The lies behind the ‘strongest beers in the world’

Posted by on May 29, 2014 in Scottish Beer | 45 Comments

Almost exactly a month ago, the co-founder and MD of Brewmeister, Lewis Shand, admitted to me, in front of witnesses, that their beer Armageddon was not 65%abv as claimed. Commenting on the post I wrote following that conversation, he accused me of writing ‘lies’ – yet it now seems they were actually nothing of the sort. In another series of astonishing admissions, on Tuesday Lewis wrote this blog post, revealing the results of their own long-awaited analysis of Armageddon, which they had seemingly been pressured into commissioning. Here are those results, text copied directly from that post:-

The results are back however. It turned out as follows. The first 4 batches were at the correct ABV (within 1% is allowed, so they were all between 64-66%). We did not have any bottles from the next batch but two consecutive batches after this were not the desired ABV – they were nearer the pre-freezing strength, the lowest one was at 15.25%.

15.25% abv. This is even lower than the results of another independent test I have recently seen the results of, commissioned by a friend within the beer industry. Analysed at an HMRC-trusted laboratory attached to a brewery with experience of spirit distillation, the results of alcohol by volume testing for Armageddon came back last week:-

Armageddon – abv 22.86% (PG 1020.28)

This, in turn, tallies with the unofficial test I had conducted on a previous bottle of Armageddon, performed for me last year as a favour in another highly respected testing centre, which gave the result as 15.9% abv, and an earlier test performed in Sweden that placed the beer under 25%. These results should remove all doubt, if any were remaining, that Brewmeister Armageddon is not – indeed may never have been, the strongest beer in the world (or second-strongest, as it would claim to be now).

That 62-word paragraph that Lewis wrote raises so many questions. Firstly, if it is only just now that they have had the first four batches analysed, how on earth could they have got them all within 2%abv with no way of measuring it? It beggars belief: all of the publicity received in late 2012 was arrived at without the strength of Armageddon having ever been ascertained, by anyone. It certainly doesn’t appear to have been verified independently by the World Record Academy (who do not appear to be the same body as the Guinness World Records agency). This is astonishing, particularly when viewed in a legal context; Section 12.5 of the HMRC Beer Duty regulations, states“You must continuously monitor and record your ABV results”, and section 12.2 states“The results of the independent analyses must be held in your business records.”

The next thing that jumps out about the Brewmeister blog post is that having apparently managed to get the hugely difficult procedure of freeze-distillation right, straight from the off, four times in a row, something then happened with the two most recent batches. The process continually removes any formed ice, concentrating the solution by retaining alcohol (which will not freeze at that temperature). So goodness only knows what they were removing instead. Surely you would notice the remaining liquid was not darkening, or thickening – particularly if you’d successfully done it before? Apparently not, as Lewis goes on, in his blog post:-

We do not know where the mistake happened or how, but we know when they happened so we are in the process of contacting customers we believe may have had this batch to offer Snake Venom as a replacement. I would like to apologise deeply to anyone who got one of these bottles and you should expect to hear from me via email if you purchased direct. I really am truly sorry. At the time we were just 3 naïve guys in a barn with some stainless steel pots and a lot of ambition. Now we are a bit bigger (and dare I say it, more professional) I want to put things right.

Admirable, wanting to put things right. But given what he goes on to say about Snake Venom I’m not sure why anyone would be happy with that as a replacement. I have no idea what this means for the many people – myself included – that bought Armageddon through a third party. Presumably we are not entitled to refunds. Given there are no batch details on the bottles, it’s actually impossible for Brewmeister customers to know which batches were which; whether we bought one that was allegedly 64-66%, or actually 15% – although the moment of tasting removed all doubt on that front.

