Welcome to PW's 50-Beer Countdown to Philly Beer Week! Every day from now through the Opening Tap ceremonies on May 31, we'll be getting in the mood by spotlighting a different great craft brew that's been poured by one or more Philly Beer Week participating venues.
Get your crash helmets on, folks, because this ride isn’t one for the faint of heart. Colorado’s Avery Brewing puts out a “Demons of Ale” series that might as well mark the end of days—that’s how aggressively evil these beers are. Mephistopheles is a big ol’ stout that tends to hover in the 16 percent ABV range. To put that in perspective, one bottle of this has the same alcohol impact of four bottles of the best known stout in the world, Guinness. This ridiculously big beer should be consumed like a fine wine, with slow sips to appreciate its complex flavors. Be ready for a big, boozy syrup with notes of chocolate, coffee, cocoa, licorice and more. Imagine burnt Kahlua turned into a beer turned into a wine, and you are maybe getting close. It’s as intimidating as a demon should be. Try it at least once. There is nothing else like it. If you’re lucky, Avery Mephistopheles will be available at The Belgian Café.