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The Race To Beer With 50% Alcohol By Volume

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-stiff-12-pack dept.

Idle 297

ElectricSteve writes "Most of the world's beer has between 4% and 6% alcohol by volume (ABV). The strength of beer achieved by traditional fermentation brewing methods has limits, but a well-crafted beer that is repeatedly 'freeze distilled' can achieve exquisite qualities and much higher alcohol concentrations. An escalation in the use of this relatively new methodology over the last 12 months has seen man's favorite beverage suddenly move into the 40+% ABV realm of spirits such as gin, rum, brandy, whiskey, and vodka, creating a new category of extreme beer. The world's strongest beer was 27% ABV, but amidst an informal contest to claim the title of the world's strongest beer, the top beer has jumped in strength dramatically. This week Gizmag spoke to the brewers at the center of the escalating competition. New contestants are gathering, and the race is now on to break 50% alcohol by volume."

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After a hard days work (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430434)

After a hard days work, we know what high frequency traders drink...

Re:After a hard days work (1)

dimethylxanthine (946092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430560)

Or smoke?

Re:After a hard days work (2, Funny)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430766)

Fairly sure it'd be pretty hard to smoke beer. What are you smoking?

Re:After a hard days work (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430872)

at 50% ABV it'll burn real good.

Re:After a hard days work (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431074)

Fairly sure it'd be pretty hard to smoke beer.
Rauchbier
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoked_beer [wikipedia.org]

It's not an everyday sort of beer, but goes great with some meals.

Re:After a hard days work (1)

FreonTrip (694097) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430874)

Along with high-frequency traders, include lawyers, people in the arts, and geologists. I've yet to encounter other career paths that result in so many high-functioning alcoholics.

Re:After a hard days work (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430936)

The computers are drinking beer now? We're certainly doomed.

Re:After a hard days work (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431508)

A vitamin rich sludge to help their skin maintain its healthy slime. But what does that have to do with beer?

But what about taste? (3, Insightful)

cavis (1283146) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430440)

If this tastes like crap, then no one will buy it... well, except for frat boys and the local street people.

Re:But what about taste? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430512)

I agree with this. Hell, I just bought a local dark brew that's 16% and it tasted like ass, but everybody was crowing about it.

If you want hard booze, drink hard booze. Pumping up the alcohol content in beer just for the sake of doing it is pointless if it taste horrible.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430836)

If you want hard booze, drink hard booze

When I was young and poor I used to buy everclear. Oz for oz it's the cheapest way to get drunk. My favorite way to consume it was to mix it with Snapple. Drink two or three shots worth of snapple and refill the empty space with Everclear. You'll be smashed in short order and the best part is that you can barely taste the alcohol.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431340)

Yeah, back in my college days we drank plenty of Everclear, we'd take shots and chase it with Boone's. It's a completely different type of drunk, like the speedball of booze, completely smashed yet energized.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

Thansal (999464) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431098)

There are a number of high ABV beers out there that ARE good.

The obvious one to me is Three Philosophers, which is made by Ommegang, a NY based Belgian brewery. It's about 10% ABV iirc, and very good. Most of Ommegang's beers are relatively high ABV, yet still good.

I think I have also had something up to 16% ABV that I liked (can't remember the name currently), and I have also had plenty of high test beers that sucked, probably about in proportion to normal beers that suck though.

That being said, I have next to no interest in these ultra high ABV beers. They are no longer beer, and are now distilled spirits. I kinda doubt they taste all that good, and I'm fairly sure they would not be worth what ever the ridiculous asking price is.

I mean, if some one offered me some I would take it (I'm a curious drinker), but I'm not going to seek it out.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

SquareVoid (973740) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431314)

I can't say much about other high ABV beers, but Dogfish head's 120 minute IPA (about 18%) is not drank like your typical beer. You drink it at slightly colder than room temperature over a period of an hour. It is a beer you sip, and it will mess you up if you are unaware of its kick.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

sleigher (961421) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431418)

I had a beer in Germany named Highlander a number of years back. It was a medium lager but had whisky in it. It was really, really good. I was amazed at just how good a beer could taste with hard spirits in it. I have looked for a long time for that beer and never found it again.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430670)

I am street people, you insensitive clod!