One fact that looks to torpedo Lewis’s claims to producing the first four batches to strength is the Swedish test (which came back at 25% abv). According to Johan Lenner’s blog post on Portersteken, it looks to have been performed in January 2013 (although it’s in Swedish; the post was published on the 3rd of February). This is a mere three months after the beer was first released. So, presumably, this must have been the fifth batch of Armageddon that went to Sweden, if the first four were definitely between 64 and 66% abv. Either that, or something happened to knock two-thirds of the abv off, on the crossing of the Baltic.*

*Thanks to Kristoffer Boesen for pointing out, on Twitter, that I actually meant the North Sea…



The next paragraph of the blog post relates to Snake Venom (listed abv, 67.5%)

Snake Venom is the current high ABV beer we are focussing on. We are changing the hops we use to give it more of a grapefruit taste, we get the ABV of this checked randomly now and the equipment we use is far better. If it falls short or too high, we can correct this with pure alcohol or normal ABV beer (or as we call it, raw snake venom which is pre-frozen snake venom). If we correct the ABV we have to add alcohol as an ingredient. We are also ageing some in whisky casks now and plan to sell at some point down the line.

So this is the solution. Anytime the freeze distillation fails, they’ll just top up the difference with ethanol to make it to 67.5%. That’s the grand scheme. Declare it on the labels and all is fine. This is almost beyond comprehension. Firstly, as soon as any raw alcohol touches that conditioning tank, what’s inside is no longer classified as ‘beer’. So they can remove the tagline for Snake Venom being the ‘world’s strongest beer’ right away. It isn’t. It’s been grogged; it’s not a beer.

Secondly, this is morally repugnant; pouring raw alcohol into a beer to reach an alcohol level that was missed through technical failure. Is that ‘craft’, as they claim their beers are? From a company with a mission statement on the front page of their website, stating that they don’t add any chemicals to their beers. This is disgraceful; it’s not Snake Venom, it’s Snake Oil. And they have the balls to say this is craft beer? Craft? Covering mistakes with ethanol? It’s the equivalent of butchers adding sawdust to sausages to make up the meat content.

The final – and for Brewmeister, potentially the most significant – thing about tipping raw spirit into a beer is that it immediately affects the amount of duty payable. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs clearly state this; “…If you mix beer with spirits that produces a recognisable increase in the alcoholic strength, even if the majority of the final product is beer, you will have to pay duty on the final product at the Spirits Duty rate.” And later; “If you mix spirits with anything apart from water, you must have a compounder’s licence.”

The team at Brewmeister could apply for these licenses (if they don’t possess them already), pay spirit duty, and amend the labelling for Snake Venom – and all would be fine. Well, except the industry friend who had Armageddon analysed also acquired a bottle of Snake Venom (67.5%), and had that tested as well:-

Snake Venom – abv 41.16% (PG 1002.88)

So, Snake Venom isn’t the stated strength either; it is two-thirds as alcoholic as it should be. However, of even more interest, having consulted two industry specialists; both were hugely surprised at the resultant Present Gravity level (a measure of remaining sugars). A PG of 1002.88 is apparently extremely low for a 41% beer, giving a likely indication that a method other than freeze-distillation has been deployed (in comparison, Armageddon had a PG of 1020.28, and that had half the alcohol content of Snake Venom). Early RateBeer reviews of Snake Venom state a ‘harsh alcohol burn’ on the flavour; and now Lewis Shand reveals ‘future’ batches can be made up to 67.5%abv as needed, by adding neat alcohol. Co-incidence?



Why is this a problem, you might ask? Brewmeister were new to the industry back then, naïve by their own admission, and not really sure of what the regulations were. They made a series of mistakes and have now apologised. Isn’t that the end of it?

No. Admission of guilt is simply not enough. Contrition has finally been shown, but the test results speak for themselves. Brewmeister sit there and write a blog that states their respect for the American brewing industry*, whilst simultaneously sticking two fingers up at the British equivalent, on a daily basis. They apologise for releasing batches of alcohol that are labelled illegally, yet still allow them to be on sale to anyone unaware they aren’t 65%, but 15%.** They say sorry for a simple mistake, one paragraph before stating they are going to resolve it by adding untested, unquantified chemicals to their products in future. They top up a beer with ethanol and seemingly STILL can’t get within 20% of the declared abv.

* “over the pond they just get on with it, it’s all about making great beer and none of the politics.”

