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If you love beer, enjoying some Snake Venom should be on your bucket list. This unique Scottish brew is hard to get in the United States and is something to drink with caution.
What is Snake Venom Beer?
Snake venom comes from Keith Brewery LTD (Brewmeister) and remains the strongest beer sold in the world. Since 2013, buyers can purchase a bottle at a time to enjoy in stages or try with friends. Each bottle comes with a warning label, advising consumers that it is not a chuggable beverage.
It’s a free-distilled beer that has a deceptively sweet and nutty aroma. The fruity flavor has a biting finish. Though there is no snake venom in the beer, it certainly has a “bite.” Brewmeister suggests enjoying it 35 milliliters at a time. It lacks carbonation and smooth taste thanks to its high alcohol volume, which makes it easy to quickly drink–so measure it first.
When you drink it responsibly, Snake Venom can be more than worth the experience.
How High is Its ABV?
Snake Venom is 67.5% alcohol by volume (ABV), which makes it the world’s strongest commercial brew. To make a comparison, a Corona only has a 4.8% ABV.
The stronger the ABV, the faster someone will feel the effects of it, which is why this formula only gets sold one 330 mL bottle at a time.
As a beer ferments, the yeast consumes sugars and converts them to carbon dioxide and alcohol. Generally, the longer it ferments, the more powerful the drink becomes. Manufacturers determine ABV by measuring the amount of sugar present at the start of the fermentation process and the end.
Snake venom gets frozen with brewers removing solid ice which concentrates the alcohol and minimizes non-alcoholic liquid.
There are a few reasons a beer-drinking might want a stronger brew. One of the most common is taste-fatigue. The more you drink, the more likely you are to get sick of the same flavors. A strong beer provides a different taste experience, breaking up the monotony of grocery-store cases. You shouldn’t purchase Snake Venom or any other brew with the intention of getting drunk or because you feel pressured to do so.
Purchasing Snake Venom
Though it is available in some stores and restaurants, Snake Venom isn’t a staple in the United States. Some states limit the purchase of beer to strengths far below 67%. Due to the risk of drinking too much, it’s understandable that busy bars and restaurants don’t want to risk the liability–especially in a country so used to weaker formulations.
You can easily find and purchase Snake Venom from online vendors, such as Amazon, Uncrate and Hard to Find Whisky. You can also get it directly from Brewmeister.
The Road to the Strongest Brew
The strongest beer has a rich origin. Brewmeister began with a student loan on a farm in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire. Its first creation was Armageddon, a previous strongest beer with a 65% ABV.
Beer production began in Scotland more than 5000 years ago. There is evidence of beer brewing from the Neolithic period found in Skara Brae on Orkney.
In 1128, David I created Holyrood Abbey where it appears the monks used natural spring water to produce ale. They created the first documented brewery in Edinburgh. Monks across Scotland monopolized on beer production through the 1600s. Eventually, other domestic brewers began supplying their ales to locals.
A surprising aspect about Scottish breweries are the alewives. These women had the task of producing the brews, since many saw it as a domestic task. It wasn’t until the Edinburgh Society of Brewers came to be that men found brewing profitable and took the reins.
The industry thrived in Edinburgh thanks to high-quality water sources and locally-grown barley. At its peak, Edinburgh had more than 38 breweries that they exported across the British Empire, including far locations like Australia.
Other Strongest Beers
While Snake Venom is currently the strongest beer available, it isn’t the first to make waves in the industry. Others have held the trophy and chances are it will be overtaken–potentially by Brewmeister.
The previous title-holder for highest ABV (65%) was Brewmeister Armageddon which also uses post-fermentation freezing. Another beer too thick for carbonation, it has an amber color with a strong aroma, encapsulating both hops and caramel. If you can’t get ahold of Snake Venom or want something different, Armageddon is sweet with spicy and earthy undertones.
At a 60% ABV, Koelschip’s Start the Future brew form the Netherlands used the same freezing process as Snake Venom and Armageddon. While no longer in production, many described it like tequila with a burning sensation overpowering any sweetness. Another strong Koelschip brew was the limited-edition Obilix which used the same Eisbock method. Like its brother, its appearance defied its taste which was closer to hard liquor, with some describing it like whiskey or bourbon.
A rare strong beer is from Germany’s Schorschbräu. It only created 36 bottles so it’s a rare find. Schorschbräu 57 has an appropriate 57% ABV. It has a dark amber color that apparently looked better than it tasted.
BrewDog and Schorschbräu Strength in Numbers is a collaboration between Schorschbräu and UK brewery BrewDog. It debuted in 2020 with a 57.8% ABV. It combines the freezing Eisbock technique with an aging process commonly used for BrewDog’s whiskey. Strength in Numbers is a unique experience for any beer lover and has a rich flavor palate featuring chocolate, raisins and molasses. A kick of alcohol hits at the end, creating a warming sensation.
BrewDog also has its own strong brew. Its End Of History has an ABV of 55%. It’s name comes from the work of Francis Fukuyama. It was supposed to be the strongest beer they ever produced and was until Strength in Numbers. It’s a blond Belgium brew infused with herbs.
Embracing Ultra-Alcoholic Beers
There is something exhilarating about trying Snake Venom or another one of the strongest beers out there. When enjoyed responsibly, the unique flavors and textures are worth the hunt for them.
Jack Shaw is a senior writer at Modded. Jack is an avid enthusiast for keeping up with personal health and enjoying nature. He has over five years of experience writing in the men's lifestyle niche, and has written extensively on topics of fitness, exploring the outdoors and men's interests. His writings have been featured in SportsEd TV, Love Inc., and Offroad Xtreme among many more publications.