Ultimate Sixer | Six Beers I’m Afraid to Drink
In the course of discovering new beers, you inevitably uncover some concoctions that seem… strange. Maybe they showcase an unusual flavor, or an odd ingredient; maybe they just make you go, “huh.” Sometimes they’re downright scary. These are the brews that push the envelope a little further than you wanted. Their recklessness inspires respect… and maybe a little fear.
I decided to construct an Ultimate Sixer to showcase a few of the beers that have caused me a moment of questioning pause. What would happen if I ever decided to drink all of these at once? Would I die? It’s exciting, isn’t it!
Let’s check it out! Six Beers I’m Afraid to Drink:
Brew Dogs / Elysian The Fix Imperial Coffee Stout
In the Brew Dogs episode about this collaboration stout, the brewers present their bag of ‘pharmaceutical-grade’ caffeine before they start brewing. The guys contemplate the powder’s concentrated deadliness, and then they proceed to taste the powder like a trio of beer-dude Scarfaces. As the viewer, I am forced to wonder: did I just watch people do cocaine?
Really, The Fix scares me because its exceptional caffeine content pushes it into extra-fancy Four Loko territory. As curious as I am to try this beer, I don’t like to mix my socially acceptable drugs – I prefer to stage them. I do caffeine in the morning, then alcohol at night: wake, then sleep. Taking robust, simultaneous doses of both substances seems like a recipe for crazy. For reference: see every Four-Loko related news story ever. (Footnote? Jaeger Bombs.)
Mamma Mia Pizza Beer
Pizza plus beer! Two great tastes, right?? Hold on, not so fast. When I first discovered Mamma Mia’s Pizza Beer, I immediately thought of the Jones Soda Thanksgiving Pack incident from 2004. If you’re unfamiliar, Jones Soda got the wise idea to release a five-piece Thanksgiving Dinner drink collection. The box featured a Turkey & Gravy soda, and a Green Bean Casserole soda, amongst others. It sold out in an hour, but the optimistic buyers ultimately discovered that – on the whole – the drinks tasted pretty gross.
Interestingly, Mama Mia’s homebrew features a different approach to flavoring: they put an entire Margarita pizza in the mash. As frightful beers go, this one is low on my list – surely anybody would be game to try a sip of this. I even hear it’s pretty good. But I still think I’d take the slightest pause before I tipped back a bottle of Pizza Beer. Just the slightest.
Brewmeisters Snake Venom
Due to fierce competition with literally nobody, Scottish brewery Brewmeisters decided to trump their own 65-percent ‘Armageddon’ Eisbock with this 67.5-percent brew. Snake Venom is a beer that I want to try a little bit, but it mostly freaks me out. The brewery has suffered criticism over the authenticity of their extraordinary ABV claims, which only furthers my desire to contemplate Snake Venom exclusively from afar. I mean, 67 percent ABV is basically a comical amount of alcohol for something that isn’t Everclear. I envision an ABV clown car, and the ABV clowns just keep tumbling out. And then they trip over each other, because those clowns are super drunk.
If you can find Snake Venom, you’ll note that it comes with a yellow warning label. I can only assume that the label says “Dedicated to bad decisions.”
Twisted Pine Ghost Face Killah
This beer’s namesake, the ghost pepper, features a Scoville count above one million: in common parlance, the ghost pepper is effing hot. Twisted Pines picked this pepper, and a few of its hottest pepper buddies, to grace a super-spicy brew.
While I haven’t tried the Twisted Pines beer specifically, I did once try a homebrew made with an entire Trinidad scorpion pepper. That thing was preposterously, undrinkably spicy. Deadly spicy. Now, admittedly, the ghost pepper trails the Trinidad in flat SHUs, but I’m still afraid of Ghost Face Killah for good reason: I’m sure this beer tastes like atmospheric re-entry. The brew’s webpage perfectly captures the cruelty of drinking a beer so spicy: the heat-horror only inspires you to gulp further quaffs, while silently begging that the brew will eventually afford you some refreshment.
It will not.
Steel Reserve Malt Liquor
Last year, some medical folks released a study about the beers that brought folks to the emergency room. Technically, Budweiser took the crown as the brew of choice for hurting yourself. But I was more frightened to ponder the “best effort” numbers coming from the second place team: Steel Reserve Malt Liquor. The ER patients in the study named Steel Reserve in over 14 percent of alcohol-related incidents, despite that this workhorse brew represents a meager 0.8 percent of national sales. Steel Reserve is killing it out there, man – with efficient aplomb. Incidentally, Budweiser represents a hefty nine percent of US sales, but the King of Beers only barely beat Steel Reserve to the emergency-room blue ribbon. We’re talking about tenths of a percentage here.
On the whole, malt liquor owned 46 percent of all the alcohol-related ER incidents in this study. Are you still sure you wanna play Edward Fortyhands tonight, Steve?
Look, there might be a mouse in it.