The 9 Most Bitter Beers In The World

by: Joseph On  Friday, January 4, 2013

Bitterest Beers

The 9 Most Bitter Beers In The World

When it comes to beer, people have many diverse tastes. Some prefer their beer on all different possible points on the flavor spectrum, from fruitiness, to hoppiness, to all the other myriad classifications that go into a glass of beer.

But for those who prefer their beer bitter – you’re in luck. Because there’s an actual scientific/mathematical measure for determining beer bitterness. It’s called the IBU scale, which stands for “International Bittering Units.” It’s measured by way of a spectrophotometer, and it determines just how bitter your beer really is. So click on through for the 9 bitterest beers out there according to their IBUs.

Pitstop The Hop - 323 IBUs

Pitstop The Hop

At one time, before the hoppiness wars that produced all of the other mega-bitter beers on this list, Pitstop The Hop was considered the bitterest. At 323 IBUs, it shattered the previously-held record of 200, and the creator of the beer admits that it’s undrinkable. One wonders what he would think of these other, much bitterer brews.

Raasted Festival IPA - 335 IBUs

Raasted IPA

At 335 IBUs comes the Raasted Festival IPA. Raasted Bryghus is a brewery in Denmark, and this particular brew is famous as one of their bitterest. As you can see, that bitterness is accompanied by and reflected in its dark color, which makes it look almost like liquor rather than beer.

Struise Black Damnation VI - Messy - 340 IBUs

Brewery Struise produced this, the sixth entry in their “Black Damnation” series of beers. And at 340 IBUs, it’s also their bitterest. Of course, with a name like “Black Damnation,” what are you expecting? Something light? You’re lucky it’s not poison with a name like that.

To Øl/Mikkeller Overall IIPA - 408 IBUs

No, that’s not a typo – IIPA stands for “Imperial India Pale Ale.” And this particular IIPA, the product of a collaboration between Mikkeller and To Øl, is bitter enough for even the most hardened bitter beer fan. How bitter? This brew clocks in at 408 IBUs.

Arbor / Steel City DCLXVI - 666 IBUs

Arbor Steel City

If there’s one thing more ominous than the dark liquid pictured above, it would have to be Arbor / Steel City DCLXVI’s IBU count: The number of the beast, 666. With a bitterness scale like that, it’s safe to say you’d probably rather confront Satan himself than to have to drink a whole glass of this stuff.

Mikkeller 1000 IBU - 1000 IBUs

The first beer to break the four-figure barrier is the Mikkeller 1000 IBU. You can tell they were proud of their accomplishment because they put the IBU scale right in the name. As for the beer itself, it’s almost certainly too bitter to drink – which probably goes for all of the beer on this list.

Hart & Thistle Hop Mess Monster v2.0 - 1066 IBUs

Hart and Thistle Hop Mess Monster V2.0

From Hart & Thistle comes the Hop Mess Monster – version 2.0. Like its predecessor, this is one of the bitterest beers of its time, with a staggering IBU scale of 1066. But beer fans seem to like the flavor, so why not give it a shot? Worst case scenario, it’s just too bitter for you.

Mikkeller X Hop Juice 2007 IBU - 2007 IBUs

 Mikkeller X Hop Juice 2007 IBU

As you may have noticed, many beers make a practice of putting their impressive IBU counts front and center, with many of them being featured right in the beer’s name. That’s how it is with Mikkeller X Hop Juice 2007 IBU, which as you might guess boasts 2007 unites of bitterness.

Flying Monkeys Alpha Fornication - 2500 IBUs

Flying Monkeys Cap

The bitterest beer on record with a whopping 2500 IBUs goes by the name “Alpha Fornication.” And it’s a product of the highly unusual Flying Monkeys brewery. As you might expect from such an off-beat brand, the beer is highly flavorful (assuming “bitter” is a flavor). Can you handle it? Only one way to find out!