Eis Eis Baby

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Claiming to be the highest alcohol content beer in the world, German brewery Schorschbräu has just made a beer called Schorschbock that tops out at 40% Alcohol by Volume.  Yes kids, that’s 80 proof.  It joins the ranks of a beer made by one of The Beer Chicks’ favorite Scottish breweries, BrewDog.  Their beer, Tactical Nuclear Penguin has a measly ABV of 32% ABV (insert Bronx Cheer here).

How the hell are the brewers getting beer that has such high alcohol levels?  Well, in the simplest terms, the brewers are freezing their beer.  And no, it’s not exploding in the freezer like it does for you. These brewers are using a method traditionally reserved for a style of beer called “Eisbock” or Ice Beer.

These brewers know that water freezes at a higher temperature than alcohol does.  So they take their (already highly fermented) beer down to below freezing temperatures and wait for the water to freeze and separate from the beer.  Whatever freezes is water and whatever is left is a super-concentrated beer.   

Actually, the guys at BrewDog can explain it a lot better than we can.  Check out this video where they show us how they make their TNP.

With traditional Eisbock, an already fermented “Bock” style of beer is used with this freezing method, resulting in a deliciously malty, high alcohol content and warming beer.   Mind you, traditional Eisbocks generally don’t kick you in the balls like these extreme versions do (usually coming in with an ABV of between 9-13%), but they are deliciously malty and viscous, oh…and much easier to find!

Try out some of The Beer Chicks favorite Eisbock picks:
  • Kulmbacher Reichelbrau Eisbock
    Kulmbacher Brauerei – Germany

  • Aventinus Eisbock
    G. Schneider & Sohn – Germany

  • Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock
    G. Schneider & Sohn – Germany
    (Bavarian strong wheat Eisbock.)