Strong Lagers

With national Lager Day approaching it would be rude not to enjoy some of the strongest lagers out there ….. 

10. STRUISE BLACK DAMNATION VI – MESSY

Brewery: De Struise Brouwers
Origin: Belgium
ABV: 39%

Most of the beers on this list were created with one goal in mind – to make the world’s strongest beer. There are a handful however, that actually taste great. This is one of them. This Imperial Stout is nearly pitch black, and carries some nice notes of roasted malts, coffee, dark chocolate, and even peat for you whiskey lovers out there. This beer still tastes like a beer, carbonated with a nice rocky head, and although you can definitely taste the alcohol, it’s not overwhelming.

Baladin Esprit de Noel

9. BALADIN ESPRIT DE NOEL

Brewery: Baladin
Origin: Italy
ABV: 40%

Baladin’s ultra strong “Christmas Spirit” was distilled back in 2011 after being aged in oak barrels for three years. Considered a “gem for connoisseurs,” this straw yellow colored beer is smooth, with light wooden and chocolate notes.

BrewDog Sink The Bismarck

8. BREWDOG SINK THE BISMARCK

Brewery: BrewDog
Origin: Scotland
ABV: 41%

Many people credit the Scotland based team at BrewDog for popularizing the whole quest for the world’s strongest beer. Years ago the brand created a 18.2% ABV Tokyo brew, and after mass criticism from beer fans, decided to respond in a spiteful manner, continuously upping their own ante. After making the Tactical Nuclear Penguin (32% ABV), BrewDog is sitting pretty on the list at #8 with this Sink The Bismarck, and this quadruple IPA isn’t even their top contender.

Schorschbrau Schorschbock 43

7. SCHORSCHBRAU SCHORSCHBOCK 43

Brewery: Schorschbräu
Origin: Germany
ABV: 43%

Get used to seeing the name, because these Germans will be making the list more than once. This Eisbock (ice strong beer) was only brewed once, and due to its poor flavor (overwhelmingly spicy), was never considered anything more than a gimmick – just like the majority of the “world’s strongest beers.”

Koelschip Obilix

6. KOELSCHIP OBILIX

Brewery: Koelschip
Origin: The Netherlands
ABV: 45%

Another name that you’ll be seeing more than once, Koelschip doesn’t mess around when it comes to strong beers. Like many of the other beers on the list, this thing was a limited brew, and is extremely difficult to get your hands on. Don’t worry though, because as we understand, it tastes more like cough syrup than beer.

The End Of History Beer

5. THE END OF HISTORY

Brewery: BrewDog
Origin: Scotland
ABV: 55%

The folks at BrewDog make another appearance on the list, and while they are once again falling short of the top spot, they did earn themselves some other notable mentions. This ultra limited blond Belgian ale wins the award for the coolest packaging on the list, seeing that the bottle is wrapped in a dead squirrel. At $780 a bottle, the beer containing hints of juniper berries, mead, and nettles is also considered the most expensive beer as well.

Schorschbrau Schorschbock 57

4. SCHORSCHBRAU SCHORSCHBOCK 57

Brewery: Schorschbräu
Origin: Germany
ABV: 57%

The Germans are on a quest to earn the number one spot. While their flagship Schorschbock 57 did fall short of that, the aptly titled brew is seriously strong. If you’re looking for a smooth, tasty beer, look elsewhere. This thing has been described as nothing more than a fiery shot of booze.

Koelschip Start the Future

3. KOELSCHIP START THE FUTURE

Brewery: Koelschip
Origin: The Netherlands
ABV: 60%

You’re probably starting to see a pattern here. The quest for the strongest beer in the world consists of a small handful of micro breweries, who continuously introduce stronger creations every few years. After seeing success with their Obilix, Koelschip went back to the drawing boards, and earned itself a temporary number one spot in the world strong beers category with this concoction. The beer was created in response to BrewDog’s 55% ABV The End Of History, and is said to taste more like rubbing alcohol than actual beer.

Brewmeister Armageddon

2. BREWMEISTER ARMAGEDDON

Brewery: Brewmeister
Origin: Scotland
ABV: 65%

In 2012 the Scottish brewery decided it was done sitting on the sidelines watching BrewDog, Schorschbrau, and Koelschip go toe-to-toe in the quest for the strongest beer. So what did they do? They blew everyone out of the water by releasing the 65% ABV Armageddon the world’s new strongest beer. Meant to be consumed like a fine whiskey, this concoction is crafted from crystal malt, wheat, flaked oats, and 100% Scottish spring water. For such high alcohol content, the beer’s taste test reviews haven’t been horrible.

Brewmeister Snake Venom Beer

1. BREWMEISTER SNAKE VENOM

Brewery: Brewmeister
Origin: Scotland
ABV: 67.5%

Proving that they were the only competition, the Scotland based brewery one-upped themselves in 2013, rolling out the new belt holder for the world’s strongest beer. The aptly title Snake venom is made with smoke peat malt along with Champagne and ale yeast. You can buy a 9-ounce bottle of this bad boy for roughly $80 online.

Christmas 

Beer deserves its place at the Chritmas dinner table 

Aperitif


Before we start gobbling turkey, how about an aperitif? The beer needs to be dry, bubbly and blonde, Lagers and blonde and golden ales offer a range of flavours from herbal, pine and bready to spicy, citrus and tropical fruit. 

