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Friday, 5 February 2010

Reassuringly strong?

Expect howls of outrage from the anti-alcohol campaigners when they hear about Schorschbock, a lager from the German craft brewer Schorschbräu. At 40%, it’s as strong as Scotch and probably not for swilling, not unless you like quick sessions. It’s apparently fermented by “a rarely-used method for producing ice bock, supplemented by extended cold-lagering for a minimum of six months.” Well, I’m sure that all means something to someone.  This brew, described as "whisky-like," has gone on sale in Scotland where it sells for £10 a glass.

I tend to view the arms race of ever stronger beers to be rather like the urge of some countries to construct the tallest building in the world ~ intriguing, but ultimately pointless. Last November, Scottish brewery BrewDog caused a furore among the alco-puritans with a beer called Tactical Nuclear Penguin, which at 32% was at that time claimed to be the strongest beer ever made; it costs £35 a bottle. This is where the campaigners show they haven’t a clue: problem drinkers will never spend that much on a bottle of beer when they can get a bottle of own brand spirits for under £7, so there's really no need to get all hot under the collar about it. Out of sheer curosity I’d be interested to taste these beers, but not at such prices.

Speaking of alco-puritans, Alcohol Focus Scotland has another of its alcohol-related polls on its home page, and this one asks whether alcoholic drinks should show the calorie content on the packaging. Like most of its polls, it’s getting a response it doesn’t want with 64% of respondents currently voting "no". Oddly enough, they don’t show the results of previous polls on their website, no doubt for reasons of space.

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