Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Scottish Beer Sets World Record

Most of the wine I drink is between six and nine percent alcohol. A Scottish brewery now has a beer that is quite possibly the strongest beer in the world. "Tokyo", a beer brewed by BrewDog brewery in Scotland has come out with a beer that is 18.2 % alcohol, which is a little less than half the strength of vodka. The brewery has come under fire from public health advocates who say that the beer is promoting alcohol abuse. The Daily Record reports as follows.

"A SCOTS brewery has been blasted as "irresponsible" by health campaigners after launching what it claims is Britain's strongest beer - with an 18.2% alcohol content. A 330ml bottle of Tokyo*, made by BrewDog, contains six units of alcohol, which is twice the recommended daily limit. The drink's creators, who came under fire last year for launching a 12% beer, claim the new brew will help alleviate the country's irresponsible binge-drinking culture - because it is so rich that people will consume less of it."

It is hard for me to imagine that beer with such a high alcohol content will taste good. When I was out in Seattle, I had "barley wine" which was 12% alcohol. Apparently local regulations prohibited calling it beer. I found it to be a little like one of those cheap , strong malt liquors that you buy the day before pay day when you can't afford the good stuff.

I don't think that cranking up the alcohol content will cut down on binge drinking. I think that a good solution might be to offer evening entertainment packages with a meal, a quart of beer, bowling and soft drinks after the game. A quart of beer is not an outrageous quantity. If someone is bowling for two hours after a meal and they have not had any additional alcohol, they might be able to drive home with no problem. Another possibility might be to offer all night parking to anyone who gets drunk, or a discount on the tab to anyone who passes a breathalyser test.

The entertainment industry is very good at selling food and recreation. They should market sobriety and moderation in a positive way. Getting the government into the game of promoting healthy habits is not the best way. Moderation should be made attractive. You can't just stand on the bar and preach temperance. Set up an evening of good times with more than just a row of bar stools and you may get someplace.

My stomach is not up to 18.2% alcohol. My favourite beer is (I didn't make this up) "Arrogant Bastard Ale" Just looking at the bottle makes me smile. Their slogan is "You're not worthy of it."When I buy a round for a friend, he wonders if I'm really his friend, or if I'm trying to tell him something. The last bottle I drank was large enough that I didn't need a second one.

I'd love to see how what comes of Tokyo beer. The UK is home to a lot of good beer. I hope some makes it over here.

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