BrewDog launches new ‘strongest beer’ a decade after armistice with German rival

Strength in Numbers: a bargain at £29 a dram
Strength in Numbers: a bargain at £29 a dram

Scottish brewer spent two years in a game of one-upmanship with Bavaria’s Schorschbräu, resulting in the likes of ‘Sink the Bismarck’.

BrewDog has teamed up with its erstwhile rival in an arms race for the “world’s strongest beer” to create the latest product to claim the title.

The new beer, called Strength in Numbers, is 57.8% alcohol by volume, and comes in a 40ml bottle priced at £28.95 – equivalent to £411 for a pint. (A pint would contain 32.7 units of alcohol – more than two weeks’ worth under current UK guidelines). 

Between November 2009 and July 2010 BrewDog created a trio of drinks, each of which was recognised at the time as the strongest beer available: Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32%), Sink the Bismarck (41%) and The End of History (55%). The third of these was produced in an extremely limited run, with each bottle packaged inside a taxidermied animal, sourced from roadkill. 

Each of these quickly lost its title to a new, stronger version of Schorschbock from Bavarian brewery Schorschbräu, and after the third attempt, BrewDog declared it was giving up on its attempt to be number one, having by that point achieved extreme notoriety that played a significant role in the brand becoming the UK’s biggest craft beer company.

The 57% version of Schorschbräu is regarded by purists as having retained the title since 2011. Another contender, Brewmeister Snake Venom, is a whopping 67.5%, but is fortified by adding alcohol – whereas all other beers mentioned above are “ice distilled”, a process whereby normal beer is frozen, with the water ice then removed to make it stronger.

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