The state of Ohio removed its 12 percent alcohol cap on beer this week, essentially becoming just another state to rid itself of arcane, post-prohibition-era limits. But BrewDog — an irreverent Scottish brewer that’s pulled stunts like brewing beer underwater and making an aphrodisiac ale to honor a Royal wedding — wasn’t going to let this momentous day go by without notice. They announced plans to unleash a 55 percent alcohol by volume brew named the End of History.
This will be the second release of End of History. And they will be released exclusively as shareholder perks to those who invested $20,000 or more in the brewery's Equity for Punks USA. The crowdfunding campaign is raising money for the brewery’s U.S. operations, and will open in the Columbus area later this year.
As for that strange packaging, the blond Belgian-style ale is presented in a taxidermy squirrel (dead of natural causes) that we can only assume is for a poetic tribute. The bottles are beautiful and disturbing, explains the brewery, disrupting conventions and breaking taboos about how beer can be packaged, just like the brews they bestow.
And how do you make a beer that strong? BrewDog co-founder James Watt explains that to achieve the ABV, the beer was brewed to as far as the yeast can push it (around 20 percent). Then the brewery drops the temperature of the ale to well below freezing.
“The water separates and we remove it, thus increasing the alcohol content on the remaining liquid, until it nails the ABV we're looking for,” Watt says. “It's an intense process that can't be rushed.”
BrewDog plans to make End of History the first batch in the fermenters at its new Canal Winchester, Ohio, brewery later this year, and batches of End of History will eventually be shipped to the U.K. to be ice-distilled and packaged. As for us? We’re planning to check in with lucky shareholders to see how that 55 percent ABV hangover treats them.