BrewDog’s 18.2% beer is condemned by charity

Alcohol Concern has condemned drinks maker BrewDog after the launch of what the brewer calls the “UK’s strongest beer”.

Heady stuff: BrewDog boasts that its Tokyo beer is the strongest in the UK

The charity says the Tokyo brand, which launched last year at 12% ABV but which it has now upped to 18.2%, “celebrates excess”.

However, BrewDog has claimed that far from encouraging excessive consumption, consumers drink less of its beers because of their “flavour, bite and body”.

BrewDog founder Jim Watt says: “Mass-market industrially brewed lagers are so bland and tasteless that you are seduced into drinking a lot of them.”

The charity described the claim as “delusional”.

Don Shenker, chief executive of Alcohol Concern, says: “The reason why organisations like Alcohol Concern call for tougher regulation of the drinks industry is because there are elements within it that seem incapable of marketing alcohol responsibly. To suggest that the ‘strongest beer in the UK’ will tackle binge drinking is delusional to say the least,” he says.

The independent brewer was involved in controversy earlier this year when industry body Portman Group criticised its Speedball brand, a name often used to describe the practice of mixing heroin with cocaine.

The launch follows the introduction of The Smarter Drinking Campaign, a coalition of 45 drinks makers and retailers that aims to reduce irresponsible consumption and binge drinking.

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