No, but seriously, I have enjoyed high gravity (read: malt liquor) for 10+ years. Maybe I'm a weirdo but I really don't enjoy going to a bar and paying 3-4 dollars for a Bud Light when I can stop at the gas station beforehand and get 40oz of 9% beer for $1.50.

Re:But what about taste? (3, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431334)

Wow. Who knew Jeff Foxworthy had a slashdot account!

Re:But what about taste? (1)

WarlockSquire (212901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430700)

I've had the Brewdog Tokyo (18%+) and it was extremely drinkable... it's a mix of a strong double bock and a brandy, but with none of the 2 week old gym sock funk of an aged beer.

Re:But what about taste? (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431410)

Brewdog know their stuff - I haven't tried their strong ones, but judging from the Punk IPA and the Paradox, you can't go wrong with them. Damn shame I have to import the stuff from Scotland for horrible shipping costs.

erm ... (4, Informative)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430448)

We have had distilled beer in Scotland for years now. We call it, erm let me think ... oh yes, whisky!

Re:erm ... (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430548)

In the states, we call distilled rye beer scotch. ;)

Re:erm ... (3, Informative)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431062)

I was about to say the same things - once you distill it, it's no longer beer.

Re:erm ... (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431280)

And still, (rimshot) freeze-distilled beer is nothing like whisky. Whisky is brewed without hops, as you probably know. This is just regular beer that's been concentrated by having the water removed.

Re:erm ... (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431326)

Yeah more like freeze dried.

Hooch (4, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430468)

Beer at 50% ABV is called whisky.

Re:Hooch (1)

kramerd (1227006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430580)

Well, to be fair, Sam Adams Utopia (27% alcohol by volume) in 2009 was made by aging liquids in whiskey barrels for 16 years, so you aren't all that far off.

Re:Hooch (1)

wastedlife (1319259) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430890)

My understanding is that Utopias is an actual beer and is not distilled like the "beers" discussed in the article. It is also only stored in whiskey barrels for less than a year. However, I've also heard that it tastes awful. One of the things that normally classifies a drink as a beer is that it is a result of fermentation without distilling of the end product, just like wine. Once you distill a beer, IMHO, you get liquor.

Re:Hooch (1)

EricWright (16803) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431160)

This site [foodgps.com] says that it takes about 18 months, but that they blend in other beers dating back to 1994 ...

How long do you ferment?
It’s 18 months, but we blend in barrel stock going back to Triple Bock, so 1994....It’s a blend of really old and about 18 months.

So, I guess in a way, some small percentage of Utopias is 16 years old and counting, but the bulk of it is only 1.5 years old at bottling.

Oh man (0, Offtopic)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430476)

This will make our Counterstrike drinking game MUCH more interesting.

Is this really beer (2, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430486)

Is this really beer?
I find it hard to believe that this could be brewed naturally, i.e. using yeast to ferment the liquor. I find it hard to believe that a yeast can live in 50% alcohol, 27% was really pushing the limits.

Re:Is this really beer (2, Informative)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430514)

If it's freeze distilled, I don't see why they can't do it. All they are doing is brewing a normal beer, then removing some of the water.

Re:Is this really beer (5, Insightful)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430554)

If you freeze distill it, then it stops being beer in my book. If you freeze distill hard cider, it's not "extreme cider", it's friggin' applejack.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430790)

Agreed.

What the hell is wrong with regular beer?

I mean, do people only drink to get drunk?

I enjoy a good beer as much as the next guy, but damn, man, I don't want to pick myself up off the floor after a couple, you know?

Much easier ways to get hammered than trying to make beer "hard".

Re:Is this really beer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32431170)

Agreed. With honest-to-goodness beers approaching or breaking the 20% "barrier" (I have a couple bottled of Dogfish Head World Wide Stout at 19% ABV cellaring at the moment), there's certainly no reason to classify distilled spirits as beer simply because they started out as beer.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431222)

Don't they freeze distill "ice" beers (like Ice House), just not to the extent of reaching 50% alcohol. I just assumed "cold filtering" was basically the same process which seems to be common.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430574)

Except for the addition of hops and the lack of aging in a suitable barrel, this high alcohol content beer is ... wait for it ... whiskey.

