The craft beer industry is big business with each craft brewery looking to come up with something unique which will appeal to a beer drinker’s pallet, and perhaps even give them a challenge in terms of alcohol by volume (ABV). Scottish Brewery BrewDog is one such craft brewery which pushed the envelope when it comes to giving consumers something unique and memorable.
Back in 2010, BrewDog claimed the title as having the strongest beer in the history of the world coming in at a whopping 55% ABV. Just to put this in perspective, your trusty Budweiser is 5% ABV and Bud Light is 4.2% ABV. BrewDog has named their 55% monster “The End of History.” At this high of an ABV, the brewmasters at BrewDog had the challenge of making sure the beer was drinkable, and that it would taste like beer and not gasoline.
The name “The End of History” comes from philosopher Francis Fukuyama’s book “The End of History and the Last Man.” Drinking “The End of History” might ensure one is doing anything but standing. Yet, the insane ABV of this beer is not the only thing to make a potential drinker cringe. The beer is bottled in a regular glass bottle outfitted with a taxidermy squirrel. BrewDog creates this libation masterpiece at their 10,000 square foot brewery located outside of Columbus, Ohio. Other high ABV beers which BrewDog creates include the “Sink The Bismarck” at 41% ABV, and the “Tactical Nuclear Penguin” at 32% ABV.
“The End of History” is manufactured in extremely small amounts with bottles of the brew produced in 2010. Also, the only people who have been able to get their hands on this Frankenstein beer are investors who’ve given at minimum $20,000 to BrewDog’s Equity for Punks USA crowdfunding campaign. Yes, $20,000 for a bottle of beer which one will likely not be able to finish on their own.
Impressively, when BrewDog launched their crowdfunding campaign, they were able to raise $33 million among 46,000 shareholders worldwide. If $20,000 for a bottle of beer is too expensive for you but you’d still like to try some of BrewDog’s other creations, take a visit to the DogTap bar and restaurant in Columbus, Ohio, where they also have an extensive food menu to help you deal with the high ABV beers BrewDog will throw your way. If you have time, you can also take a tour of the brewery which costs $15. Just make sure to book in advance at least 24 hours. Included with the cost of the tour, you get to sample several different beers, and you get a pint of BrewDog Punk IPA.
So how does one brew a beer with 55% ABV? Well, it takes BrewDog seven months to create “The End of History” using a brewing technique called ice distillation. With this process, the beer gets cooled down to a temperature of -40 degrees Celsius for several months. After this cooling process, the ice is taken away, with the rest of the liquid to be concentrated while paying close attention to include the flavors properly.
If you happen to be lucky to ever come across a bottle of “The End of History,” the folks at BrewDog advise sipping it slowly like you would a fine scotch or whiskey. Should you not have had the chance to invest $20,000 or more for BrewDog’s crowdfunding campaign and happen to see the 55% ABV bottle with a squirrel, expect to pay somewhere around $900 USD.
When asked why they used a taxidermy squirrel in their bottling process, a BrewDog representative said, “We wanted to do something that was at the same time beautiful and disturbing, something that made a statement and tried to make people stop and think about all of the possibilities that beer actually has.”
For those normal folks who don’t have an extra $900 lying around for one bottle of beer, you can still try some of BrewDog’s more economically friendly creations including the Jolly Pumpkin Bam Noire, the Prototype Vienna Lager, or Hazy Jane. Prices range from £1.80 to £5.00 per can or bottle. Prices in a pub or your neighborhood liquor store might be a bit higher depending on the state you live in.
In the USA, the official BrewDog distributor is Anchor Brewing Company, and they should be able to help you find the BrewDog masterpiece you are looking for.