster Patrick Rue despises it. The reason? The brew utilizes 2,500 pounds of grain -- more than double any of the brewery's usual recipes, along with several different forms of sugar, making it a pain in the ass to work with. According to Rue, Tuesday, July 1, 2008 turned out to be a fateful day in Bruery history: "I go to check on how full the drum is, and decide to put a bit more in there. I open the valve, and the mash forcefully falls into the drum. It is flowing everywhere. I try to close the valve, but it's jammed. Mash and 170 degree water is flying everywhere. It's a tidal wave of hot shit, all over my arms, legs, in my boots, and the brewery is a disaster." As punishment, he threw the brew in time-out for a year in bourbon barrels, allowing it to pick up flavors of toasted oak, burnt caramel and vanilla.

DuClaw Colossus (21.92% ABV)

The brewers at Maryland's DuClaw Brewing Co. achieved Colossus' colossal ABV through fermentation alone, employing three different yeast strains a lot of love. Brewed in 2006 and released in 2009, it tastes less like a beer than a mead, delivering flavors of sweet apples, cinnamon and maple syrup. The brewers suggest you try it at several different temperatures -- including heated to 105 degrees -- for a unique flavor and aroma experience. At $40 per one-liter bottle, you'll want all the uniqueness you can get.

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Sam Adams Utopias (27% ABV)

Last released in 2009, Utopias is considered by many to be the strongest "true" beer in the world (meaning the alcohol content was attained through fermentation alone, rather than distillation or freezing off the water to concentrate it). Made with a wide variety of malted barley and some maple syrup, the brew is a blend of batches, each of which was aged up to 16 years in a variety of wooden casks, including bourbon barrels from Buffalo Trace Distillery, Portuguese muscatel finishing casks and barrels that originally housed sherry, brandy and cognac. Un-carbonated and made for sipping, Utopias will run you around $150 per sweet-ass bottle.

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20 comments
Anil507
Anil507

Great list.But it is really difficult to serve the beer in picnics, barbecues and large informal parties. Here you can watch one beautiful way to fill up the beer through the bottom of the plastic glass.http://funnyandspicy.com/beer-...

Jastangl
Jastangl

The list is missing a "Start the Future" from 't Koelschip weighing in at 60%. I have one in the fridge at home.

Jon
Jon

I like my barfights useless, but not so much violent.

olllllo
olllllo

1) Scour the internet for these rare beers2) Pay as much as $500 / bottle3) Start useless violent bar fight4)????----------------------Profit!!!

Gaspar Ramsey
Gaspar Ramsey

Fermentation is usually limited to about 18% ABV because the yeast will not reproduce. Therefore I question the notion of 27% ABV through natural fermentation.

Penguin
Penguin

Think you need to read up on fermentation a little more there Gaspar.

Liver Bashers
Liver Bashers

You missed Dutch Brewery ‘t Koelschip and their beer Start the Future.

Zach Fowle
Zach Fowle

Does it come stuffed inside a dead squirrel wearing a top hat? If not, I'm not interested.

Helping Self Help
Helping Self Help

Save for the last three beers on this list, most distilled alcohol is higher (ABV-wise) than these beers. As for fighting, your words push me more to that desire than alcohol. You're clearly an sad, ignorant fear-monger that is probably just asserting your aggression about the Jesse Ventura show being canceled.

Angélica Boiteux
Angélica Boiteux

Who the hell is this guy? These beers sound interesting and I do not think would invite the type of crowd you are obviously accustomed to in your neck of the woods.

Chris Schryer
Chris Schryer

What about Brouwerij 't Koelschip Start the Future? 60%/120 proof! Massive!

Jastangl
Jastangl

Glad someone else pointed this out. I have one in the fridge at home.

Jon
Jon

Done looking down you nose while simultaneously feeling better about yourself "Self Help Guru"? Do you really need to be told that not all people that enjoy a drink now and then are (self) destructive morons? Lighten up and get a grip.

Also: these beers sound like they would taste terrible.

Kinfolk
Kinfolk

there is some pretty good maricopa county moonshine around for all you real drinkers. its $20 a gallon. and its real smooth good stuff. its made locally by some good old boys from south eastern Kentucky who live here now. while sheriff Joe and the ATF look for pot smugglers and dealers and meth cookers and dealers local moonshine is being made here and they are not even thinking of stuff like that or looking for it either. stupid cops.

Self Help Guru
Self Help Guru

more alcohol so more drunk slobs can start useless violent bar fights with other humans and beat them bloody or kill them and or can drive drunk in a car or truck and kill more innocent humans and then go to prison. sounds like a real winner of a story. as if humans dont have enough addictions already.

Mztititi
Mztititi

You must have a real proble, thinking that more alcool means more violence.. This in NOT the way it works !

azwolfman
azwolfman

"Self Help Guru" AKA, I could not get a date to the prom and have been "self helping" myself ever since!

Mikey1969
Mikey1969

Get over yourself. Most of the people who drink beer like this don't get in bar fights, and they usually can afford another way home, but I'm sure that fact conflicts with your agenda... You need a new Guru, you're not helping yourself at all.

BeerLovah
BeerLovah

Some people guzzle beer. Others, like yourself, drink indignation, self-righteousness and paranoia. I'll take the beer!

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