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UK's 'strongest beer' condemned

27 July 09 13:41 GMT

A Scottish brewery has been branded "irresponsible" after launching what it said was the UK's strongest beer.

With an 18.2% alcohol content, a 330ml bottle of Tokyo*, made by BrewDog, contained six units of alcohol - twice the recommended daily limit.

The company insisted the beer's high quality would help tackle the country's binge-drinking culture.

But Alcohol Focus Scotland branded the Fraserburgh-based brewer's argument "deluded".

The brewing company's latest product uses jasmine, cranberries, malts and American hops, and is then fermented with a champagne yeast to make the high alcohol content.

A bottle of the beer will be priced at £9.99.

BrewDog founder James Watt said: "Mass-market, industrially-brewed lagers are so bland and tasteless that you are seduced into drinking a lot of them.

"We've been challenging people to drink less alcohol, and educating the palates of drinkers with progressive craft-brewed beers which have an amazing depth of flavour, body and character.

"The beers we make at BrewDog, including Tokyo*, are providing a cure to binge beer-drinking."

But Alcohol Focus Scotland chief executive Jack Law warned high alcohol percentage beer could cause as much damage as drinking to excess.

"This company is completely deluded if they think that an 18.2% abv, (alcohol by volume), beer will help solve Scotland's alcohol problems," he said.

"It is utterly irresponsible to bring out a beer which is so strong at a time when Scotland is facing unprecedented levels of alcohol-related health and social harm.

"Just one bottle of this beer contains six units of alcohol - twice the recommended daily limit."

Branding complaint

A spokeswoman from the British Liver Trust added: "The notion of binge-drinking is to get drunk quick, so surely this beer will help people on their way?"

BMA Scotland warned a "high percentage" of the population was regularly drinking more than the recommended amount.

BrewDog ran into controversy recently when drinks industry watchdog the Portman Group said its Speedball drink should be withdrawn from sale until its marketing was changed.

Speedballing is the name given to combining heroin and cocaine.

BrewDog has produced a run of 3,000 limited edition bottles of Tokyo*.

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