29 Strongest Alcohol Beers In the World

Beer isn’t just about alcohol, and there are some very tasty brews out there at the lower end of the ABV scale.

However, sometimes, we want something with a bit more of a kick to it, so if you’re looking for the most mercilessly powerful brews, here are the 29 strongest alcohol beers you’re likely to come across.

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The Strongest Beers In the World

1. Snake Venom – 67.5% (Brewmeister, UK)

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The current record-holder for the strongest beer in existence – ever – is Snake Venom from Scottish brewer Brewmeister. It comes with a warning label on the bottle, and at an eyewatering 67.5% ABV, this is not the kind of beer you’ll want to sink in pints.

But then, it’s not really meant to be. It was created deliberately to take the crown of being the strongest “beer” in the world, but it has more in common with a strong spirit like whiskey and should be treated as such.

It pours and looks like a whiskey but is aggressive on the nose, with earthy tones detectable beneath a miasma of alcohol.

Unsurprisingly, the dominant taste is alcohol, but there is a warm finish when the ferocious burn subsides. Let’s be honest, it’s not a beer, or at least, not according to what most people understand that to mean. But if you want to say you’ve tasted the strongest beer in the world, well, this is it!

2. Armageddon – 60% (Brewmeister, UK)

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Snake Venom was created by Brewmeister to top the previous strongest beer, Armageddon, which was produced by…Brewmeister. Technically speaking, the style of this beer is eisbock – this refers to the process used to increase the alcohol content to such extreme levels.

It has an amber color in the glass but no carbonation or head. The nose is surprisingly aromatic, with plenty of smoky malt. In the mouth, of course, the alcohol is inescapable, but it’s not as prominent as you might expect, and the aftertaste is warm and comforting.

Drink it as a whiskey-like spirit and it’s enjoyable. But just don’t drink this expecting it to taste like what you think of as beer.

3. Start the Future – 60% (Brouwerij ‘t Koelschip, Netherlands)

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Another brewery that decided to join the fun and start creating mind-blowingly strong beers is Brouwerij ‘t Koelschip in the Netherlands, and their most potent offering to date is the 60% ABV Start the Future.

It’s another eisbock, this time with a pale yellow color and no head when poured into the glass. On sipping – and that’s all you’ll want to do – the alcohol taste is overwhelming and there’s a hint of sweetness lurking underneath.

And that’s about it. It’s harsh and it burns, but at one time it was the strongest beer in the world. And that’s about the only reason you’d choose to drink it.

4. Strength in Numbers – 57.8% (BrewDog, Schorschbräu, UK and Germany)

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Two of the major players when it comes to concocting the strongest beers possible are the UK’s BrewDog and Germany’s Schorschbräu. One day, they decided to team up, and the 57.8% Strength in Numbers was the result.

Brewing a beer like this is a bit like trying to build the fastest land car. It shows you can do it and it means you hold the record – but it doesn’t serve any practical purpose.

Drivers won’t be taking those cars out on roads – and drinkers won’t be sipping these beers in a bar. But it’s still fun to sample something like this if you ever have chance.

5. Schorschbock 57 – 57% (Schorschbräu, Germany)

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Another one-time holder of the World’s Strongest Beer tag – and unlike some of the others, this beer is still being brewed and available for purchase. It’s a dark amber color in the glass with no head whatsoever.

The flavor profile is dominated by the overwhelming alcohol content, but you may be able to pick out some notes of tropical fruit like pineapple too.

As we move down the ABV scale, we eventually reach a point where we can start thinking of these extra-strong beers as beers – but we’re not there yet, and most beer lovers still won’t actually enjoy drinking this stuff. But in a way, it’s just so different to any beer you’re likely to try that it’s still highly recommended if you ever come across a bottle.

6. End of History – 55% – (BrewDog, UK)

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The main breweries that were involved in producing stronger and stronger beers have been involved in a years-long game of one-upmanship, with each company taking turns to up the ante.

Perhaps with the name of this beer, BrewDog thought they were ending the conversation, although even this monster was eventually surpassed – several times, as we’ve already seen.