** Armageddon is still, as of today, available to buy online (such as here, at Beers of Europe, priced at £45). Isn’t this the batch that the owner of the company has admitted is actually 15% abv? It should be removed from the shelves immediately.

Brewmeister are the brewing equivalent of those involved in the horsemeat scandal. Every beer producer, beer retailer, and beer drinker should be horrified by what Brewmeister have done, and by what they have stated they are willing to do, to further their interests. As such, anyone who buys Brewmeister beer at a festival, visits a bar they become involved with, or gives them an award should ask themselves if this is a business they want to support. The only way to get the message across that they have no place in this industry they are disrespecting is to take action; challenge them publicly, talk to retailers who stock their products, and report them to Trading Standards. If you drink a Brewmeister beer, you simply have no idea what you’re getting. Enough is enough.

UPDATE May 2016

To close this story off, in late 2015 the original owners were bought out by a consortium of venture capitalists from Dundee, and re-branded as the Keith Brewery.

45 Comments

  1. leithdave
    May 29, 2014

    Rich – Really illuminating article on this scandal yet again – a great bit of work to expose some really cynical practice.

    Does make me wonder who is going to touch any of their products with a bargepole now. I suspect it’ll be unsuspecting people who stumble across it and – taken in by the Brewdog-style packging – fancy trying some “craft beer”. The brand is now damaged forever by this – and I can’t imagine anyone who knows anything about beer taking any interest in them now.

    Interested to hear, though, that they received an award last night – the BQ Scottish Export Award, with 75% of their product going overseas…

  2. James Wrobel
    May 29, 2014

    Wow.
    Print this out & frame it. Your finest hour.

    It does raise a few questions,
    Are you prepared for long, drawn out legal shenannigans? ( because being in the right won’t make it any easier)
    They must have seen this coming and I presume they have a response ready.
    How deep are their pockets?
    Is this talk of a bar pure horeshit?
    Any news agencies aware of this?
    Any word from their US distributer?
    You maybe should find some more victims. I’m sure they would love this to be about a lone uppity blogger.

    Just re-read it-great stuff. Dripping with anger, but coherent and well argued

  3. Matthew Forbes
    May 29, 2014

    I’m going to post a couple of things gleaned from an old flat mate of one of the founders:
    “I fucking despise one of the twats who started this, and old flatmate. He admitted then that he was copying Brewdog and wanted to overtake them.

    They may have made the worlds strongest beer now, but it tastes like utter shit and that’s coming from their own staff.”

    “Doesn’t surprise me, I did ask if it had actually been proven but was told by the staff that “it doesn’t have to be”. Apparently the same goes for not cleaning the equipment, as apparenlty the ingredients get so hot it doesn’t need cleaning.”
    http://www.aberdeen-music.com/topic/37181-brewdog-wins/page-37#entry821644

    Now who’s going to notify HMRC?

  4. Tom Hogg
    May 29, 2014

    This is all kinda sad. Brewmeister are apparently the Walter Mitty of Scotland’s small-scale brewing scene (although having ideas above and beyond their capabilities is not unique). Is it some giant Jeremy Beadle-esque stunt?

  5. Gurthnar
    May 29, 2014

    It seems that you have summed up pretty much everything that I have been thinking of on this subject.
    Thank you for that.

  6. neil, eatingisntcheating.co.uk
    May 29, 2014

    Fantastic investigative journalism, brilliantly written.

    I found this genuinely disgusting:

    “Snake Venom is the current high ABV beer we are focussing on. We are changing the hops we use to give it more of a grapefruit taste, we get the ABV of this checked randomly now and the equipment we use is far better. If it falls short or too high, we can correct this with pure alcohol or normal ABV beer (or as we call it, raw snake venom which is pre-frozen snake venom). If we correct the ABV we have to add alcohol as an ingredient. We are also ageing some in whisky casks now and plan to sell at some point down the line.”

    What the actual fuck!?

    Have the ASA (advertising standards agency) and FSA (Foods Standards Agency) been informed?

