Beer Buzz 

Bob Mack, the beer guy at World Class Beverages, shares a comment:

Breweries are reaching new levels of sophistication. How can I tell? Instead of promoting beer with women in bikinis they're competing to see who can brew the beer with the highest alcohol content. Germany's Schorschbrau just beat out Scotland's Brewdog for the current high alcohol by volume (abv) title with their 43% abv "Schorschbock." It beat out Brewdog's "Sink the Bismarck" which had previously held the abv title at 41%.

What's the point of this battle?

Brewdog describes their reasoning at their website: "It is about achieving something which has never before been done and putting Scotland firmly on the map for progressive, craft beers."

Progressive perhaps, but also potentially pointless. You're really just making a distilled spirit and calling it beer.

How do they make a 43% beer? By freezing a regular beer. As it freezes, water crystallizes into ice, the ice is removed and voila, 43% beer. Essentially, the beer is being distilled through freezing.

I'm not opposed to high alcohol beers. I'm opposed to making something with a lot of alcohol in it and calling it beer just for some fleeting world record. I suspect that you're probably sacrificing the good of the beer for that record. Catch Bob Mack daily at

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Finally: June 5 at Upland Brewery in Bloomington: Radfest

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Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn

Rita Kohn has been covering craft beer and the arts for NUVO for two decades. She’s the author of True Brew: A Guide to Craft Beer in Indiana.

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