Maximum alcohol content via fermentation alone is on the order of 10-15%, after which the yeast tend to die. Higher concentrations are achieved by distillation.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430770)

Nope, Utopias achieves it's high content via fermentation alone, it combines extremely high initial gravity with a particularly strong strain of yeast.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430882)

Yes, The guys at Samuel Adams have done something special there... I believe they also age their premium stuff in barrels, not unlike whiskey. It's atypical though.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430582)

Ummmm .... in the second sentence of the summary it says 'freeze distilled'. It's not like you actually had to go and read an article or anything.

Re:Is this really beer (2, Informative)

dargaud (518470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430728)

So that's the 2nd most ancient method to produce alcohol in the world... The first one being: take some juice, let it ferment, drink (applies to wine, beer, honey-wine, etc). The next step is to take that fermented juice on a cold winter night, let some of it freeze (the water part), throw the ice away and repeat until the alcohol concentration is high enough for your taste. Word of warning: it usually produces a bad taste as a lot of stuff (aldehydes, amides, etc) that are better off either evaporated or left at the bottom of the tank will stay in the brew.

Nope. (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430588)

Real beer is not in the "Distilled class". To high percentages of alcohol would kill the fermentation organisms. That is why alcoholic substances are distilled after the fermentation to obtain higher alcohol percentages.

Like beer, fermented grain is the basis for Whiskey. So, as others pointed out, "distilled beer" is not a wrong term for Whiskey.

Re:Is this really beer (0)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430602)

It's safe to call it beer. Real beer. Although it would also be safe to create a special category for beers like these.

Yeast will die (or at least stop fermenting) at more than 20% ethanol. These guys freeze the beer. The ice that forms is rich in water, and most ethanol remains in the liquid (beer). Scoop out the ice. Repeat a couple of times, and you have all the ingredients of your beer still present, with less water.

Re:Is this really beer (5, Informative)

archmcd (1789532) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430692)

Wrong. This is not beer, this is a distilled beverage. This technique isn't new, and the method of distillation is the only thing that makes this product distinct from traditional whiskey.

Re:Is this really beer (4, Informative)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430748)

It's whisky. Just because it's distilled by freezing instead of heating the principle is the same hence the term 'distilling'. Temperature differences are being used to remove water.

Re:Is this really beer (1)

pz (113803) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431232)

Is this really beer?

I find it hard to believe that this could be brewed naturally, i.e. using yeast to ferment the liquor. I find it hard to believe that a yeast can live in 50% alcohol, 27% was really pushing the limits.

How is this marked insightful when it is nothing but ignorant? The poster could not possibly have read the article because if they had, they would realize that it isn't beer straight out of the fermenter, but rather beer processed to extract and therefore concentrate the alcohol and most everything else. The interesting part is that freezing the beer to extract water is hard: you need to chill the beer to just the right temperature for just the right amount of time so that the ice crystals are just the right size so that they can be filtered out mechanically. The process is one of decreasing efficiency where the higher alcohol beers requiring over a dozen freeze/filtration/thaw cycles. I wonder why they don't use an immersion freezer instead and allow the crystals to grow arbitrarily large.

My brother (with a two-digit Slashdot ID) is a big fan of the Utiopias. Says it's the best beer ever. There's a barley wine that's made by a bewer locally here that's called Benevolance that I find amazing. It's a good time to like beer.

More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (4, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430502)

I like beer. I like drinking beer. I like drinking a variety of beers. I don't like being falling down drunk. This race for higher alcohol content seems pointless and just limits the amount you can enjoy in one sitting.

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (4, Interesting)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430630)

Agreed. I was saddened when I came back to my home country of Norway a few years ago to discover no shops sells so-called "light beers" anymore. (For you Americans, a light beer in Europe means lower alcohol, about 1-2%, not fewer calories). I always enjoyed these beers because I could pound one when I came home from work and it would be delicious without giving me any impairment. (Before anyone mentions alcohol free beer, I have tried many and never liked them.)

