Anne van Kesteren

Tactical Nuclear Penguin

The night before I left Sweden we went to this bar, called De Klomp, right after Friday Beer, to have a bite and taste a few beers. Arthur, who works there — indeed not that Arthur, told us in passing about the most expensive beer they own, the Tactical Nuclear Penguin. Apparently the previous owner of the beer was not willing to sell more than one beer a person so a delegation of De Klomp consisting of five people went to Stockholm — two hours away in train time — to claim five bottles. The beer is selling at an astonishing seventeen hundred Swedish kronor, and evidently, no Tactical Nuclear Penguin had been sold to date. So we did what every bunch of beer-loving people would do, we teamed up and bought one. And trust me, you do not want to drink this thirty-three centiliter bottle of liquid gold alone, its alcohol percentage is thirty-two percent. Gives a whole new meaning to imperial stouts.

There is need for an addendum here. I wrote the above paragraph about five or six hours after drinking said beer, waiting for my plane home from Linköping. Now I know we not only paid a whole lot more than what it is actually worth in sane countries (we paid about four times its price). It is not even the strongest beer anymore. Apparently the Germans, who else, went to battle and came up with a forty percent beer. The Scots from BrewDog have meanwhile struck back and reclaimed their position with a new beer, aptly named Sink the Bismark. It has forty-one percent. I wonder if I will run across it in a bar one day.

(I really loved being in Berlin last year.)

As it turns out there is an even stronger beer, Koelschip OBILIX, from the Netherlands. It clocks in at forty-five percent. It is a protest beer; the brewer does not consider it to be actual beer and made it an attempt to stop the race between the Scots and Germans. Scots still win in naming.