They no longer brew this beer, and only a handful of bottles were ever produced, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to sample it.

However, you’ll know if you come across a bottle due to the unique and unmistakable presentation. Bottles of End of History come stuffed inside a real dead squirrel.

7. Obilix – 45% (Koelschip, Netherlands)

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Another of the famously strong beers, and at 45% ABV, it’s still stronger than most whiskies. The nose suggests countryside fruits, and there’s also some sweetness mixed in, something like molasses or treacle.

However, it has a fierce burn when you sip it, and few people will go back for a second glass. Perhaps if one comes your way, you should still give it a go just to say you have – but it’s no longer brewed now anyway, so there’s little risk of you having to put yourself through the ordeal!

8. Schorschbock 43 – 43% (Schorschbräu, Germany)

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Moving down the alcohol scale slightly, but creations of this strength still don’t resemble what most people think of beer – at 43%, we’re still in the realm of strong spirits.

This one has a golden-amber color with no carbonation or head. The flavor, however, is surprisingly complex, with sweet notes like caramel mixed in with dried fruits like apricot or berries.

This “beer” is agreeable to drink, unlike many of the other super-strength offerings, although it’s still more akin to drinking a whiskey or a brandy than a pint of lager.

9. Sink the Bismark – 41% (BrewDog, UK)

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Going back to 2010, BrewDog came up with the Sink the Bismark beer as part of the ongoing alcohol arms race in an effort to reclaim the title of the world’s strongest beer.

However, the brewery quickly beat this with another of their own beers the same year with the controversial End of History that we saw in #6.

10. Esprit de Noel – 40% (Baladin, Italy)

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Another beer that is much more like a whiskey, the Esprit de Noel from Italian brewers Baladin is bright yellow in color and is warm and smooth to drink, displaying notes of wood and chocolate.

It’s aged in oak barrels to add to its flavor – this might be another super-strength beer, but this one is brewed for taste rather than just to show off how much the brewers can raise the ABV.

It might not work as a beer, but it certainly makes a tasty digestif to enjoy after a meal.

11. Struise Black Damnation VI: Messy – 39% (De Struise Brouwers, Belgium)

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The De Struise Brouwers in Belgium weren’t interested in joining the “strongest beer ever” challenge when they brewed their Black Damnation VI: Messy – rather, it was part of a series of experimental beers they created as part of the “Black Damnation” project.

Beers in this series range from 2% ABV (the Black Damnation VII: Single Black) right up to this 39% offering, so not all of them are stuffed with booze – although most of them still come in at over 20% ABV.

The Black Damnation VI: Messy is not yet widely available commercially, but it’s one to look out in the future.

12. Tactical Nuclear Penguin – 32% (BrewDog, UK)

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When we talk about the strongest beers ever brewed, some familiar names keep popping up, so it’s no surprise to see BrewDog appear once more on the list.

This beer, produced in 2009, may have been the one that started it all, throwing down the gauntlet to other brewers and challenging them to beat what BrewDog had concocted.

Those were more innocent days though, and the Tactical Nuclear Penguin registered an ABV of “only” 32% – but that was still high enough to make it arguably the strongest beer ever brewed at the time.

13. Samuel Adams Utopias – 28% (Samuel Adams, USA)

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With the Samuel Adams Utopias, we are almost – but not quite – approaching beers that can genuinely be considered beers.

At 28% ABV, this tipple is still more reminiscent of a spirit than a beer, and most people will easily be able to imagine they are drinking a scotch or a bourbon. These beers are aged in barrels, and the flavor is a complex smoky, malty, fruity mixture.

Again, serve this after dinner and you’ll appreciate it as an aperitif – just don’t try drinking it like a regular beer because that’s just not what it’s meant for.

14. Black Damnation V – Double Black – 26% (De Struise Brouwers, Belgium)

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The next beer on the list is another of the experimental brews from De Struise Brouwers’ “Black Damnation” project. The Black Damnation V is an American imperial stout that clocks a whopping 26% ABV.