Starters

For your festive fish and seafood you’re spoilt for choice. Wheat beers, Belgian witbiers particularly, are extremely adept at bringing out the best in fish. Often brewed with coriander and orange peel they’re spritzy, citrusy and perfectly complement any fish that’s enhanced with a squeeze of lemon, such as salmon. Lagers, like wheat beers, do a fine job of complementing delicate flavours and their effervescence will cut through any oily fish and cleanse the palate, leaving your mouth ready for the next bite.

If you have lobster ined up, well played. Again lagers and wheat beers are your friend here. The gentle hop bitterness and prickly carbonation of German pilsners refresh the mouth while the sour, spicy and creamy character of weissbiers will accompany your Christmas crustacean very well indeed. Talking of crustaceans, and it wouldn’t be Christmas without doing so, try prawns with a big Belgian beer such as Duvel. Brewed with Pilsner malts this intense, fruity, floral and sweet beer could be the best Christmas present prawns have ever received.

Main 

It’s turkey time, so which beer? Turkey’s soft, easy flavours make great partners for sweet milds, gentle bitters and lagers. Any beer with too much hop power (eg. IPAs) would be too big and blow the turkey apart. So keep it mellow and go for something with bittersweet balance. Saisons are also a very good option. Their herbal, spicy and tart notes complementing but not overwhelming the meat. The spiciness scores a direct hit with the stuffing while their sweetness will contrast the bitterness of brussel sprouts (my total fab) Finally along comes sparkly carbonation and a subtle peppery bitterness, which will cut through the fatty textures and sweep the palate clean. Well done saisons.

If goose is the family festive favourite a Trappist or Abbey beer has the necessary oomph to complement this more gamey bird. Often served with bigger flavoured accompaniments such as chestnuts and red cabbage all are handled and complemented beautifully by these fruity, full flavoured beers.

If duck is your choice it just has to be a glass of Kwak, a Belgian strong lager. View that one as your very own Christmas cracker joke pairing.

Dessert and cheese

Christmas day desserts can vary from house-to-house but the overwhelming favourite is Christmas pudding Frontier wood be perfect, Barley wines are also worth an outing. Not forgetting mince pies, where again the warm, complex, sweet and spicy qualities of strong lagers will complement these crumbly Christmas classics.

Best London pubs to visit on national Lager day 

​

Brewhouse & Kitchen (Highbury)

If a pub calls itself a brewery, it better follow through with that promise with both its beers and looks. Luckily, that is exactly what you’ll get from the Brewhouse & Kitchen. Not only do they have an extensive list of lagers – including their locally sourced Camden Pilsner, yum – they carry the brewery aesthetic through the whole, spacey venue, even to small details such as the copper-tinted chairs. If you get a bit carried away with the beers, however, they have a mouth-watering menu to complement the drinks. Alternatively, Highbury & Islington station is a stone’s throw away, if the whole national day of drinking gets you a bit stumble-y.

Brewhouse & Kitchen National Lager Day London Best places to drink lager

Powder Keg Diplomacy (Clapham)

Sometimes you need a drinking environment as beautiful as the lager, and that’s where Powder Keg Diplomacy shines. The interior is modeled on Victorian colonialism, giving it a continually charming appeal, while their lager list is mostly focused on locally brewed craft beers and ales from this century. The bar is also perfect if you’re being accompanied by someone not overly fond of our favourite gold liquid, as they serve such a wide range of cocktails that they’ll be more than occupied while you dig deep into the kegs. 

Powder Keg Diplomacy National Lager Day Best places to drink lager London


The Old Brewery (Greenwich)

This historic brewery shares its grounds with the Old Royal Naval College and is located a few yards away from the Cutty Sark, so The Old Brewery is definitely the place to give your lager drinking the sense of historical gravity it deserves. Inside, the majestically large vats prove its commitment to serving the best local craft beers available, while the brickwork in the main bar align with its historic design. The considerable selection of drinks, coupled with a spacious interior and giant beer garden, makes it a very good place to go out in London all year round.

The Old Brewery National Lager Day best places to drink beer London


The Draft House (Old Street)

For a trendy and stylish lager drinker, you need a bar of the same caliber. The Draft House lives up to its name with the craft beers on tap and a delicious selection of bottled from both America and Britain, for a more modern drinker. This contemporary approach oozes into its design, with cool, sharp furnishings and tall ceilings below and a comfortable suede upstairs. It’s places like the Draft House that prove you don’t always have to visit a pub to drink that lager you so sorely deserve. 

The Draft House Old Street National Lager Day Best places to drink beer in London


The Old Queen’s Head (Angel)

National Lager Day should be celebrated just like every other holiday. Christmas, Halloween – they absorb a month of your life and disappear. Lager? That’s for life. And no place can celebrate it better than The Old Queen’s Head, which always throws one of the biggest parties in London every week. While the dance floor has the space to really unleash, there’s still areas to cosy up like a traditional pub and really savour that refreshing, well deserved sip of beer. It’s something different, it’s a big party, and, of course, it’s a place to drink in London on National Lager Day.

The Old Queens Head National Lager Day best places to drink beer in London