Investigating the uncommon, unusual, and rare within the craft beer community.

Kuhnhenn Brewing Company: Fourth Dementia

Released: 2007

Style: Old Ale

ABV: Varies depending on vintage

Now a fully fledged member of Kuhnhenn Brewing Company’s core lineup, Fourth Dementia originally debuted in 2003 as a draft only offering from the Warren, Michigan brewery. The mom and pop hardware store turned brewery is one of the most versatile operations in the country, producing not just high quality, innovative brew, but wine, mead, and root beer as well.

The bottle pictured is from the 2007 vintage, before the name change and packing overhaul to “4D” in 2010, although the brewery has tweaked the label art for most of the different releases. The alcohol level has also seen some variation over time, ranging from 9.4% to a whopping 13.5% in 2010. High gravity and extreme beers have become one of the family’s calling cards, including Raspberry Eisbock (13.5%), Bourbon Barrel Barleywine (14.5%), and Solar Eclipse (18%).

This isn’t just about the booze though, as Fourth Dementia earned its stellar reputation by becoming recognized as one of the best examples of the old ale style in the country. Aggressive and creative, the beer boasts a massive flavor profile including roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, and molasses.

Kuhnhenn’s beers have been notoriously difficult to come by over the years, due to the size of their operation and extremely limited distribution within Michigan. Some kegs have occasionally popped up at a few well known craft watering holes throughout New York City such as Blind Tiger and Bierkraft, but the availability is still few and far between at best.

If that wasn’t quite enough, Kuhnhenn really whipped the beer nerds into a froth by producing a bourbon barrel aged treatment of Fourth Dementia, which takes the beer to a ridiculously new level. Of course, this is even tougher to come by, so start with more recent batches of 4D and work your way up from there.


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