  7. steve th
    May 29, 2014

    Ok this seems to have now crossed the line. What was simply a brewer I saw no reason to check out changed a while back into one id actively avoid. This latest post moves them into a catogory where I’d distrust anyone prepared to sell their stuff.

  8. Graham Ford
    May 29, 2014

    BOOM!! Great post. Have been following this spat for while now and I love Richard’s depth of research and the lengths he has gone to, including forking out the 50 smackeroonies for a bottle of the offensive beer.

    I remember first hearing about Brewmeister when they began blowing their trumpet. I was sick of all the End of Days hullaballoo and other high abv freeze distilled drinkipoos the Dogging Twosome were producing and could not see the point of some other brewery producing another “record breaker”. However, alomg comes another (supposed) one.

    I personally don’t see the point of them but did taste Tactical Nucleur Pingu. I didn’t like it but that’s beside the point. It appears as if the raison d’etre of Brewshyster would be not to sell whatever quality beer in this country but to sell it abroad. They seem to be, in particular, targetting China. They can try and swing their, would it be fair to say, dishonest wares to tempt a partially gullible, aspiring and financially free middle class. However, they’ll get found out as there is already a burgeoning craft beer scene there. As I understand it is being pushed onwards by largely US & Chinese ventures such as Great Leap and Hopping Frog to name but two. Hopefully they can spread the word about the spurious boy Lewis and his merry band of pranksters/snake oil salesmen.

    I have never ever ever seen any of their offerings and if I do, will avoid like the plague.

    Regardless of strength or of definition, beer should be brewed to the highest quality and flavour with integrity. Just as one would expect any craft/artisan product to be.

    It is going to get more interesting

  9. niallthomas
    May 29, 2014

    Yet again, an excellent piece of work here. I’ve never had a Brewmeister beer and likely never will. This gimmick of producing the highest ABV beer seemed irresponsible to me, unless it was also improving or creating a new flavour that is best suited to the high strength. Now I know that ABV is the only goal of the brewer, and he would go so far as to spike his product with pure alcohol, I’ve lost all respect for them.

    That it appears Brewmeister have already added alcohol and still fallen well short of their intended ABV is laughable. They have any respect and gained my pity. They still won’t be getting any of my money.

  10. Emma
    May 29, 2014

    Very comprehensive report.

    You don’t state what ‘PG’ is anywhere btw.

  11. Glasgowfoodie
    May 29, 2014

    This is illuminating to say the least! Well done in keeping at it and digging deeper.

  12. Denzil
    May 29, 2014

    I had no idea the branding was so lame until I saw this picture.

  13. Roger
    May 29, 2014

    I have also done this research, drank 4 bottles of this Snake beer and it was so horrible I was sick eleven times that night, my hat was filled with vomit and it was disgusting, I cannot believe they are making this beer that not only cost me £200 but made me sick eleven times, fight the good fight here.

  14. Neil Pedersen
    May 29, 2014

    In Lewis’ statement it’s interesting to read they are opening a bar – is this them pre-empting other suppliers stopping selling their products, I think so.

  15. Peter
    May 29, 2014

    Very well-researched and written. The saddest element of all this stooshie is how it reflects on the rest of the artisan brewing industry, especially if this pish gets exported. How difficult would it be for others to get past the reputational damage to Scottish brewing caused by these eejits, especially once their fraud is discovered in other countries.

  16. Zimbo
    May 29, 2014

    These antics embarrass the entire craft beer industry. I’d shocked if there wasn’t action now.

  17. Graham Ford
    May 29, 2014

    Perhaps burnt at the stake on the Castle Esplanade just like the rels of our our historic Galloway cannibal clan.

  18. G
    May 29, 2014

    Great article.

    A few things about fractional freezing:

    The temperature of the liquid is dropped until ice crystals start to form, which are then removed, concentrating everything else in the beer including sugars, alcohol and other things. To get a really strong beer this way, this needs to be repeated, at increasingly low temperatures, as the alcohol content goes up.

    The process is also not 100% efficient, so the ice crystals still contain some alcohol, sugars etc., and the percentage of the ice crystals this makes up increases as the temperature drops and the booze increases.

