Beer is the world's oldest and most widely consumer alcohol beverage. In fact it's the third most popular drink after water and tea. The beer industry reached over $300 billion dollars, and breweries produce over 35 billion gallons a year. But we didn't need to tell the readers of Beer Universe that. What may be of interest is to discover the top 10 beers with the highest alcohol content.Beers range from less than 3% alcohol by volume (ABV) to over 30%. The alcohol in beer comes primarily from the break-down of sugars that are produced during fermentation. The quantity of fermentable sugars in the wort and the variety of year used are the most important factor that determine the final amount of alcohol in a beer. Most brewing yeast cannot survive at alcohol concentrations above 12%. Wait a second. Didn't we just say that alcohol can go well above 12%? Over the course of the last 10-15 years, brewers have pushed the gap to increase the alcohol of their beers. They have employed various tactics including using champagne yeasts and freeze distilling to achieve high ABVs. We have compiled a list of the top 10 alcoholic beers on the planet (and tried to include their prices when available for your pleasure).
10. The Bruery – Black Tuesday: 19.5% ($30.00) An imperial stout aged in bourbon barrels for over a year each, this beer has flavors of rich caramel, toasted malt and vanilla. The beer is released on an annual basis and can be purchased directly from the brewer. They approximately release 1,300, 750ml bottles at $30.00 a bottle. The beer was so popular at its release in 2009, that even the 3 bottle limit per customer on opening day did not stop it from being sold out. 9. Grand Lake – Holy Grail: 20% ($25.00) Grand Lake aged this malt concoction for a year in an oak charred barrel. The beer is left uncarbonated and is preferred at room temperature to unlock the hints of vanilla while sipping on it. The beer smells of a sweet cognac, but the alcohol is well hidden as it finishes smooth. With a limited release and limited distribution, this is a difficult one to find. 8. Sam Adams – Millennium: 20% ($200.00) Sam Adams first beer on the list is a one-time batch brewed in 1999, Sam Adams Millennium was one of the strongest beers at the time. This packaging of the bottle is almost as impressive as the beer inside of it, with a cobalt blue bottle with platinum lettering, finished with a natural cork and sealing wax, encased in a cherry wood box. At the time the Millennium beer came out, there were only 3,000 bottles produced and each ran ~$200.00. If you can find any full bottles today, we're sure they are worth much much more 7. DuClaw – Colossus: 21% ($21.99) You have waited for 4 years while this beer was aging, but DuClaw Brewing Company released this beer in early 2010 for your enjoyment. Utilizing three strains of yeast, a variety of spices and some secret combinations, this beer is infused with hints of apple, cinnamon and honey. The price on a 22 ounce bottle is $21.99, so cheaper than some others on the list for the volume that you are going to get. If you are in Maryland, check out a local beer store. 6. Dogfish Head – 120 Minute IPA: 21% ($12.00) Are you a fan of IPAs? Love those Hops? You should check the release schedule at Dogfish Head Brewery. Their 120 IPA is brewed three times a year and goes fast. At ~$12 a bottle, these beers aren't cheap, but not as expensive as some of the others on this list. Dogfish Head boils the beer for 2 hours using high-alpha American hops and then dry-hopped daily for a month in the fermenter. By the way they age it for another month on whole-leaf hops. You hopped out yet? NOTE: We're giving credit to the beer at 21.0% ABV, but they have scaled it back to 18% for ageing recommendations and overall balance. 5. Sam Adams – Utopias: 27% ($190.00 - $600.00) Breaking previous boundaries of the Sam Adams brewery, Utopias received the highest recommendation from Wine Enthusiast Magazine in November 2003. Not available in certain states due the 27% ABV, the swee,t malty flavor is similar to a port wine. This brew is different as it is not carbonated and it is suggested to be served at room temperature. Original prices for this beer were ~$190 but have gone up in recent years as high as $600 a bottle.
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