Sam Adams Makes Illegal, Expensive Beer

Perhaps you’ve heard of Utopias, Sam Adams’ $150-a-bottle beer that’s banned in 13 states. An AP story says the brewery is releasing a new edition of its every-other-year beer, which the story says has the most alcohol by volume of any other beer at 27 percent.

As a comparison, straight-up Scotch has an alcohol by volume of 40 to 46 percent, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia

The story lists the states that won’t let its citizens waste a ton of money on the crazy brew:

Thirteen states – including Ohio – prohibit its sale because its alcohol content exceeds the legal limit for beer. The other states are Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and Washington.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a bottle or glass of beer?

Sam Adams pushes new limits on extreme beer [Associated Press, via Cincinnati Enquirer]
(Thanks, NORMLgirl!)

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  1. fs2k2isfun says:

    I’ve spent about $8 on a pint at a bar, and about $14 on a 22 oz bottle. My favorite beer runs about $7-8 for a 20 oz bottle, which I gladly pay whenever I can find it. Good beer is worth every penny.

    • ModerateOne says:

      After telling us how much you love your beer, you don’t even tell us which one it is? lol

      • fs2k2isfun says:

        Sure. My favorite is Avery the Maharaja Imperial IPA. Brewed in Boulder, CO. Its tough to find outside of the summer months though.

        • Xero says:

          Boulder produces some decent beers, but Fort Collins is where the good stuff hails from. Odell and New Belgium produce some of the best microbrews out there.

          But what do I know, I normally pay $1 for pints of PBR.

          • fs2k2isfun says:

            While New Belgium makes some perfectly adequate beers (Fat Tire comes to mind), I certainly wouldn’t classify them as a microbrew, nor as one of the best breweries in Colorado.

      • lannister80 says:

        Hands down: Anything by Unibroue. Best Belgians on the market, soooooooooo good.

        Also “Old Stock Ale” by North Coast Brewing, 12%. mmmm

        • JayDeEm says:

          I will check these out. Two nights ago I found myself standing in the Belgium section of the beer aisles at BevMo, trying to remember the name of the $8 glass of beer I had ordered a few months back while on a trip to Portland, OR. All I remember is that it was Belgian, kind of dark, and the best beer I have ever had. Regrettably, none of the names on the shelf jumped out at me, but this might give me a good starting point :)

      • hairylunch says:

        The most I’ve paid is $20 for 750 ml bottles (various Fantomes, which are some of my favorites), and probably $8 to $10 a pint. Most recently, I had the Life and Limb and the Limb and Life, collaboration brews between Sierra Nevada and Dogfish, which I think ran $8 a pint . . .

        I think the Kulmbacher Eisbock ran $7 for a 12 oz bottle . . .

        Note that these are all bar prices, and not beer / liquor store prices . . .

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      Life is too short to drink cheap beer. The most I’ve paid is probably somewhere in the same range.

  2. hypnotik_jello says:

    New Hampshire? so much for live free (drunk) or die.

    • ScarletsWalk says:

      It’s very amusing to think that NH residents would have to cross the border to buy beer in Mass, instead of the opposite, for a change.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      Or Maine! We probably have higher taxes on booze than Mass, though.

  3. DoktorGoku says:

    *raises hand meekly*

    I’m one of the owners of that beer. I’m saving it for an upcoming special occasion. I’m also a collector- have over 400 different bottles of beer on some specially designed shelving.

    The most I’ve ever paid was $200, for the very Utopias beer pictured above. I’ve spend around $100 for rare & discontinued brews before. It’s basically the only thing I splurge on, though, and I don’t ever plan to pay more that I did for Utopias. I kind of look at it as the Holy Grail of Beer.

    • Willow01 says:
      • DoktorGoku says:

        Haha, you’re right! That’s some pretty good ale, too- I was worried it’d be just a gimmick, but it’s surprisingly tasty.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      Doktor, do these beers age particularly well? Does their flavor match the price, or do you find them more of a novelty? I’m very curious because I like good beer.

      • DoktorGoku says:

        The specialty beers can indeed age well, but you have to be sure that the bottle works well for it. A lot of “normal” beer bottles aren’t quite sealed properly, and the beer can actually go “bad”. Most of the normal Sam Adams beers, for instance, have a “Drink By” date- Utopias, however, is supposed to age better.