    To get to high levels of alcohol with beer requires (1) a LOT of beer: you’re taking out huge amount of liquid out of the beer, you’re doing this repeatedly, and the amount goes up each time. I’d be surprised if brewmeister had kit that could make a big enough batch of beer to produce more than a few bottles of highly freeze-distilled beer. Which leads to (2) you need a MASSIVE freezer: you need freezing equipment capable of holding perhaps thousands of litres of beer. Where are they supposed to have got this? I thought they were two guys with a pot and a barn? You also need (3) your freezer needs to be seriously badass. Brewdog used massive vats in an ice-cream factory to drop the beer to -20C to make Tactical Nuclear Penguin. I’d be surprised if 65% beers could be made without temperatures around -60C. Where are they getting this equipment, and how did they get it while they were a couple of guys with a pot and a barn? Finally, you need (4) lots of expertise. Brewdog have a bunch of people with degrees in engineering and brewing science and stuff like that. They know their shit, and it still took them several attempts to get something up to 55%. How the hell are we supposed to believe that brewmeister, who don’t seem able to make a simple blond beer, went straight in and hit 65% four batches in a row? And once this is done, suddenly your brain falls out of your arse and you have

    Brewmeister had no hope of getting a beer up anywhere near as strong as they claimed, and I suspect they knew enough to know this, and knew from the beginning that the beer coming out the other end of the freezing process was miles weaker than they were claiming. If any of their beers tested above 60% abv (and I’ll believe the claims about the tests on those four batches when I see them), I’ll bet it’s because they’ve been adding alcohol from the beginning. In fact, I’d be surprised if they were able to freeze anything over 30%.

    The admission about this is pretty shocking though. One question I’d like to ask him is, what percentage of the liquid in the bottle does he think it’s acceptable to make up out of additions of pure ethanol? I mean, does he intend to try to get the beer to 60% abv, and make up the extra 5%, or is he intending to get it to 15% and make up the rest? There’s a bit difference between these two.

    The point about the gravity of the liquid is absolutely knock-down. I think you understate things when you say it gives a ‘likely indication’ that the beer wasn’t freeze-distilled to that strength. I think it would be pretty much *impossible* to freeze-distill a beer to over 40% alcohol without concentrating the sugars enough for the gravity to be higher. Even freezing a bone-dry saison to 40% would get you higher than this.

  19. Michael
    May 29, 2014

    Looks like the link on Brewmeister’s site to buy the beer is dead: http://www.therealalecompany.co.uk/real-craft-ale-beer/ales-by-brewery/brewmeister.html

    I suppose the plug has started to get pulled on them.

  20. Malk
    May 29, 2014

    Cunts.

  21. Denno
    May 29, 2014

    I´ll add some more numbers to G´s response there.

    Having dabbled quite a bit in eisbocking myself, I can vouch for the idea that making a 65% beer by people that really don´t seem to have the first clue about the chemical processes behind it is pretty much impossible.

    1, The amount of beer needed: let’s say, for the sake of argumentation, that Brewmeister wasn’t a very technically accomplished brewery, as they basically acknowledge themselves. Any homebrewer should be able to brew a 12% ABV beer quite handily without worrying too much about dead yeast or whatever.

    Good, that being said, there’s basically a GOOD eisbock (which would maximize the amount of sugars and hops distilled from the base beer) and an EFFICIENT eisbock (which just focuses on getting the maximum of alcohol from every distillation step). Let’s say they went for the EFFICIENT route.

    First of all, we’d have to determine an efficient batch size. Let’s say 1,000 bottles of 330 ml is an okay batch size to release into wholesale. Let’s round it out and call that 300 liters of finished product.

    If the volume of the base beer is N, then one step (doubling the ABV) in a GOOD eisbock would leave you with roughly N/7 to N/5 depending on the beer used, and an efficient eisbock would be N/3.

    Then take into consideration that every eisbock step just increases the alcohol volume by one factor of the original ABV, and doesn’t double it. For example: 13% becomes 26%, 26 becomes 39 and NOT 52.

