© BrewDog
Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

The next big battleground for super-high ABV beers appears to be happening in cans. The most recent shots have been fired by Scotland’s Brewdog – a brewery known for their obsession with trying to produce some of the world’s strongest beers. Back in 2010, they released Sink The Bismarck, a 41 percent ABV monster that, at the time, was considered the world’s strongest. When that record fell, they tried to recover it by whipping up a 55 percent ABV beer called End of History. But that was all happening in bottles.

Their new canned beer, called “Black Eyed King Imp” – a “Vietnamese coffee-inspired imperial Russian stout” matured in Bourbon casks and aged on vanilla pods and coffee beans – pales in comparison alcohol-wise, at a measly 12.7 percent ABV. However, the brewery claimed in a statement that this newly canned brew is strong enough to take the canned ABV crown. According to the Mirror, this King Imp trumps the previous strongest canned beer, Portside Brewery’s Big Chuck Barley Wine which clocked in at 11.7 percent.

Skeptical as I am, I decided to investigate. Not that 12.7 percent isn’t strong, but in today’s beer world, where you can get imperial beers at your local dive bar, it just didn’t seem that strong. Heading over to CraftCans.com, an excellent resource for everything canned, I simply sorted their current list of 2,588 different canned craft beer by “Strongest Beers.”  Sure enough, though 2,587 of those beers came in at 10.4 percent or lower, one beer, Lee Hill Series Vol. 5 – Belgian Style Quadrupel Ale by Boulder, Colorado’s Upslope Brewing Company came in higher than even Brewdog’s brew. Upslope’s beer is listed at 12.8 percent ABV.

To be fair to Brewdog, this Belgian Quadrupel was only released back in August. So maybe they hadn’t heard of it? And it appears to be a one-time release, which maybe disqualifies it somehow?

But regardless of who actually holds the title, I’m guessing whoever has it currently won’t have it for long, now that the secret that people are trying to brew the world’s strongest canned beer is out of the can. 

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