Most beer aficionados will tell you that a good brew isn’t consumed for the sole purpose of getting tipsy. But lately, people are finding that there are plenty of strong beers out there enticing them to enjoy a little buzz and flavor at the same time. Some beers have such a high ABV that a single bottle will have you blitzed before you even polish off the whole serving.
Right now, there are a handful of truly decadent beers available with astoundingly high alcohol content—some even higher than vodka or whiskey. If you are tired of watered down beers and want something stronger, then you’ve come to the right place.
We have selected 7 beers with some of the highest ABVs available right now. Let’s have a look.
What is ABV? And Why Does it Matter?
ABV stands for “Alcohol by Volume,” and it notes the percentage of alcohol per bottle. For instance, if you have a 12-ounce bottle of beer at 4.0 percent alcohol, it means the bottle contains 0.48 ounces of pure alcohol. The standard is around 0.6 ounces of alcohol, so one bottle of a mainstream beer is typically considered 1 standard alcohol beverage.
While the title of “high ABV” is a bit subjective among beers, there are some brews that are astoundingly high. You may notice that some people think high ABV is 9 to 20%, but we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about the beers with such a high level of alcohol they may as well be called liquor.
7 of the World’s Highest Alcohol Content Beers to Try
Beers with high alcohol content are luxurious—a true journey of flavors that will warm you up right. Allow us to introduce our favorites:
Beer Alcohol Content List
|Brand / Beer Name||ABV / %|
|BrewDog Sink The Bismark||41%|
|Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail Heavy||17.2%|
|Schorschbräu Schorschbock 43%||43%|
|Baladin Espirit de Noel||40%|
|Sam Adams Utopias||29%|
|Brewmeister Snake Venom||67.5%|
1. BrewDog Sink The Bismark: 41% ABV
Kicking off our list of beers with high alcohol by volume is BrewDog’s classic Sink the Bismark. As an Imperial IPA, it retains its strong hop flavor and bitterness but gets an aroma of alcohol and resin. The golden color will remind you of whiskey—and you should treat every sip as such. The process to give the beer its gloriously spicy flavor involves things like kettle hopping, freeze hopping, and dry hopping. Definitely give it a try.
BrewDog is a Scottish brewery that opened in 2007 by two guys who were tired of industrial beers and wanted something different. In their second year of business, BrewDog was already the largest independent brewery in Scotland. Now, their beers are enjoyed throughout the world. The people behind BrewDog also do some amazing work, such as donating to charities (like making hand sanitizer for hospitals during COVID-19) and making their breweries carbon negative.
BrewDog has two other high ABV beers for you to try: Tactical Nuclear Penguin at 32% ABV (described as a beer with “a soul and a purpose”) and The End of History at 55% ABV. Both are available in Scotland but can be shipped to other locations, so you can try all of BrewDog’s beers no matter where you are in the world.
2. Evil Twin Brewing Molotov Cocktail Heavy: 17.2% ABV
While this Evil Twin high alcohol beer has the lowest ABV on this list, that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. Consider this a great beer to introduce yourself to the world of high ABV brews. It’s an Imperial IPA with a lot of punchy flavor, like hops, mango, caramel, and malt. Poured in a glass, the head dissipates quickly, leaving a dark amber beer with zero carbonation (a normal thing for beers with higher alcohol content).
On the tongue, it’s an explosion of flavor, then one of malt and some alcoholic heat. It feels thick and slightly grainy but not in a bad way. No wonder Evil Twin calls this beer “by far one of the most anti-authoritative beers ever made.” It’s nothing like you’d expect.
Evil Twin originated in Denmark by a former schoolteacher, but since it is considered a gypsy brewery, it doesn’t have a single headquarters but instead collaborates with breweries around the world to make limited-edition and seasonal beers. Evil Twin Brewing recently opened a real brewery and tap room in Queens, NYC in 2019, so you can opt to take a road trip to try Molotov Cocktail Heavy out.
