The Truth About The World's Strongest Beer That Sold Out In 1 Day

You might remember from health class or driver's ed that when it comes to alcohol content, a standard serving of alcohol is one 12-ounce can of beer, one five-ounce glass of wine, or one shot of liquor (via National Institutes of Health). Well, you can forget everything you learned when it comes to the strongest beer in the world, brewed in a team effort by Scottish beermaker BrewDog and Schorschbräu of Germany. Released on Thursday, September 17, the beer, an Eisbock called Strength in Numbers, promptly sold out that same day (via Fox News).

Eisbocks are a unique type of beer that don't even meet the definition of "beer" in the United States. To make an eisbock, start with a German bock beer: a malty, dark-amber lager with an alcohol-by-volume (ABV) of 6 or 7 percent (via Hop Culture). Then freeze the beer and remove chunks of ice. The ice only contains water because alcohol freezes around 173 degrees below zero (via Popular Science). This is what disqualifies eisbock as a beer in the U.S., by the way. If you remove water from your brew, then you are distilling it. That makes it a hard liquor in the eyes of the feds (via The Philadelphia Inquirer).

$37 for a bottle of the world's strongest beer

Imported eisbocks are sold in some states, and they might have an ABV of 14 percent (via Total Wine). It's hard to imagine what brewing steps or evil spells were required for BrewDog and Schorschbräu to set a new ABV record for beers: 57.8 percent. The two breweries sold the extra-strong lager in the U.K.for the equivalent of $37.40 per bottle. Down it all at once, and you're likely to feel the burn. Strength in Numbers' ABV equates to almost 116 proof, which is more than standard whiskey (or "whisky," as the Scots spell it).

This achievement came despite the COVID-19 pandemic because the two breweries decided to put their heads together after competing over the past decade to create the highest ABV beer. (Thanks to COVID-19, no heads actually touched during the creation of Strength in Numbers. The brewers collaborated over Zoom.) BrewDog briefly claimed the lead in the alcohol arms race in 2009, when it produced a 32-percent eisbock named Tactical Nuclear Penguin. Before the rivals joined forces, Schorschbräu was in the lead with its Schorschbock 57 — as in 57 percent (via Popular Science). To make Strength in Numbers, the two breweries started with a 26-percent BrewDog eisbock, aged in a whisky barrel for 10 years.