This seems strange to me, making beer so strong. What are they trying to achieve with this? A 50% beer means you can only have a few measures of it before you will get sick. Where is the enjoyment? A pint of cold, crisp draught surely beats a shot of this stuff?

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430880)

I always enjoyed these beers because I could pound one when I came home from work and it would be delicious without giving me any impairment.

You get impaired on a regular beer? What kind of light weight are you? ;)

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431266)

You don't know Norwegian drink-driving laws..

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431214)

Have you tried Kaliber by Guinness? It is a NA that is actually like a real beer...

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431480)

Before I quit drinking I could drink 1 liter of 40% alcohol Vodka or Whiskey without passing out. Sometimes I could drink almost 2 liters but that would always result in a blackout. Even after drinking 1 liter I was still able to walk around and do stuff without stumbling, and obviously I can remember being that drunk. The most notable difference is that I probably slurred my speech after .75 liters. I presume this high alcohol beer is for people with that level of tolerance. 1 pint will get people like that a buzz, thats all.

Novelty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430776)

It's just a novelty. Nothing wrong with that, but not my thing. Hell, I'd try it. But once you get past about 10% ABV you start to notice the alcohol more than the beer. I prefer ales in the 7-8% range, and after two of those I'll be satisfied. Beers like Sierra Nevada Torpedo, Stone Ruination, the entire line of Dogfish Head, or most anything from Belgium. Lagers or pilsners in the 5-6% range I'll drink three. Veltins is my top choice there.

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430780)

I spent a year in Europe 23 years ago, and I always liked EKU 28, which was billed as the "strongest beer in the world." Kind of sweet, malty, with hints of cherry (not cherry-flavored, of course.) It's not widely available in the states, but now one can find Belgian triples and doppelbocks and other stronger brews, and I really like those too. The goal to reach 50 percent alcohol seems kind of artificial, like a running race that is 26.2 miles long. I guess the point is to push the limits, and maybe beyond what is reasonable. But if it tastes good, or if you learn something in the process, I say go for it.

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430896)

There's a reason [wikipedia.org] for 26.2 miles....

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431114)

And Pheidippides is not the reason. He is merely the reason for a long race that is 25m long. This [wikipedia.org] is the reason for 26.22 miles, although it didn't stick until 1924 [wikipedia.org]

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (3, Interesting)

gsslay (807818) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431016)

Exactly. The quality and enjoyability of the beer is not determined by the percentage of alcohol. If this kind of mindless "mines bigger than yours" appeals to you then why not buy a bottle of 100% distilled medical alcohol and pour it straight down your throat?

Woohoo! It's a hundred percent! You can't get bigger! You win! Now bring over the stomach pumps.

The same macho BS that goes on about curry strengths. People competitively eat the strongest curry they can get hold off, to the point of it knocking your taste buds into a coma. Well done. Now you can't taste anything and you're oozing curry paste from every duct and pore you possess. You win.

Re:More Alcohol and Less Drinking? (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431402)

I hate beer. I hate drinking beer. I hate the taste of beer. The only reason I drink is socially and that is to loosen me up so I'm not a wallflower. I'd *prefer* to just drink shots of Tequila because it does a better job, quicker, without making me feel bloated like beer does, but for some reason at neighborhood gatherings nobody really breaks out the "hard" alcohol, the just sit around like pansies drinking Bud Lite and Miller Lite... horse piss IMHO.

Legal warning (1)

richi (74551) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430556)

Legal warning: IANAL, but I understand that freeze distillation is illegal in some jurisdictions.

Re:Legal warning (1)

skydyr (1404883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430628)

I'm not sure about illegal, but certainly not good for you. It tends to concentrate chemicals in the alcohol that would be tossed in the heads and tails of a normal distillation, which tend to give worse hangovers and may have other undesirable effects.

Re:Legal warning (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430884)

Home distilling isn't legal in most of the US (stupid blue laws and revenuers), but I don't think any state board (except maybe PA and UT) have time to enforce such idiocy against a homebrewer and the ATF has responded to several inquiry's stating that they don't have time now that they are part of DHS and have actual bad guys to worry about.

