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Nov 11, 2006 08:59 PM

what's the strongest beer I can buy off the shelf?


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  1. I believe Duvel is 11%, and is pretty widely available.

    If you're in California, you might be able to find AleSmith. Their Speedway Stout is 11%. They also have a Scottish ale, Wee Heavy, that's also around 12%. Barleywines get up to 14%.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Josh

      Duvel is 8.5% abv, a strong beer to be sure, but not even close to the strongest beer available.

      AFAIK, the strongest beer ever available off the shelf is Boston Beer Company's Utopias (25 % abv) as another poster already suggested.

      1. re: Stiv

        Thanks for correcting that. I don't why I thought it was 11%.

        However, I wasn't saying it's the strongest beer available. I simply said it's one of the strongest that is WIDELY available. Utopias may well be the strongest beer out there, but that doesn't do much good if you can't purchase it. FWIW I've never once seen it for sale, and I have some pretty well-stocked beer purveyors in my area.

    2. Dogfish Head Craft Brewery (Milton, Delaware)makes some amazing (and expensive) brews: their World Wide Stout is 18% alcohol, 120 Minute IPA is 21%!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Luwak

        << 120 Minute IPA

        Yum! Dogfish Head bartenders serve it in a small snifter... probably 6 oz?

      2. It depends on the laws of your state, and on what the distributors carry. As Luwak said, there are a number of "beers" being made now that exceed 15%, but they are prohibited in some states, and expensive. Some types that tend to be among the highest are imperial or double stouts, imperial IPAs, and Belgian tripels. These brews are usually only found in stores that have a wide variety of craft brews. If you're talking about beers that are available in every store that sells beer, you're probably not going to find anything above 7% or maybe 8% abv. Most of the mass-market American beers are about the same, in the 5% range. There is some info on state-by-state rules at

        1. It depends on your demographic... Dogfish Head makes a beer so strong, in Oregon they've scribbled out the alcohol content! I think it's a barley wine?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ergozum

            I believe this is because Oregon discourages (prohibits?) displaying the alcohol content of beers on their labels.

          2. World Wide Stout comes in at around 18%. That stuff is smooth as port, delicious with a major punch. Serve it as an after-dinner drink to your wine friends and they'll swear it's a semi-dry port.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Chicago Mike

              Chicago Mike, Can you buy the World Wide Stout at Sam's or Binny's? I can, almost, taste it and feel the buzz now.