        I’d say the majority of the expensive beers that I’ve had have been somewhat of a novelty- that said, the ones that were worth it were VERY worth it. If you can store certain beers properly, though, you can often age them yourself. In my experience, Thomas Hardy’s Ale can age deliciously- and it’s only ~$10/bottle fresh! If you can hang on to that one for a while, you’ll probably be very happy with the results. :D

    • admiral_stabbin says:

      According to the Sam Adams web site…you can add Iowa to the listen of verboten states.

      I was going to spend part of my afternoon off from work trying to find a bottle of that stuff. It’s only $30 more than the cost of a 2000-era Dom P. @ Costco, but sounds much more unique. It also has a cool decanter.

      Curses to the law!

    • jvanbrecht says:

      We busted open that bottle the week before Thanksgiving for my best friends 40th birthday.. of the 10 people who had some.. only 1 liked it (my wife oddly enough).. its not very good at all I am afraid to say. 1 of the people who did not like it work in the liquor distribution industry and has a well rounded alcohol pallet …

      On the bright side, ours was free (my wife who is an editor and does product reviews was sent the bottle)..

      The bottle is pretty cool on its own though..

  4. Jabberkaty says:

    Yeah! We got it in Maine. We here in the officer are debating whether we want to pitch in $25-$50 each to get a bottle, depending on how many of us go in on it.

    It’s funny, cause I wouldn’t do that for wine. But I love me some fancy beer. I’ve spend $6 on a big bottle of micro-brew beer, and more than that on some fancy beer for gifts for hubby and dad.

    • mac-phisto says:

      skip it & get some of the special runs from the allegash brewing co. in portland instead –> http://www.allagash.com/home.htm

      their reserve line is only nominally more expensive than their regular line. what makes a ‘reserve’? they take a portion of every run & age it in toasted oak barrels for a period of time. tasty stuff, that is. if you ever get a chance, take a tour – it’s a nice operation.

  5. Cant_stop_the_rock says:

    Most I’ve probably spent was $10 or so on a can of Coors Light… but at that venue I don’t think the beer was what I was really paying for.

    • tbax929 says:

      I’m with you. When I’ve spent a lot of money on beer it’s been at a game or a concert. The beers I buy are usually about $10-$15 for a 12 pack at the supermarket. I don’t drink Coors Light, Miller Lite, or Bud Lite, but I’ll buy them if that’s all that’s available at an event.

    • Smashville says:

      I’m with you. I like beer…and I’d like to try this. But…I have trouble paying 7.50 for one at a hockey game…even the good local brews…I can’t see this happening.

      I guess if I thought of it as a liquor purchase, but I rarely go over 30 bucks with those.

    • chargernj says:

      I thought we were talking about beer, not Coors. ;)

      Seriously, I wouldn’t pay that much unless forced. My favorite cheap beer is Yeungling.

  6. montusama says:

    Where and when can I buy this? I’m in NY, not banned. awesome

  7. ktetch says:

    Crap, I’m in north Georgia, and every state near me has it banned. I have to go ALL the way to Florida.

    Course, this is also a state where Sunday Alcohol sales are banned for ‘safety’ reasons (because people might drink, and then go somewhere, which apparently doesn’t happen any other day)
    We even have “Sundaybeer” now, beer you buy on Saturday to drink on Sunday

    • Smashville says:

      Yeah…I remember a few years back stopping off at the QT in Adairsville at about 4pm on a Sunday on the way back to Nashville. She grabbed a 6 pack, went to the counter and they practically screamed at her…and considering how nice QT employees usually are…I’m assuming this is a pretty hardcore Georgia law.

    • David in Brasil says:

      No, they’re afraid that you might drink and then decide to go to church…

    • megafly says:

      As I understand the history, the Sunday booze thing isn’t about Religion so much as being about businesses wanting employees who were less likely to be hung over on Monday morning.

  8. ubermex says:

    I really can’t stand the liquor laws in most of the country. The states that DON’T ban everything STILL have dumb restrictions about stores selling plastic cups with the booze and whatnot. I really do not understand how Tennessee still rationalizes banning sangria in America.

    • Smashville says:

      Tennessee has no ban on sangria. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 3 restaurants in the Metro Nashville area that have it. El Mariachi on Thompson Lane, Garcia’s in Franklin and there’s another Mexican place in Greenbrier that has sangria but no margaritas. Those are just the places I’ve actually noticed it on the menu.

