Not that long ago, 7% ABV was considered a seriously high beer alcohol content. How things have changed!
These days, craft breweries overflow with double-digit ABV brews! Some of them are incredible, others are just really boozy. But, all of them are guaranteed to make your belly warmer and your smile broader.
Here are seven of our absolute favorites.
Evil Twin Brewing - 120 Days Dry-aged Stout, 17.5% ABV
Jeppe, the legendary head brewer at Evil Twin, crafted this epically boozy beer specifically to pair with his favorite meal — steak! It even comes in ‘60 Day’ and ‘90 Day’ varieties for those who’d prefer to enjoy a beer without falling asleep fully clothed.
But, the mammoth 120 Day is the undisputed heavyweight champ of this series. Take a sip, and it’s all dark chocolate and roasty malts, expertly cloaking this beer’s alcohol percentage. Which, again, is an absolutely bonkers 17.5% ABV!
What’s really incredible is how Jeppe can make something like this one day, and something refreshingly light the next. We even included Evil Twin when we wrote about our favorite Berliner Weisse-style Beers — a low ABV style! This crew really can do it all.
River North Brewery - Vicennial: God Complex, 17.8% ABV
First off, we should mention that Colorado’s River North brews a new version of this beast every year, so the alcohol content changes a bit with each release. But it’s always BIG — the 2019 version clocks in at a staggering 17.8% ABV!
Belgian Style Quadrupels are always boozy, but these guys take things to the extreme! And the alcohol content isn’t the only mind-blowing thing about this beer; according to the brewers, it can be cellared for up to 20 years!
That means, if you have a one-year-old, you could get a bottle now and give it to them on their 21st birthday! Then, you can pop the top and enjoy flavors of candied date, caramel, and oaky vanilla together!
Jester King Brewery - Encendia, 14.1% ABV'
This might not be the booziest beer on this list, but it’s quite possibly the most unusual. This is a 14.1% ABV Saison!
For a style that usually sits in the 4-5% ABV range, that’s pretty incredible. Leave it to the Sour and Wild Ale masters at Jester King to take the traditional style and crank it up to Imperial levels. This crew is among the best in the country when it comes to traditional styles.
They’re one of our 10 Must-Try American Sour Ale Specialists!
But for this one, the brewers bucked tradition in more ways than one. Not only is the ABV insane, but they added chilis for a spicy kick, and aged the brew in Mezcal barrels from Oaxaca! The result is a brew that’s a little bit spicy, a little bit smokey, and dangerously drinkable.
Smog City Brewing - Bourbon OE, 14.9% ABV
When Smog City drops this annual release, Barleywine fans all over Southern California put everything on hold and do whatever it takes to score a bottle.
And with good reason! The brewers say this beer tastes like ‘bourbon pecan pie,” which is actually pretty accurate. Open the bottle, and you’ll find deep nutty notes, sweet caramel essences, and hints of oak and whiskey from over a year of aging in freshly-emptied Bourbon Barrels!
And, in true Barleywine fashion, the booze isn’t completely covered up — this one has some heat on it! That’s what keeps the Barleywine-is-life crowd coming back year after year!
Hoppin’ Frog Brewery - Frogichlaus Swiss-style Holiday Lager, 14.1% ABV
What, you’ve never had a 14% ABV Lager before? That’s because Hoppin’ Frog is one of the few breweries creative enough (and crazy enough) to even try such a thing.
This has to be one of the booziest Lagers ever crafted, and as you might expect, it doesn’t taste like the average light beer. It’s intensely malty, with notes of caramel and toffee flowing through the sweet body.
Appropriately, it only comes out once a year, at Christmas time. Like a boozy gift to craft heads all over Ohio!
Anchorage Brewing Company - Star Dragon, 11.4% ABV
If you’ve been watching Tavour for a while, you already know how we feel about Anchorage Brewing. This crew does everything right! We recommended their boozy talents as part of our epic Barleywine Flight, but today we’re talking up their hoppy talents with Star Dragon!
Brewery founder Gabe Fletcher calls this one a ‘Quadruple IPA,’ because triple just wasn’t big enough. And is this stuff ever dangerous! The massive ABV is so completely hidden behind a fruity curtain of Strata and Mosaic Hops, you’re liable to forget all about it!
But tip back a full pint, and you’ll know it when you stand up.
So far, Anchorage has only canned this monster of an IPA once, but we’re hoping they’ll bring it back one of these days. If not, you can reach for one of the brewery’s other massive juicebombs, like Most is Most, Annihilation, or Composure — all of them tip the scales at 10% ABV or higher!
Adroit Theory Brewing - Dia de los Muertos, 13.7% ABV
The headbanging crew at Virginia’s Adroit Theory almost never makes the same beer twice. But, they keep bringing back Die de los Muertos every year, because fans just can’t get enough of this Imperial Mexican Chocolate Stout.
It’s so popular that the brewery has released a number of variants, including a Rum barrel-aged version, and a dessert beer version made with Oreo cookies!
The one thing they all have in common is a massive amount of undetectable booze. The flavors of dark chocolate and roasted coffee totally hide the big ABV — so much so that it’s tempting to over-indulge. Remember, just because it tastes like some kind of chocolate-coffee-ice cream concoction, doesn’t mean you can slurp it down like one.