At least that much alcohol in a beer would be describable as “whopping” if we hadn’t already seen a slew of beers well over 50-60% ABV!

However, despite this huge amount of alcohol, this is undeniably a beer rather than a spirit – perhaps the first one on our list that can be described as such.

It has a black color and manages to produce a thin but short-lived head when poured. The flavor is a mix of chocolate or caramel and dark berries.

If you want to try the strongest beer that actually tastes something like a beer, give this one a go. But be warned – the alcohol content is still overwhelming, so tread carefully.

15. Black Damnation XI – Special Kay – 22% (De Struise Brouwers, Belgium)

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Another entry from De Struise Brouwers, this time a Russian imperial stout. With a slightly more modest ABV of 22%, this beer is more approachable.

It has a deep, dark color that is almost black, and it produces a dirty brown head that disappears almost immediately. The nose gives off aromas of sweet malt, while the flavor profile includes molasses, oak and dark fruit.

The alcohol is very prominent without spoiling the flavor, so this is a beer to drink slowly, but it can be very satisfying if you have time to sit, sip and enjoy.

16. Black Tuesday Reserve– 20.5% (The Bruery, USA)

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The strongest offering from California outfit The Bruery, a company that is responsible for some outstanding beers with a serious alcoholic kick.

The Black Tuesday Reserve is an American imperial stout that boasts an ABV of 20.5% and is aged for one year in old bourbon barrels before undergoing another year of ageing in new bourbon barrels.

There is little or no head when poured, but you may detect a hint of carbonation. Thanks to the ageing process, you can expect to pick out strong notes of oak and bourbon along with vanilla and sweet malt.

If you want to try a strong, strong beer that also holds its own in terms of flavor and complexity, this one should be high on your list of priorities.

17. Grey Monday – 19.9% (The Bruery, USA)

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Grey Monday is another beer from The Bruery, and at 19.9% ABV, it comes just below the Black Tuesday Reserve.

Like the Black Tuesday Reserve, it’s another American imperial stout – in fact, it’s another version of the same drink but that has been aged on hazelnuts to add an extra element to the flavor.

It’s rich and full, and in many ways is very similar to the beer we just saw above, but it’s different enough to warrant trying, and those who like their beers to be big and strong are sure to love it.

18. Mocha Wednesday – 19.9% (The Bruery, USA)

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More of the same from The Bruery, this is another American imperial stout with the same ABV of 19.9%, this time with predominant notes of coffee in both the nose and the mouth, as you may guess from the name.

Alcohol is, inescapably prominent, but you’ll also be able to find notes of things like cherries, chocolate, coffee and vanilla, making this a strong but complex beer that’s fun to sample.

19. Chocolate Rain – 19.6% (The Bruery, USA)

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Moving very slightly down the ABV ladder but still sticking with The Bruery, this is another of their specialty American imperial stouts, and as with the Mocha Wednesday, the name of this one gives you a strong hint about what to expect.

Along with the obvious chocolate, there’s also plenty of depth, with a flavor profile offering strong hints of toffee, bourbon, oak and sweet malt. Another top beer from this brewery that contains loads of booze but that is still delicious to drink.

20. Black Tuesday – 19.5% (The Bruery, USA)

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The regular Black Tuesday as opposed to the Reserve, this American imperial stout weighs in at 19.5% and boasts notes of caramel, malt, vanilla, burnt wood and more.

It is strongly reminiscent of bourbon thanks to the barrel-ageing process, and while the alcohol is unmistakably there, it is smooth, warm and comforting rather than obtrusive.

This is a brewery that knows how to make potent beers that taste fantastic – and this is another perfect example of their craft.

21. Black Tuesday – Rum Barrel-Aged – 18.9% (The Bruery, USA)

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The last of the beers on our list from The Bruery and another iteration of their Black Tuesday – this time, with a meagre ABV of just 18.9%. This version is aged in rum barrels, giving it a distinctive flavor of rum and treacle.

You can pick these up in the nose before sipping – along with a pleasingly powerful whiff of alcohol – and in the mouth, it’s warm and smooth. This is yet another exceptional strong beer from a brewery that knows how to make them.