Re:Legal warning (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431356)

Distilling spirits is illegal. Distilling alternative fuels is legal.

How can there be a 'race to 50%'? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430598)

It's distilled ... you can make it as strong as you like, no magic needed.

Methanol (1)

SIGBUS (8236) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430622)

One problem with freeze distillation is that it doesn't get rid of methanol. How are they getting around this problem?

Re:Methanol (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430808)

One problem with freeze distillation is that it doesn't get rid of methanol. How are they getting around this problem?

Putting "Not for human consumption" on the bottles?

Re:Methanol (1, Insightful)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430944)

You mean the same methanol that was in the normal beer to begin with?

Re:Methanol (2, Informative)

Ross D Anderson (1020653) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431150)

You mean the same methanol that was in the normal beer to begin with?

But in far lower concentrations. i.e. 1 pint of normal beer would contain far less methanol than 1 pint of distilled beer.

Re:Methanol (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431184)

Yes, but is now in a higher concentration, as you've taken a lot of the water out.

Re:Methanol (1)

hcpxvi (773888) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430964)

One reason for actual home distilling being illegal is the fire risk. At least freeze distillation doesn't do that. I imagine that a double-strength hangover is bad, but less bad than a large air/vapour explosion. Mind you, without having tried it, I expect that the results of freeze distilling would taste neither pleasant, nor like beer.

Re:Methanol (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431236)

> One reason for actual home distilling being illegal is the fire risk.

And the possibility of making commercial quantities that evade the taxing authorities has NOTHING to do with it. Everyone knows that the military response to the Whiskey Rebellion, in Washington's term as POTUS, was to vigorously enforce fire safety regulations.

Re:Methanol (1)

P-Nuts (592605) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431302)

Does it matter? If you start off with beer which wouldn't make you go blind, then remove some of the water, there isn't going to be more methanol in it than you started off with.

Freeze Distillation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430626)

From what I understand freeze distillation can be dangerous. Unlike evaporative distillation, freeze distillation concentrates a lot of unwanted impurities along with the ethyl alcohol.

Re:Freeze Distillation (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430906)

How can it be any more dangerous than drinking the undistilled beer? The ratio of contaminants to alcohol will remain the same.

Re:Freeze Distillation (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431320)

You can only drink so much undistilled beer before evacuating (whether via urine, sweat, etc). Your body has a lot more time to deal with the lower volumes of poison ingested.
Similar quantities of the distilled liquid, containing higher concentration of poison by volume, become much more toxic.

As a brewer (4, Insightful)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430636)

As a brewer, distillation offends my sensibilities if you keep calling it beer.

Re:As a brewer (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431482)

As a brewer you are surely aware of ice bock? It's always a question how far you want to take the method. Ice bock is definitely to be classified as beer, albeit having undergone one freezing step. If it is beer under the Bavarian "Reinheitsgebot" - it IS beer!

George Thorogood (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430656)

100 proof beer is like someone consolidating one bourbon, one scotch, and one beer into a single drink.

Re:George Thorogood (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430706)

Everybody funny. Now you funny too.

Anyone tried it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430666)

Has anyone here actually tried one of these >30% ABV beers? How was it?

Re:Anyone tried it? (1)

mick232 (1610795) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431312)

I saw a short report about the two strongest beers in this list on German TV. They gave it to like six people, three women and three men, and none of them seemed to like ...

Tastes like a u-boat. (1)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430684)

The biggest problem with really strong beer is that it tastes like beer with spirit poured into it.

Re:Tastes like a u-boat. (1)

HopefulIntern (1759406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431230)

Indeed. I tried Carlsberg Special Brew [wikipedia.org] once. It literally tasted like beer with vodka mixed into it. I threw it out and never tried it again.

Poor baseball (1)

asukasoryu (1804858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430694)

I was already having trouble making it to the 9th inning without passing out.

US Govt. Restrictions (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430704)

I hope the US Govt. doesn't feel the need to ban such a beer from reaching the citizens. Limits on %'s that different alcohols can be sold at is just stupid in my book.

