The U.S. has a complicated relationship with strong beers, as remnants of prohibition sentiment still linger, stifling the creativity of the market, which is why you’ll rarely see the big names produce anything that really breaks the mold in terms of ABV.
But that’s not to say that there aren’t any strong beers out there.
We’re currently in the golden age of the microbrewery, and there’s nothing these small outfits with big dreams like more than brewing beastly craft beers with ABVs that would give your granny the vapors.
Granted, as it’s mostly only purists that experiment with these brutal liquids, breweries tend to bottle their strongest concoctions, but there are a special few that provide the fire water you’re craving in a good old-fashioned can.
Here are the 5 strongest!
Quick Summary: Strongest Microbrews You Can Buy In A Can
|Evil Twin Bozo Beer||Check on Drizly →|
|Breckenridge Brewery Agave Wheat||Check on Drizly →|
|Anderson Valley Huge Arker Bourbon Barrel Imperial Stout||Check on Drizly →|
|The Bruery So Happens It’s Tuesday||Check on The Bruery →|
|Brewdog Hazy Jane||Check on Brewdog →|
Founded in 2010 by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergso, Evil Twin started out as something of a nomadic brand, but two years later, Jeppe was offered an opportunity to lay down some roots in the Big Apple, and since then, his beers have become a cultural staple of NYC.
With an emphasis on collaboration and innovation, Evil Twin are always pushing boundaries, as evidenced by their Bozo Beer, a 17.2% ABV monster in a can with some devilishly adventurous ingredients.
What Does Bozo Beer Taste Like?
The headliner of the Bozo Beer’s flavor profile is an unapologetic coffee blast flanked by secondary notes of chocolate, almond, vanilla, and cinnamon, followed by a bombardment of oak, chili, marshmallow, chestnut, and hazelnut accents.
It’s a weird and wonderful concoction that satisfies those looking for something extraordinary, a drink to really focus on and actively enjoy rather than glug passively.
Is Bozo Beer for everyone?
No. The mere inclusion of coffee makes it a rather niche refreshment, and many a beer nut will turn their nose up at a drink with chocolatey undertones, but I, for one, adore this beverage.
The enhanced bitterness of the double IPA blueprint is exquisitely offset by the muscovado sugar that doesn’t try to tame the bite of this beer, rather, sharpen it! It’s hoppy, it’s crisp, it’s a triumph in a can!
Originally nestled into the rise and fall of the Colorado Rockies, Breckenridge Brewery started out as the passion project of skiers who simply wanted a quality cold one to bring their days on the slopes to a perfect conclusion.
Since then, their mission statement expanded to include their neighbors.
The goal of Breckenridge brewery is to ensure that everyone in the state gets that same sense of satisfaction when the day is done, and there’s little more satisfying than a cold can of their Agave Wheat brew.
What Does Agave Wheat Taste Like?
With a mammoth 17% ABV, mixed into the familiar and reassuring tastes of agave and Colorado-grown wheat, I consider this the perfect Friday-night-in treat.
You don’t want to drink a million weak brewskis and end up feeling bloated, and busting for the toilet all night; you just want to nurse something uncomplicated, tasty, and most importantly of all, powerful!
It’s quite bready on the pallet, but by no means boring — You’ll no doubt want another can when you slurp the dregs from your current one. But it is a mighty beverage, so go easy, pard!
Instead of guzzling one of these bad boys down, I recommend cracking one open with dinner and taking sips alongside a glass of ice cold water, as, despite its alcohol content, it pairs remarkably well with almost any food.
In fact, if you’re having some spicy Chinese, Thai, or Indian cuisine, it’s the ultimate beverage accompaniment!
Lighter snacks like salads, cheeses, and fruits also go down a treat with Agave Wheat, so there’s plenty of reason to give it a try. Of all the beers on my list, this is the biggest crowd pleaser.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company is considered one of the pioneers of the craft beer industry.
In fact, they’ve been at it so long and have made such a name for themselves that referring to them as a microbrewery seems a little off base.