22. A Deal with the Devil – 17.3% (Anchorage Brewing Company, USA)

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The strongest beer from the well-regarded Anchorage Brewing Company is their Deal with the Devil, an American barleywine brewed with galaxy hops.

It’s aged for 11 months in cognac barrels and has an enticingly fruity nose and a layered flavor profile with notes of caramel, molasses, vanilla, dark raisins and coconut.

At 17.3% ABV, we’re still talking about an exceptionally strong beer. But the alcohol doesn’t taste excessive, and there is hardly any burn when drinking it. A surprisingly well-rounded beer for something this potent and more than worth tracking down.

23. A Deal with the Devil – Double Oak Aged – 17% (Anchorage Brewing Company, USA)

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Another version of the Deal with the Devil beer from Anchorage brewing, this is a double oak-aged iteration with just a touch less alcohol.

As we move down our list and the ABVs start to drop, we are almost into the realm of strong but regular beers – but you still need to treat them with respect because just a few glasses of this will leave you feeling it the next morning.

24. It Was All A Dream – 17% (J. Wakefield Brewing, USA)

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We love the name of this beer – because it’s probably what you might think when you wake up after overindulging in this powerful American imperial stout. With this tasty yet potent brew, it would be easy to do that though.

It goes through an ageing process that involves bourbon maple syrup barrels, and the result is a beautifully rich beer with elements of things like coffee, coconut and vanilla discernible in the flavor profile. Easy drinking despite the booze, so remember to take it easy!

25. Fundamental Forces – 16.2% (Bottle Logic Brewing, USA)

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This beer has a deep brown, almost black color and pours with a thick brown head.

There’s a fruitiness in both the nose and the taste, accompanied by a sweetness from the malt, as you would expect from a beer of this style.

The 16.2% ABV is also very apparent in the flavor, making this an indulgently boozy beer to enjoy in moderation.

26. Tweak – 16% (Avery Brewing Company, USA)

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Like many of the more powerful beers out there, this is another American imperial stout.

It’s dark in color, sweet and fruity in the nose and delivering chocolate, maple and coffee notes when you sip. There’s also a strong hint of bourbon that lingers in the mouth well after you swallow.

A world-class beer that fans of this style should all try.

27. Marshmallow Handjee 15% (3 Floyds Brewing Co., USA)

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A Russian imperial stout from the 3 Floyds Brewing Co. that ranks #2 in BeerAdvocate’s list of the top beers in the world, meaning there’s way more to this brew than just its impressive 15% ABV.

It’s aged in bourbon barrels along with vanilla beans, creating a big, smooth and perfectly balanced beer. It might not be so easy to lay your hands on one of these, but if you manage, you’re in for a treat.

28. Chemtrailmix – 15% (3 Floyds Brewing Co., USA)

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Another Russian imperial stout from 3 Floyds, this time aged in rye barrels and infused with cinnamon and pink peppercorns.

By this point, the ABV of 15% is hardly even an issue and is just one part of a rich mix of elements that combine to make an extremely satisfying if potent brew.

29. Trappistes Rochefort 10 – 11.3% (Brasserie de Rochefort, Belgium)

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This beer isn’t anywhere near the strongest you can find – but we’ve included it because it’s among the most perfect strong beers you’ll ever taste.

And yes, at 11.3% ABV, it still most definitely qualifies as a strong beer. It has a deep brown color topped by a thick, creamy head. The nose is deliciously malty with notes of fruit, and this carries over to the flavor profile, to be joined by floral hints and suggestions of spices.

The Rochefort 10 is extremely complex with the alcohol lurking pleasantly beneath the surface without dominating everything else.

So while there are many stronger beers available, this is still one of the best high-ABV brews around.

Plenty of great beers to sample

As you can see, there are some incredibly powerful beers out there – along with some more subtle and drinkable brews that nevertheless pack a significant punch.

Some of these beers are rare or no longer available, but it should be fun sampling any you manage to track down. Just make sure you take it easy if you don’t want to wake up with a seriously sore head the next morning.

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