Beer can get expensive. It doesn’t take long for the fever to catch: you find yourself endlessly spending your funds on good beer and, before you know it, you have the unfortunate privilege of being put on a “beer budget.” Sometimes we find ourselves splurging on that $25.00 bomber from Mikkeller, $30.00 on that vintage Rodenbach, or even just $12.99 on a 6-pack instead of our regular $9.99-10.99. However, what about $44.00 for a glorified PBR (Pabst’s Blue Ribbon 1844, $44.00/720ml)? Or can you budget in a $2,500 bottle of vintage Gueze? Most of us wouldn’t ever dream of spending this much on a beer, but here are 10 beers that have the ultimate sticker shock.
This beer, as the name indicates, is brewed with barley grown in outer space. Sapporo brewery developed a malted barley named Haruna Nijo, sent it up to outer space for a few months to grow, then brewed a beer with it. This 5% Pilsner may not seem special, but is, in a way, an alien beverage.
With an average retail price of $190, Sam Adams’ Utopias (2015) is 30%. This is blended with several vintages of Utopias, some which have been aging upwards to 20 years. Utopias is produced just as any other beer with basic grains and hops, but uses multiple strains of yeast before being finished in various barrels.
330 ml Schorschbräu is an Eisbock producer, which is a traditional German style of beer that is freeze concentrated, however it generally begins at 6% and is concentrated to 12%. As a traditional Eisbock producer, Schorschbraü developed Schorschbock 57, a 57% Eisbock, which once held the title for the world’s strongest beer.
If you have had the privilege of tasting Cantillon’s classic 100% Gueze, then you know that Cantillon is a force to be reckoned with. The Cantillon Gueze 1978 auctioned in 2013 for $397.
12 oz. Jacobsen Brewhouse, in the Carlsburg Group, produced 600 bottles of Vintage no. 1 in 2008. This beer, which retailed for DKK 2008 ($400), was aged in J.C. Jacobsen’s cellar from 1847 in both French and Swedish barrels.
Once holding the title of the world’s strongest beer, The End of History by BrewDog is a 55% Eisbock, which is bottled in a stuffed squirrel.
750 ml Cable Car is an American Wild Ale, which is styled after Belgium’s traditional Krieks. This beer is extremely rare and is released once a year at the Toronado in San Francisco.
Hair of the Dog is from Portland, Oregon, and they produce a fantastic Old Ale called Adam, which has an ABV of 10%. 20 years ago they freeze-distilled Adam to reach a gravity of 29%—this beer is called Dave and it is $2,000 for a 375 ml bottle.
A Gueze is a blend of lambics, which referment together in the bottle. When the intended blend of lambics fail to referment, thus failing to become a Gueze, the beer is called a Loerik. After some time, the Loerik will under go some for of refermentation. Cantillon’s Loerik 1998 was an example of this style of beer. Because it was only produced once and is extremely rare, Loerik goes for roughly $2,500 per 750 ml bottle.
This ale that was brewed for an Arctic expedition was auctioned for $5,131. Allsopp’s Arctic ale is 140-years-old and has made a voyage from the Arctic and back, all the while remaining unopened. I can only imagine what this beer tasted like. It may be pleasant or, perhaps, it may be absolutely terrible. We may or may not ever know, I’m sure the owner will not be opening it any time soon.