One of the ventures that helped catapult the brand to sudsy stardom was an exclusive 2011 collaboration with a notable bourbon maker on the scene, giving them access to a treasure trove of casks haunted by the rich, smoky aftermath of hundreds of high quality whiskeys.
They could now create whiskey-infused, barrel-aged beers, complex in flavor and powerful in substance.
It’s from this, their Bourbon Barl series, that we receive my third pick, the Huge Arker Imperial Stout, a 15.5% bruiser of a beer with a sophisticated and insanely sippable flavor profile.
What Does Huge Arker Taste Like?
With roasted malt providing the spine on which this beer’s burnished oak, candy sugar bourbon, and bready appendages stem, you’re instantly struck by a robust body.
These primary flavors then quickly take a bow, making way for the spectacular ancillary notes of rich dark chocolate, dark fruits, vanilla, and coffee.
Of all the drinks on my list, I’d say that Heavy Arker is really the one to take your time with and savor, not just because you’ll end up wearing the wobbly boots if you guzzle it, but because the flavors unravel in intriguing waves.
They seem to hit differently with each taste, making every sip a novel and rewarding experience.
The Bruery started out as one man in California with a thirst for knowledge and, of course, a thirst for a delicious beer. His name was Patrick Rue… as in B-Rue-ry.
Over time, he built up a team of like-minded masters of the brew, and even earned himself the title of Master Cicerone in the process.
Now, The Bruery’s output is making drinkers the world over reevaluate what they think they know about beer, and none are so revelatory than the playfully titled So Happens It’s Tuesday.
It’s a name that begs to be abbreviated and leaves those who do with a hilarious surprise. Yet, funny titles aside, this is a serious beer!
Take the 14% ABV, for instance. A swig or two of this dynamite brew will have you dancing on the tables, and after a few more, you may end up with a good view of the chewing gum stuck beneath them.
What Does So Happens It’s Tuesday Taste Like?
It’s not just about raw power here; this dark, delicious beer goes down well… very well!
It’s a more palatable reimagining of the Bruery’s infamous Black Tuesday, a 19% ABV doom bringer that could curl your tongue, toes, and sanity simultaneously.
Side Note — I would have included Black Tuesday on my list as well if it was still available in can form, but, unfortunately, for now, it’s only available in bottles.
However, despite sharing DNA with the black sheep of The Bruery, S.H.I.T. is an exceedingly pleasant drink with an intricate, rewarding flavor profile composed of beautifully complimentary notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, figs, molasses, and freshly picked cherries.
Brewdog needs no introduction at this point. If you’re into your beers, then you’ll be well aware of this Scottish brewery and their imaginative, often mind-bending forays into the creation of everyone’s favorite beverage.
For those who aren’t in the know, perhaps the best way to communicate the essence of Brewdog is to simply tell you they produce a 55% ABV beer that arrives in a bottle that itself is lodged within a real taxidermy squirrel, called End of History… the beer I mean, not the squirrel. You can call him whatever you like.
Now, compared to the be-squirreled EoH, my 7.2% last pick, Hazy Jane, isn’t quite as impressive, but it’s still a terrifically potent New England style IPA that will have you on your backside if you’re not careful — One Hazy Jane will have a Serious Sally smiling like a loon in no time.
Personally, I like to dance with Jane after a meal, as it cuts through the food and provides a good buzz in a way weaker beers simply can’t, but it goes down a storm alongside a meal too!
What Does Hazy Jane Taste Like?
Brimming with notes of pineapple, mango, and stone fruit, Hazy Jane is a tropical fever dream brought fractionally back down to Earth by grassy citrus and undertones of oats and wheat.
Needless to say, it tastes amazing, but perhaps my favorite aspect of this beer is the velvety smoothness of the effervescence.
Combined with the fruity flavors, it makes for a truly light and luxurious drinking experience.
There you have it — 5 of the strongest microbrew beers you can buy in cans. It’s a limited section of the market, but you still have plenty of choice if you know where to look.
I’d recommend giving each of the canned microbrews on my list a try, as they’re all expertly crafted, each offering a unique slant on sweet, sweet beer.