    So let’s do the match: 13 – 26 – 39 – 52 – 65. Which is exactly what Armageddon claims to be. That’s FOUR steps, each dividing the volume by AT LEAST 3, leaving out some possible lost efficiency. That’s 8100 liters of beer needed for a single batch.

    81 hl is a pretty significant amount of beer, and that’s considering the ABSOLUTE MINIMUM you’d need for this. I very much doubt that a brewery with the funds that Brewmeister had before the media attention would be able to dedicate 81 BARRELS of beer to a single batch of a single eisbock. Just for reference: medium-sized craft breweries in the states usually pound out roughly 400 barrels A YEAR, that’s five times the size of this single batch.

    2. The temperature needed: from my own experiences, I can say you need a temperature of at least -23 to get a decent (not even perfect) FIRST distillation of a 13% beer. Getting all the freezing steps done to achieve 65% would indeed require a freezer that goes down to roughly 70 below. That’s monstrous if you don’t have specifically designed equipment, which I very much doubt from a brewery that basically hadn’t really achieved anything before this.

    So yes, fishy.

  22. Denno
    May 29, 2014

    I’d also like to mention that ethanol has the lowest freezing point out of all ingredients in a beer. Hence, it’d be all but impossible to create something flavourful this high octane. As G also mentioned, you’d be sucking out more and more flavour as you go along. You’d have to add sugar or dry-hop the final product to create something vaguely tasty.

  23. Paul Kruzycki
    May 29, 2014

    A great follow up piece to your original – and I’d suggest your original was what prompted them to dream up their blog – a total work of fiction in my opinion.

    My company has had samples from this brewery and requests to stock them. Given their track record I decided to never stock them on the site. Other online retailers and beer clubs stock their beers – it says a lot for their selection processes that they list them in my opinion.

    If you get hassle from the brewery and threats of legal action, I would be prepared to donate to help you fight any action. Keep up the good work.

    Paul Kruzycki

  24. Stuart McLuckie
    May 29, 2014

    Environmental health demands that every batch is identified by some number on the label in case there are health issues with a particular batch. I wonder how these guys can have registered food premises and ever got through an environmental health inspection.

  25. BrewDog James
    May 29, 2014

    Great article Rich and a brilliant piece of investigative journalism.

  26. Bryan the Beerviking
    May 29, 2014

    Here’s the numbers from James Watts at tastings of the Brewdog ice-beers:

    TNP was 10% Paradox Imp Stout frozen to -18C to yield 32%
    StB was 9% Hardcore frozen (by an ice cream factory) to -25C to yield 41%
    EoH needed a -80C medical fridge to reach 55%, starting with (I believe) an entire brew it yielded just 12 bottles.

    So the likelihood of anyone reaching 65% and producing more than 5 or 6 bottles per brew is….?

  27. Jon K (out of Stringers)
    May 29, 2014

    This has all been very interesting, but surely it’s a matter for Trading Standards now? Have you made a complaint to them? It’s what we (or most of us) pay our taxes for.

  28. peter
    May 29, 2014

    Power to your elbow Paul, great to see such support for the integrity of the industry.

  29. Richard
    May 29, 2014

    Jon – Trading Standards have been informed, yes

  30. Knopsy
    May 29, 2014

    I sincerely hope that in their “naivety” they haven’t confused methanol with ethanol!

  31. Neil
    May 29, 2014

    Great article Richard – I see that Aldi are selling bottles of Brewmeister Supersonic IPA as part of their Scottish Beer Festival

  32. Jay W
    May 30, 2014

    I had ordered a bottle of Armageddon from them in November of ’12 for about $120 with shipping, didnt receive it until about 6 months later, broken in what seemed like a paper towel tube. PayPal said they couldn’t get my money back since it was six months since I places my order. Brewmeister’s head of honesty Lewis Shand ignored me for months, then lied to me repeatedly telling me they sent me a replacement.

