Beer is one of the most popular and oldest drinks known to man, dating back to the 5th millennium in Iran. There are records of beer in historical documents from ancient Egypt. If you are reading this, you’re a beer lover, like us. The stronger the beer, the better. If you are looking for a solid oaky, fruity or smoky flavor, there are many kinds of beer to choose from. The taste of the beer matters. So does the alcohol content. Below is a list of some of the strongest beers in the world.
The Taste and Flavor of Beer
The best thing about beer is the complexity of the flavors and tastes. Fruity flavors in beer are familiar. Buttery smoky and milky flavors are not as typical but are still sought out. Some beers have a buttery flavor with a milky sensation. Some Belgian and German beers even taste like bananas. Beer comes in light, medium, and dark colors—the darker the beer, the fuller the flavor.
Different Types of Beer
Luckily, beer pleases every type of palate. This is because there are so many delicious and refreshing varieties of beer. We will discuss craft, lager, porter, stout, homebrew, pale ale, and IPA beers.
The brewer perfects craft beer. The brewing process begins and is altered throughout to create a variety of hand-crafted flavors.
The fermentation process in Lager beer happens on the bottom of the tank. Yeast gathers at the bottom of the fermentation tank. Lager beer is conditioned at a lower temperature than other beer.
Porter is a dark beer made from brown malt. It’s strong and robust in flavor. Originating in London, England, in the early 18th century, this beer is well-hopped and received its name from the city’s street porters.
Stout is a dark, strong brew. This top-fermented beer comes in various options from dry stout, oatmeal stout, milk stout, and imperial stout.
Homebrew is a beer brewed at home or by an individual. Brewing beer is a science. For many, it starts as a hobby and turns into a passion. Brewing is in-depth and involves biology, mechanics, physics, and chemistry.
Pale ale is light-colored beer. This beer is infused with hops to give it a strong flavor. This beer comes from malts dried with high-carbon coke and using warm fermentation. There are a variety of strengths and flavors of pale ale.
IPA, or India Pale Ale, has higher levels of alcohol than most beers. IPAs range in ABV from 4.5%-20%. The bitter flavor makes them stand out from other beers. IPAs are known for being the first beers shipped to India.
Alcohol is created based on the length of fermentation, the amount of yeast, and the growth phase when you add the yeast.
Alcohol Content in Strong Beer
Most beer will range from 4.0 to 7.0 percent ABV or alcohol by volume. If beer is over 7.0 percent, it is considered a high alcohol content beer.
ABV, or alcohol by volume, is a way to measure the alcohol content. Sometimes beer companies calculate the amount of alcohol in ABW, which means alcohol by weight. You must understand the measurement factor before trying to understand what the percentage is. For example, a ratio of 4.0 percent ABV is light, and anything over 7.0 percent is strong.
The Strongest Beers in the World
Winning-Homebrew covers everything you need to know about the best and strongest beers in the world.
The Strongest Craft Beers
Brewmeister – Snake Venom
Originating in a Scottish Brewery, The Brewmeister Snake Venom beer is a craft beer with the highest ABV in the world. At 67.5 % ABV, you won’t find a stronger beer on the market. This beer offers hoppy, malted carbonation. Two types of yeast and smoked peat malt give it a high alcohol content. It is a great beer if you are only having one.
Brewmeister – Armageddon
This craft beer is a cross between whisky and beer, combining crystal malt, wheat, flaked oats, and spring water to shower your taste buds with flavor. With a 65% ABV, the high alcohol content and strong flavor are comparable to the Snake Venom.
Koelschip – Start the Future
At 60% ABV, this beer offers a bold flavor and high alcohol content. Coming in close to the craft beers above, this beer comes from the Netherlands and is a close contender.
Schorschbrau – Schorschbock 57
Originating in Germany, this craft beer offers 57% ABV. The scientifically created beverage ranks high on the list of strongest beer.
Koelschip – Obilix
This limited-edition beer made a lasting impression and was not on the market long. The Netherlands branded this beer with a 45% ABV and a strong, bold flavor you won’t want to miss.
Schorschbrau – Schorschbock 43
This beer comes in a bit lighter than its sister brand, the Schorschbock 57, but it is still a strong beer. The spicy flavor is something for particular beer drinkers. Although it might not be your everyday beer, it is a pleasure to drink on special occasions. Germany knows what they are doing when making strong beers.
Baladin – Esprit de Noel
Italy offers this craft beer. Baladin Esprit de Noel ages in oak barrels. The 40% ABV beer delivers the high alcohol content strong beer lovers are looking for. The straw yellow color and light wood and chocolate notes make it stand out from the rest.
BrewDog – Tactical Nuclear Penguin
Scotland offers this hefty brew with notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. This beer is thick-bodied and fragrant, with a 32% ABV created using a three-time freeze distillation method.
The Strongest Porters
Guinness is the most famous stout beer in flavor, but nowhere near the high ABV brews in alcohol content. This dry stout beer comes from Ireland. The unsweetened and dry taste is popular at all times of the year. The flavor is strong, but the ABV is low, coming between 4.2% and 5.6% ABV. The location the beer is brewed in will affect the ABV.
Sam Adams – Utopias 2017
This flavorful beer from the famous Boston-based brewer offers notes of dark fruit and sweetness that are malty on the palate. This porter is comparable to a port or cognac. The 28% ABV is the result of several strains of yeast introduced during fermentation. Sam Adams Utopia is one of the only American beers on the strong beer list.
