…their crown for brewing the world’s strongest beer after customers complained…

  • Brewmeister Snake Venom contains 67.5 per cent pure alcohol
  • Beer is stronger than vodka and 16 times more potent than standard larger
  • Potent brew took nine months to perfect and costs £50 for 275ml bottle
  • Makers recommend that each bottle should be drunk over eight sittings


Two friends have broken the record for the world’s strongest beer for the second time – after customers claimed their first effort was too weak.

Lewis Shand and John McKenzie have created Snake Venom, which at a head-spinning 67.5 per cent alcohol is stronger than whisky or brandy and 16 times more potent than a standard pub lager.

Last year they smashed all records with their 65 per cent Armageddon beer made in a tiny 200-year-old farm building outside Aberdeen.

But despite selling thousands of bottles across the world their customers demanded something even more potent.

So they moved Brewmeister Brewery into a new premises in Keith, Moray, and spent nine months brewing Snake Venom at £50 for a 275ml bottle.

Mr Shand, 27, said: ‘Snake Venom is definitely sharper in taste, because with Armageddon we actually tried to disguise the taste by making it quite oily.

‘We thought if it was too strong, people wouldn’t like it, but the problem we found is that people said we shouldn’t have tried to cover up the intensity.

‘Some even said they didn’t believe it was actually 65 per cent, so this time we thought we would go full out, as we were too nice last time.’

The schoolboy friends, who first started making beer in their bedrooms aged 16, have even been advised to put a warning label on the neck of Snake Venom because it’s too dangerous to drink large quantities all at once.

Mr Shand added: ‘One of its distinguishing features is that it has a warning label on the neck to tell the drinker not to consume too much at one time.

‘This is not a beer to be drunk like all the other ones, you’re not supposed to drink more than 35ml in one sitting.

‘It should be poured like it is whiskey. There’s enough of an alcoholic burn after just one taste of it.’

Despite its extreme alcoholic content, the pair believe Snake Venom will be at least as successful as its predecessor Armageddon which sold over 6,000 bottles after being shipped to every single continent around the world.

Lewis said: “There’s too many bland beers out there and we are trying to push the limits of brewing.

‘It’s still a beer, but it’s something
different. People have tried the beer and the overwhelming majority say
they prefer it to Armageddon once they get over the initial shock to the


Making the strongest beer in the world has been a battle between rival breweries for a number of years.

triggered the fight with their 32 per cent ‘Tactical Nuclear Penguin’,
but that was soon topped by German-based Schorsbrau, which released
Schorschbock at 40 per cent – only for Brewdog to take the crown back
off them with ‘Sink the Bismarck’ at 41 per cent.

all the bids were blitzed in 2010 by Dutch brewery, ‘t Koelschip (The
Refrigerated Ship), whose beer ‘Start the Future’ is an eye-watering 60
per cent, only for Brewmeister to blow them away with Armageddon.

‘Sure, it might not be an everyday drink, but it’s a great thing to buy someone for Christmas, as it’s difficult to buy presents for guys and I’m sure they’ll appreciate the chance to say they’ve drunk the world’s strongest beer.’

Snake Venom does not come cheap, but MR Shand thinks its unique taste will still see thousands fly off the shelves around the world.

Mr Shand said: ‘It tastes like a liquor rather than a beer and has a whole host of different flavours ranging from bubblegum to caramel – it’s like nothing you’ve tasted before.

‘But we think it’s great and the select few people who have given us feedback like it too, so hopefully when we take it around the country and elsewhere, people will agree.’

There will be launch nights in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester and London, but the main event is at a massive beer festival in France at Calais.

He added: ‘In the mean time we’ll wait for Guinness to put the beer in the record books and hopefully Snake Venom will be just as successful as Armageddon, if not more.’

Home Brewing

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