Sunday, August 1, 2010

Strange Brew

Strange Brew

Now I'm not going to be breaking any news here as this made its rounds a good couple of days ago and Peta already did their damn hardest to give it as much promotion as possible. But it's pretty clear from this story that when you drink 55% beer, the first thing you'll think of is to put fucking alcohol in a dead animal and sell it to the world.
Our old buddies BrewDog have done it again. Not content with winning back the "strongest beer in the world" title last February with its Sink the Bismarck!, they've now upped their game with a new brew that is 55 percent alcohol by volume and carries a $765 price tag. It's called The End of History.

Oh, and did we mention that the bottles come in stuffed animals-like stuffed animals that were once alive? The 12 bottles have been made featuring seven dead stoats (a kind of weasel), four squirrels and one rabbit. James Watt, one of the two guys behind BrewDog, put it better than we ever could: "The impact of The End of History is a perfect conceptual marriage between taxidermy, art and craft brewing." Just like we've all been waiting for!

For those interested in the actual beer, it's a blond Belgian ale with touches of nettles and juniper berries -- and in order to achieve the brain-blasting alcohol content, it had to be created using extreme freezing techniques.

Keep reading for another photo and a video about the making of the super-strong beer.
Baw ha ha ha ha. I mean, what the hell? Did Monty Python finance this thing because it sounds like something straight out of Flying Circus. Let's go down the list. it's 55% beer on its own is crazy, but putting it inside stuffed animals brings a whole other dimension of hilarity. I guess I can't be surprised that it's brewed by Scots since they're crazy bastards.

Scots do not fuck around when it comes to alcohol. But perhaps this just reconfirms my plan to mix 50% Everclear with an imperial stout, shove it into an Elmo or Dora doll and charge $400 for it. I could totally be undercutting into their market. Because for $750 a bottle, I'll be better of just mixing some beer and whiskey and stuff the bottle in a squirrel. No one will know the difference and I can show off my abundence of wealth. I assume that's the only reason one would buy this beer anyway.

Wait, I've been quoting this as $765 when it's in British pounds. Not dollars. So it's literally $1179.79 dollars per bottle. PER FUCKING BOTTLE! Though only 12 of these bottles were ever made.. so I'm not even sure why there's so much hype or talk about this. Again Peta, it's all because YOU brought it to our attention and now more companies will stuff their product in dead animals.

This really should teach the rest of the world to never get into a pissing contest with Scotland. Though I have to wonder if England will respond with a 70% beer in a unicorn... YOU'RE MOVE, KRAUTS! I can only pray that Germany counter-responds with an 180-proof vodka in Margaret Thatcher.

If only I could drink King Cobra out of an actual Cobra. And I don't mean those Cobra bottled Vodkas. Just put the Malt liquor in the dead body of a snake! How about some Olde English out of an Olde Englishmen. Though I'm pretty sure you're going to need a big revolver to hold all that Colt .45.

How about some other ideas for novelty beer drinks. Maybe kill a frat boy, hollow out his chest cavity and pour in some Smirnoff in there. You just got ICED in Purgatory, Bro!

55% Beer really is kind of a grey area. Does it still taste like beer or mostly alcohol? And you can't really enjoy it in the same manner you would with normal beer. I realize that no true Scotsman would utter a statement like that, but it's true.

The End of History from BrewDog on Vimeo.

I guess I should just be glad they didn't find some way to produce kegs of this stuff. The poor sheep that were saved because of the move not to.

Freezing beer to remove water and increase alcohol content just seems like cheating. It's like some sort of bizarro distillation. I guess it's like the method of making things like applejack. I mean, there's some beer producers, including traditional German brewers, who freeze distillation to make slightly stronger beers like eisbock, but those generally only go up to 12-15% ABV or so. Freeze-distilling the shit out of a beer until it's 55% ABV is just making whiskey. Calling it beer is a bit of a stretch.

Though there's no other way to do it. Beer can only get so high without adjuncts that will change the flavor up. From what I understand in my brewing adventures, this stuff is basically like really high gravity malt liquor, made with similar methods except it is a craft brew and probably tastes delicious. Sort of like Stone or Dogfish Saison Du Buff, only a lot sweeter. You know what else is freeze distilled?

Natty Ice: The Hitler of Beers

What I don't get about this whole concept is, you typically want to avoid distillation by freezing because it concentrates methanol as well as ethanol, while the different boiling points will tend to separate them when you do evaporation distillation. With a higher methanol concentration, that stuff would be able to give you one hell of a hangover.

And besides the huge hangover, it does still feel like it's cheating to use a fractionation process and still call it beer. But then again, BrewDog has a long history of selling beer on the most gimmicky shit possible, while the actual taste of its beer is so mediocre. Punk IPA is the only remotely good product I have had from them, and it still doesn't compare to most other microbrews. So I have no desire to seek out and try this beer mainly because it's not going to taste good.

But I do give them credit for that marketing. They sure have found a way to stay relevant in the media. From this little venture to making the world's lowest ABV beer..
BrewDog, the UK's hardcore craft brewer, has launched a 1.1% beer called Nanny State in direct response to the outcry caused last month after launching Tokyo*, the UK’s strongest beer at 18.2% ABV.

The brewery has come under fire from Members of the Scottish Parliament and the Portman Group – who have both commenced official movements to ban the sale of Tokyo* in the UK and BrewDog want to get their point across the way they know best – beer.
Why you would want to drink a 1.1% ABV beer? Beats the shit out of me. But there it is. Even with their Tokyo, there's a lot of other brewers doing the exact same styles much, much better and without resorting to ABV gimmicks, dead animals or going on any sort of reality shows.

Someone really should just brew up some barley mash, fractionally distill it down to 95% ethanol, soak more barley and hops in it to create a barley-hops tincture, and then sell it as the undisputed strongest fucking "beer" than can exist and be done with this whole shit.

Besides that, while the Germans and Scotish were dueling it out, the Dutch stepped up to the plate with a flying kick to the chest...
Brewer claims world's strongest beer

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch brewer with a penchant for competition has laid claim to creating the world's strongest brew: a beer that is some 60 percent alcohol by volume.

"You don't drink it like beer, but like a cocktail -- in a nice whisky or cognac glass," brewer Jan Nijboer told Dutch news agency ANP.

Nijboer's Almere-based brewery, 't Koelschip (The Refrigerated Ship), sells the new beer, which is 120 proof and dubbed "Start the Future," in a one-third liter bottle for 35 euros ($45) each.

Nijboer told ANP he developed the new brew to keep up with Scottish outfits that were also pushing the boundaries of beer's alcohol content.

His previous record-holder, a beer called Oblix that was 90 proof (45 percent alcohol by volume), was eclipsed by a Scottish beer that reached 55 percent.

That beer, dubbed "The End of History," was announced last week by a small brewery called BrewDog. Only 12 bottles were made, each housed inside a stuffed dead animal and sold starting at 500 pounds ($780) each.

"It has become a little competition," Nijboer said. "You should see it as a joke."
(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Steve Addison)
Well, looks like the Dutch just said FUCK YOU to everyone. Fuck it, I'm going to get drunk.

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