3. Schorschbräu Schorschbock 43%: 43% ABV
Schorschbräu, a German brewery, has some of the strongest (and most expensive) beers in the world. So if you consider yourself something of a connoisseur, then the 43% brew should be on your list of beers to try. The Schorschbock 43% has quickly made a name for itself as being atypical. It’s technically an amber ale, but it is nothing like you would expect. The beer is fruity on the tongue but is very tart at the end.
Schorschbräu only releases 450 bottles of its 43% ABV beer a year, and it comes in a stylized bottle. It’s a bit of a collector’s item, and it will never go stale.
Want something a bit stronger? Try Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57%. The lager’s ABV rating of 57% is as impressive as how quickly you get tipsy. The flavor is similar to the 43% brew but with more fizz, herbs, and earth.
4. Baladin Espirit de Noel: 40% ABV
Italy may be more famous for its wines and meats, but it also churns out some award-winning beers. Case in point: Baladin’s Espirit de Noel. This beer is one of a kind. With a dizzying 40% ABV and a chocolate-covered aftertaste, you will feel like you are drinking your dessert instead of a beer. No wonder Baladin markets it as “spirit” instead of beer.
Espirit de Noel was bottled in 2011 and comes in a wine bottle. It gives off a faint amber color, so don’t be shocked if some people think you’re pouring them a class of pinot grigio. Served it chilled to taste the complete flavor profile.
Baladin has some amazing history, too. Originating in 1996 as a brewpub in the small village of Piozzo, but Teo Muzzo, the founder, moved the brewery several times to accommodate for the business’ growing popularity.
5. Sam Adams Utopias: 29% ABV
Although Sam Adams is a well known brand in the US and beyond, it has a surprisingly vast array of beers that cater to all palates. Utopias is an alcohol-soaked masterpiece with a rich ruby color that is as lovely to look at as it is to drink. Not only that, but the container the beer comes in is absolutely stunning (hello, Instagram).
Newer batches of Utopias have been blended with earlier versions—some over 20 years old. The beer is also aged in wood barrels of various types, including some that once held Moscato wine and Scandinavian aquavit. Moreover, Utopias is made by freeze hopping but rather what Sam Adams calls “ninja yeast.”
Regardless of how it’s made, Utopias is bound to become a favorite of yours after the first try.
6. Brewmeister Armageddon: 65% ABV
Looking for a smooth German Eisbock? Brewmeister’s Armageddon might have 65% ABV per 330 mL, it is amazingly silky in the mouth. Armageddon is bound to instill images of a lit fireplace on a winter night—dark, smoky, and warm.
Brewmeister Brewery (Keith Brewery LTD) is from Scotland, like BrewDog, but operates out of Keith. The brewery began with a student loan, and Armageddon was the first beer to stock the shelves. The beer’s alcohol content is a result of fractional freezing, which cools the beer to a temperature where water is frozen but alcohol is not. From there, the ice is removed, leaving alcohol behind.
Brewmeister says that Armageddon is flavors like bubblegum and caramel, and most drinkers would agree. If you are up for trying something unique, then Armageddon will blow your mind.
7. Brewmeister Snake Venom: 67.5% ABV
This is the world’s strongest beer. At 67.5% ABV per 12-ounce bottle, you can expect a strong, boozy aroma and a bit of an after-burn with every sip that is reminiscent of whiskey or tequila. This is definitely not a beer for chugging, and Brewmeister even puts a warning on the label. The flavor profile is everything you would expect from Brewmeister: sweet, fruity, nutty, and smoky.
And while Snake Venom makes no attempt at masking its alcohol, it is unmistakably and unapologetically beer.
Understandably, Snake Venom is one of the most expensive beers per bottle on this list. So make sure you are ready for it!
What’s The Strongest Beer in the USA?
Ever wonder which domestic beer has the highest alcohol content in the USA? Well, that’s the aforementioned Samuel Adams Utopias, which runs at a whopping $200 a bottle for 29% ABV.