Re:US Govt. Restrictions (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431186)

US Government: No...
State Government: Probably...

I can see the stories about teens getting killed just because they thought they were normal beers.

Re:US Govt. Restrictions (1)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431388)

Somehow I don't see that many teens buying a $60 beer.

Re:US Govt. Restrictions (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431394)

There are two problems with your hope. First, most alcohol regulation occurs at the state level. Second, since I have had 151 proof rum for years and have seen vodkas over 190 proof, the problem is not that it is banned, but that it is taxed more as the alcohol level increases (unless denatured, aka poisoned).

Malt Liquor? (1)

dtmos (447842) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430714)

I always thought distilled beer was called malt liquor. No?

alcohol with 50% beer content? (1)

lostsoulz (1631651) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430824)

Mankind has done a good job at getting sloshed since we crawled out of the primordial soup. Our techniques have produced palatable booze of all types...why would we need beer with such a high alcohol content?

The article is a bit off (3, Interesting)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430904)

Yeast limits the fermentation of sugars to alcohol. Once you get up around 17% to 20% ABV the yeast begin to die off. This is the natural limit of alcohol in beer. To distill the beer and increase the alcohol is to turn it into a distilled liquor and remove it from the realm of beer which is a fermented liquor.

Through selective breading or genetic manipulation of the yeast we may some day get a yeast that can produce more than the 17% to 20% but that is not the case today.

I found the article a bit misleading. If you distill it, it is a distilled liquor not a beer. This is like saying you made a beer from grapes, lol, it is not beer it is wine. lol

Eeew. (1)

R.Mo_Robert (737913) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430918)

As if it needs to taste any worse. (Would you like a mixer for that beer?)

This coming, of course, from an already non-beer-fan. :)

Not new. See alcohol wintering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430946)

"Relatively new" is a vague description, and so compared to the thousands of years in which we've been drinking alcohol, the hundreds of years that we've been freezing off water to increase the alcohol content is new. But the way it was described makes it sound like something discovered last year! Not so.

Avoidance in the extreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32430958)

Damn! So much for that plan. I was going to my first AA meeting today.

i suggest a new category (1)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#32430992)

proposed name: idleidle

Double Bag (1)

dickens (31040) | more than 4 years ago | (#32431042)

I thought Long Trail Double Bag was pretty stiff at 7.2%. I can't see why you would call this beer. That would be like calling brandy "extreme wine" - sure you could do that but why?

Re:Double Bag (1)

nateand (1487549) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431168)

Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA is delicious at 18%. Flying Dog Double Dog double IPA is fantastically hoppy at 11.5% if you want something weaker. Stone Brewery's Double Bastard (amazing brewery) is a fantastic American Strong Ale at 10.5%. 120 minute: http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/occassional-rarities/120-minute-ipa.htm [dogfish.com] Double Dog: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/68/35754 [beeradvocate.com] Double Bastard: http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/147/1056 [beeradvocate.com]

Fortified Beer? (1)

baKanale (830108) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431122)

Instead of going through all this rigamarole with the freeze distilling and whatnot, wouldn't it be easier just to add more alcohol, like in fortified wines?

No thanks (1)

Rashdot (845549) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431126)

If I want strong beer I'll just stick to Westmalle Tripel (9.4%).

flaming beer! (1)

woboyle (1044168) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431276)

I can just see it now, a guy is in a bar drinking his beer and smoking when suddenly... "Hey mister! Your beer's on fire!".

So what to call it? (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 3 years ago | (#32431352)

OK, so you distill wine, it becomes brandy. You distill beer - a beverage made by yeast-fermenting malt sugars fortified with hops (and without said hops, it's not beer, it's basically a barleywine) - and what to call it?

tastes like shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32431392)

any beer over 12% starts to taste like scotch/bourbon. Its not much different than dropping a shot of whiskey into your beer. for the record they've been using ale yeast and heavier gravities to get beer up to 10 - 12 percent for a while without distillation. Of course the calories in those beers is insane.. like 400 cal beers but who needs to eat? LOL. Liquid Bread.

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