The Strongest Stout Beer
Struise Black Damnation VI – Messy
This dark, almost-black brew offers notes of coffee, dark chocolate, and peat. Some compare it to whisky on the palate. The 39% ABV offers that strong alcohol content with the rich flavoring you are looking for. Belgium offers this masterpiece.
The Strongest Pale Ales
Strength in Numbers
Scottish brewer BrewDog and German brewer Schorschbrau combined their beer to make this brand. Originating in Scotland and Germany, these two beers have come together to offer 57.8% ABV. Considered a golden-colored pale ale, this beer ages in whisky casks to offer bold tastes and robust flavor that packs a punch.
BrewDog – End Of History
The blond Belgian ale is the most expensive beer in the world. This beer offers notes of juniper, mead, nettles and comes wrapped in a dead squirrel! Seriously! The 55% ABV ranks the alcohol percentage level high, but the branding makes it most popular. Scotland is a high contender for one of the strongest beers in the world.
The Strongest IPA
BrewDog – Sink The Bismarck
This quadruple IPA offers a 41% ABV. The Bismarck – an appropriate name for this strong-flavored beer – is known for its strength.
What Makes a Beer Strong?
You can make your beer stronger by increasing the sugar and yeast before fermentation. Strong beer has a gravity of 1.064 or higher, and it requires special packaging, care, and attention. When alcohol levels progress past 8%, the character, flavor, and complexity change. Strong ales and strong lagers are the most famous strong beers. An abundance of esters and high hop levels is what makes fermenting an exact process.
What Types of Sugar Make Beer Strong?
There are a variety of different sugars used in beer. By adding more sugar, you add to the strength of its flavor. Some sugars, such as malt sugar, add more alcohol without the added sweetness. Many of the following sugars are in beer:
- White and brown sugar
- Natural liquid sugar
- Brewer crystals
- Malt extract
- Natural sugar from fruit
The type of malt is essential when making a strong beer. The choice of the malt and the quantity is essential. Caramel and base malts offer sweetness and fullness. These types of malts also alter the color. Dark malts are used in stout beer.
How to Make Beer
Six thousand years ago, mankind first documented beer recipes, describing beer made from barley bread. Back in those days, beer was thick and almost porridge-like. In the 19th century, the development of hydrometers and thermometers gave brewers more control over the brewing process. These tools perfected the beer-making process.
Ingredients in Beer
- Beer yeast
- Malted Barley
The Brewing Process
The steps to brewing beer are fermentation, adding yeast, adding sugars, and boiling. The yeast consumes the fermentable sugars during the brewing process, resulting in ethanol.
This phase begins with the fermentation of wort into beer.
The growth process begins by adding yeast, increasing the cell count of the wort.
Add sugar to flocculate or gather the yeast. This process turns sugar into alcohol and settles to the bottom. Yeast consumes the remaining sugar.
Brewers track the boil to remove excess water and concentrate sugar. This affects the ABV of beer. The more sugar left, the higher the ABV is, making beer stronger. After adding ingredients, brewers use thermometers and hydrometers to measure the density of the liquid.
The Process of Making Strong Beer
Not only are the ingredients essential when making strong beer, so is the process. The steps are mashing, adding hops, fermentation, and packaging.
The mash rest temperature affects the body of a beer. To make a high gravity beer, it’s important to include a rest range between 140-149 degrees Fahrenheit.
High hops levels mellow a beer over time. In addition, hops help clarify the wort before fermentation and act as a preservative.
The right type and amount of yeast make or break your strong beer. Sometimes a beer cannot ferment when the alcohol level reaches a certain percentage. Fermenting beer over 8% is hard on yeast cells. It is important to never reuse yeast when strong fermentation is noticed.
Strong beer requires an extended period of aging to bring out aggressive flavors. After the primary fermentation process, use a secondary fermenter to settle yeast by placing it in a cold or refrigerated area.
How to Become a Strong Beer Connoisseur
Becoming a strong beer connoisseur starts with evaluating your beer. By doing so, you are one step closer to becoming a sophisticated beer drinker. It is also crucial to be able to describe your beer using flavor descriptors.
What Are Off-Flavors in Beer?
Many factors can cause an off-flavor. It may be challenging to distinguish between a standard flavor and an off-flavor in a beer. Consider visual aspects, the flavor profile, aroma characteristics, and impressions left on the palate when trying the beer. Trust your judgment; if something feels off, you’re probably right.
Depending on what you’re looking for in a strong beer, you can find it.
Nothing competes with Brewmeister’s Snake Venom, coming in at 67.5% ABV. If it’s a strong beer you want, then it’s a strong beer you will have. This beer is known worldwide for its power, thanks to the European countries who have been perfecting the process and pushing the limits of beer.
If you are looking for unique packaging, the BrewDog End of History comes in an actual dead squirrel. BrewDog End of History is much more expensive than the others, but you will make a statement walking into a party with this beer. The strong, robust flavors offer strength.
If it is alcohol content or boldness you are looking for, look no further. BrewDog is a top contender when offering a wide variety of very strong beers. Schorschbrau is a close second offering a variety of high ABV beers. So, beer enthusiasts, save up your money, grab your dead squirrel, and blow your friends’ minds!