Super Alcoholic Beer – from Europe to U.S.?

A 3-year-old Scottish microbrewery named BrewDog has released a brand of beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin. The beer has a whopping 32% alcohol content, which is apparently more than 6x the strength of average domestic beers. One of the co-founders for BrewDog, Jim Watts said that some 400 bottles of the Tactical Nuclear Penguin beer are going to be shipped to select stores in New York City and California – including a Whole Foods location. Classy.

A warning label on the beer apparently reads: “This is an extremely strong beer; it should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. It is exactly the same manner you would enjoy a fine whisky, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost.”

Some alcohol watchdog groups aren’t too happy about this high-alcoholic beer, though. A while back, BrewDog got in trouble for releasing a Tokyo beer brand that had 18.2% alcohol. The label on the beer read, “It is all about moderation. Everything in moderation, including moderation itself. What logically follows is that you must, from time, have excess. This beer is for those times.” They were forced to pull that beer off the shelves.

What’s worse is that there’s some sort of battle going on between this company and others in Europe of who can get the most alcoholic beer to stay on the shelves. A German company released a beer with an insane 40% alcohol content called Schroschbock. Then BrewDog fought back and released another beer called Sink the Bismarck! which boasts 41% alcohol content and is claimed to be “the world’s strongest beer.”

BrewDog’s defense in selling such highly alcoholic beer is basically that there’s not a risk of it ending up in the hands (and mouths) of consumers who party hard and drink hard – aka high school and college kids. They figure that the hefty price on the beer – $60 for an 11.2 ounce bottle of Sink the Bismarck! and $53 for a bottle of Tactical Nuclear Penguin – will turn off this “unsophisticated crowd” to the somewhat dangerous beer. For now you can only buy Sink the Bismark! on BrewDog’s website and unless you live in NYC or CA – probably the same goes for TNP.


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