How long will it last during the apocalypse? Can you use it as a weapon? We ask all the important questions.
Once or twice a week, Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione stops by his company’s small craft beer-themed inn in Lewes, Delaware, to chat with guests. “One question that invariably comes up is ‘What is your desert island beer or the beer you’d drink during the apocalypse?’” he says.
For years, Calagione just named a brew he adored. “I was answering subjectively. But then I wondered, what if I were to figure out the objective answer to that question?”
And so began the eight-month quest to brew a bomb-shelter-ready ale. The result is It’s the End of the Wort As We Know It, a 9-percent Belgian-style ale spiked with superfoods—like flax, chia seeds, blueberries, and açai—to supposedly keep you alive during, say, a nuclear meltdown.
You probably have some questions. While we can’t answer many of them (the CDC, which is running a Q&A session on how to prepare for a nuclear attack, can), we did ask Calagione all about the ins and outs of stocking your bomb shelter with beer. Here’s what you need to know.
What does survival beer taste like?
While it seems like a survival beer should taste like the musk of self-reliance mixed with the steely notes of drinking your own urine, this brew is pleasantly fruit-forward with deep plum and other stone-fruit notes. The high ABV does give the beer some weight, but it doesn’t singe your throat the way many hot, boozy brews do.
Will it really keep me alive?
No. But this beer could give a boost to your not-so-great survival diet. Calagione is careful not to make any health claims about the concoction, but it does have decent nutritional additions. The final batch has eight times the B-complex vitamins of most macro lagers, plus amino acids, micronutrients, and 90 percent of your daily folic acid requirement.
Does it have a lot of calories?
Now is not the time to worry about your diet, but yes. Dogfish Head didn’t test the beer’s calorie content, but we did some math to make a guess. The survival beer is twice as alcoholic as the company’s lightest beer, Sea Quench Ale, and most of beer’s calories generally come from alcohol. So we could assume this beer would have twice as many calories as Sea Quench, and since it comes in a much larger container, that would add up to about 600 calories.
How long will it keep in my bunker?
Decades, thanks to its super-low dissolved oxygen levels, says Calagione. Oxygen dissolved into a beer can make the final product unstable and prone to spoiling. In the interest of ensuring no one has to face the misery of both a zombie attack and skunked beer, the chemists and biologists at Dogfish Head meticulously tested this brew’s oxygen levels. You should get at least ten years out of a bottle, possibly 20 if your bunker is dark and cool.
How do I get ahold of it?
Only 200 bottles will be released on January 27, and you’ll have to physically go to the Dogfish headquarters in Delaware to get one. But the end times are nearly here, so go ahead and use up those stockpiled vacation days.
For $45, all I get is a bottle of beer?
Nope. You get the one-pint 9.4-ounce bottle of beer, plus a handy Swiss Army knife, a solar blanket, and a swath of paracord.
What survival foods will this pair with?
“Ramen, one of the more savory Kind bar flavors, and, in a pinch, dog or cat meat,” says Calagione.
Is it alcoholic enough to sterilize wounds?
Definitely not. It’s 9 percent ABV, and it’s generally recommended to shoot for at least 40 percent alcohol content if cleaning is your goal. But why waste beer on a wound, anyway?
Do I have to share it with my bunker comrades?
That depends. Technically, in the end times, it’s every woman or man for themselves, and you can hoard it if you want to. But should your bunkermates go all Donner Party, being passed out in the corner from over-consumption probably isn’t ideal.