10 of the World's Strongest Beers
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.
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.
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.