    After the announcement of their new ‘highest abv’ beer, the listeners of my podcast overtook their Facebook page, to which I was promised the new beer and the old one. Naturally, never got anything and am still awaiting a refund. I know there are many others who also got broken or no bottles at all sent to them that they paid for. These guys are the worst.

    I will have to post my own long version of this tale too on my site to help keep people from buying beer from these guys. A class action lawsuit would be nice…

  33. Nick Rosser
    May 30, 2014

    I simply cannot believe what these guys are doing! Deeply saddens me to see the industry tainted by these morons. Have never tried their beer, never will!
    Seems like anyone can get an award if these guys can!
    Also, what grade ethanol are they using? This could be a real health risk to consumers. They need shutting down before they do any more damage- be it to the industry or anyone Unfortuate to have drunk it!
    Great article Rich, great for the craft beer cause- not for the muppets at Brewmeister!

  34. Angelina
    May 30, 2014

    Further to my post in the initial discussions I’m guessing our beer tasting 2013 disappointing bottle of Armageddon was around the 15% we all thought it was….I’ve had no contact from Brewmeister so guess I’m not getting a refund/replacement?

    Just to bear in mind once again, I paid £45 for it direct from their website in December 2012. That has to be the most expensive 15% I’ll ever have….

  35. Michael
    May 30, 2014

    I’ve added a wee bit to the Wikipedia page, but I think there is probably more work could be done there if someone has time. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armageddon_(beer)

  36. Chris Routledge
    May 31, 2014

    This is great stuff Richard, forceful and well researched. I can’t imagine how they thought they could get away with this.

  37. Ez
    May 31, 2014

    Interesting. Not surprising. By taste I figured around 15-20%, though a shot at a time left my head spinning – maybe that’s the medical alcohol. I was disappointed how flat and sweet the flavour was; did not expect it to be great but I had hoped. More let down that I could not get it to burn like surely an over-proof should (maybe I needed to add black powder). Still waiting for a day to amuse myself with bottle #2. Presumably from the same batch but who knows what might be different. Two bottles of TNP enjoyed very different results (both explosive).

    I wonder which batch I have from? Ordered mid Nov’12 and two bottles reached Oz perfectly intact about 11 weeks later. The label is quite different to the pic above – similar yellow writing on a plain black field topped with a simple horn-like logo over their name in a thin white font. Cap is plain yellow.
    Can anyone identify this?
    Ez

  38. Denno
    June 2, 2014

    All this made me wonder: has anyone analyzed any of the Schorschbräu stuff? People have described it as being incredibly hot and that raises eyebrows in terms of the eisbock process.

  39. Richard Macdonald
    June 3, 2014

    So they’ll be putting a claim in for over payments of duty then?

  40. Richard
    July 7, 2014

    Well, I haven’t read the Trading Standards report yet, so I’ll probably post something when I’ve had a chance to look at it, when I get back to blogging at the end of the month 😉

  41. peter
    July 7, 2014

    Hi Richard,
    It’s not trading standards that are involved it’s Environmental Health and the office of the Public Analyst.

  42. schorsch
    July 22, 2014

    Hy denno,

    of course we are doing our strong beers with icebock method and
    as i told rich,we do this every day but more the ” lower” 13,20 and 30% beers.
    our 43 and 57 % beer is more a hobby,but i do those batches every year in very low amount.
    of course you can ask any question and have any lab results you want.
    of course you can take any of my bottles and give it to a lab also.
    i can send richard a sample of my stronger ones to have
    a tasting if he organizes this,just ask.
    all of my beers are made in accordance with the german purity law
    and of course i do not add extra alcohol ,its no more beer then.
    i am very disappointed by brewmeisters,its unbelieveable how they behave,

    Lewis,how could you do this to us extreme beer brewers..shame on you !!!

    lots of deeper knowledge in this blog ,compliments to investigative journalism
    and intelligent comments.

  43. Update
    November 18, 2014

    September 24th:

    http://www.morningadvertiser.co.uk/Drinks-Brands-News/ASA-slams-world-s-strongest-beer-for-67.5-ABV-claims

    … the ASA noted that it was possible that alcohol could have been added.

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