London, July 11 : Health campaigners and politicians have accused the makers of one of Scotland's largest independent breweries for creating Britain's most potent beer ever - with a staggering 12 per cent alcohol content.
The award-winning microbrewery, BrewDog, earlier this year faced being blacklisted by advertising industry watchdogs for allegedly encouraging antisocial behaviour in its marketing and promotions.
Now, James Watt and Martin Dickie, the two former students who formed the company last year, have been accused of irresponsibly promoting Tokyo, a brew with potentially "devastating" consequences for health.
Dr Bruce Ritson, the chairman of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, declared there was no place for such a high-strength beer on the market.
"It is the last thing we need. It is absolutely the wrong direction to be going as far as Scotland's health problems are concerned. If it became popular it would have devastating consequences for health as well as social order and violence on the streets," The Scotsman quoted him, as saying.
Jack Law, the chief executive of Alcohol Focus Scotland, also condemned the beer.
He said: "What justification can there possibly be to bring an extra strong beer on to the market?
"Super-strength drinks are often favoured by young people and problem drinkers - is this really who the brewery wants to target?"
Dr Richard Simpson, Labour's public health spokesman, said: "Since a huge proportion of alcohol in Scotland is consumed in the form of beer, this product is hugely irresponsible."
However, Watt remained unrepentant about his Fraserburgh-based company's decision to brew what they are describing as an "intergalactic fantastic oak aged stout" which has been made with specialist malts, jasmine and cranberries before being aged on French toasted oak chips.
He said: "I completely agree with the aim to encourage responsible drinking, and that is fundamental to what we stand for.
"Our beers are targeted at and drunk by connoisseurs, and we strive to educate our customers that full-flavour beer can be enjoyed in moderation as opposed to heavily drinking cheaper, bland beers."