Not willing to shell out that much money? Don’t worry. Plenty of American breweries have stepped up their game these past couple of years. Here are some of the strongest beers in the USA right now:
Dogfish Head 120 Minute DIPA: 18-20% ABV
Want a beer that makes your lips pucker from the hops? Dogfish Head’s 120 Minute Double Indian Pale Ale will bring some life back to your soul. You’d expect this beer to be hot, hoppy, and slightly sour, but what you don’t expect is the balance from the presence of caramel malt. The mouthfeel is pleasant enough for a DIPA, and the mild carbonation and body add to the overall experience. In a glass, the color is a deep, slightly hazy orange.
Although this beer ranges between 18-20% ABV, it feels a bit more boozy than that. You can snag a pack every year between September and December.
The Bruery Black Tuesday: 19.5% ABV
This barrel-aged stout is loved by beer drinkers who relish luscious and complex undertones of toffee, maple syrup, dark chocolate, and bourbon. Every year, the Bruery releases a dessert-like spin-off of Black Tuesday, but all of them are around the 20% ABV mark. The 2020 version has already sold out, and the 2021 version is slated to be the best one yet. You will find that this beer goes down more like a sherry or cognac instead of a beer, but you will love the boozy sweetness of the finish. Be sure to get your hands on a bottle of Black Tuesday as soon as you can.
The Bruery is also known for a beer-wine hybrid called The Vine, mixed culture ales, and flavor combinations that make you say, “Whoa, how’d they do that?”
Wrapping Up The Highest Alcohol Content Beers!
Sometimes, you want a strong beer with a punch. The beers in this list have a very high ABV percentage, some the equivalent of liquors. There will be no forgetting just how many beers you’ve had when you pop the cap off one of these beers!
If you are going to try these high alcoholic content beers, please do so responsibly—and don’t drink and drive.
FAQs on Highest Alcohol Content Beers
No, 5% alcohol by volume is considered a regular amount in a 12 ounce serving of beer. An example of a common beer with 5% ABV is Stella Artois, a Belgian pale lager. Others include Budweiser, Heineken, and Coors Banquet. Below 5% ABV, you start getting into “light” beer, which is popular for those who are calorie-conscious.
Yes, 8% alcohol by volume is a lot, especially if you only drink light beers (around 4.2% ABV) up to 5% alcohol content. Your body gets used to processing that amount of alcohol. Once you introduce more than usual, it’s going to take longer for the alcohol to be diluted, so more alcohol will enter your bloodstream.
But if you’re used to more than 8% ABV, because you drink a lot of chardonnay wine or distilled spirits, it might not be that much for you.
In September 2020, BrewDog and Schorschbrau teamed up to make a high ABV known as Strength in Numbers, which has a jaw-dropping 57.8% ABV in one bottle. For a long time, these two breweries held titles for some of the strongest beer in the world, but they were dethroned by the current holder of the Guinness World Record. Brewmeister crafted Snake Venom, a beer with 67.5% ABV. That tops the other beer, Armageddon, which has 65% ABV.
Based on factors that lead to drunkenness, in most cases, no, you won’t get drunk off a single regular beer. That is, if you’re drinking 4-5% ABV beer, you will hardly be affected. Unless you weigh under 45kg/100 pounds, most people won’t feel the effects of beer until they have consumed more than one.
Now, if you’re drinking a high alcohol content beer, the answer is yes. The more alcohol you consume at one time, the faster you’ll get drunk.
Brewmeister Snake Venom broke the world record for the highest alcohol content. The beer has 67.5% ABV (135 proof). Also, it runs at $135.96 per bottle, so hopefully you’re up for the challenge of consuming something stronger than the strongest liquors.
Any high ABV beer is going to get you drunk quickly. Brewmeister, BrewDog, Hoegaarden, Schorschbrau, among others have all produced high alcohol content beers that will knock your feet out from under you if you’re not careful. That said, if you want a beer that will get you drunk quick, you should be able to drink that beer. Don’t choose Brewmeister Armageddon if you aren’t ready for the flavor.
The US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) states that moderate beer drinking for men is no more than 4 servings per day or 14 servings in a week. For women, it’s 3 beers a day, no more than 7 beers a week. Keep in mind that this refers to a standard serving of beer (12 oz, 5% ABV). If you’re drinking large quantities of high ABV beer throughout the week, you could risk forming an addiction.