    • justsomeotherguy says:

      The same way the justify other prohibition… racism.

    • Smashville says:

      That makes about as much sense as the first one claiming that sangria is banned in Tennessee.

    • Areia says:

      I remember being in a county somewhere in Michigan on a Sunday, trying to have brunch at a microbrewery we’d discovered late the previous night. When we tried to order some of their beer we were told that local laws didn’t allow them to sell beer on Sundays, but they could serve us cocktails. Because clearly, banning beer but not hard liquor one day a week prevents alcoholism.

    • johnva says:

      A lot of dumb state liquor laws have to do with corruption. State alcohol boards are notorious for often being corrupt, and they have a lot of power. Many of of the dumber laws that are on the books remain there because some other type of alcohol producer or distributor is paying people off (or just “lobbying”) to keep them in place. It allows them to reduce the amount of competition they face. A-B, Coors, Miller, etc lobbied for years to keep some of those ABV caps in place, as it was a great way to strangle the nascent regional and local brewing industries that hadn’t yet recovered from Prohibition (which killed off most of the smaller American breweries).

  9. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Does it actually taste better than other beers, or is it just more alcohol? Cause for $150, you could get much more drunk just throwing back more beers with less alcohol content.

    • Brazell says:

      Better is very relative. Most people who drink it wouldn’t like it if they’re expecting it to taste anything like beer. It’s more like a corgial (sp). Try any high-alochol, high malt beer like the 120-minute IPA from Dogfish Head… Is it “better” than the 60-minute? In my opinion, no, not at all, I’d take a 60-minute IPA over the 120-min any day regardless of price. But, technically, I suppose, the quality of the brew is better, it has better ingredients, more time is spent making it, and so on, so it’s probably technically better.

      It’s sort of like asking: is a Rolls Royce better than a really nice Mercedes or BMW? Sure, the Rolls is more expensive, it is meticulously designed, very luxurious… but most people would rather drive the really nice Mercedes or BMW more than the super luxurious Rolls.

      (In this analogy, the Mercedes/BMW is like a good Great Divide Squall IPA. The Rolls is the Utopias. A Budweiser would be lIke… a Chevy Aveo or perhaps Geo Metro)

      • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

        You were doing so well with your metaphor until you went in for the gratuitous anti-American beer snobbery!

        • Kamidari says:

          Except that every beer listed there, good and bad, is American. ;)

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            True. However, Budweiser-bashing is easy, ignorant snobbery and it irritates me. It suggests people don’t know the history of beer in America and WHY lagers were the preferred American beer for most of the country’s history, and it suggests people have little knowledge of 20th century beer brewing and WHY Budweiser and its like came to dominate the market: total lack of quality control leading to really God-awful “small brews” and limited ability to ensure a consistent brew meaning that even a good beer frequently had a bad batch. What Budweiser, et al, did was introduce consistency of quality into the world of beer, and that’s why it sold so well. (And then, of course, they were in a monetary position to take advantage of packaging advances, etc.)

            And if you go overseas, you can find beer snobs in other countries disdaining the local beer that the American beer snobs are lauding the exceptional merits of and insisting it’s crap, and ordering imported (and expensive) Budweiser. Because snobbery tends to be dumb wherever you find it.

            (When I studied abroad in London we would get excited that French wines were so cheap, while the imported Californias were very expensive. There’d be these guys in suits picking up very expensive Californian wines that would be on the $4 mass-market shelf at my local supermarket, and insisting we were philistines because we didn’t appreciate the much better Californian wine and were instead buying those cheap French wines. Not that they were bad Californian wines, just that importedness, price, and unfamiliarity lent them an air of exclusivity and quality beyond what they deserved, just as French wines do for many Americans.)

            Okay, I’ll give the soapbox back before I get started on the stupidities of snobbery pricing in the art market. :D

            • Brazell says:

              For what it’s worth, I do know the history… but saying that Budweiser is worse than Sierra Nevada is not being snobbish and it is not being ignorant of history… and my post wasn’t snobbish.

              • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

                It’s okay; I was totally being snobbish. If I’m going to drink Bud Light, I might as well just pour it straight into the toilet. :-D

                Srsly, though, I tend to like a more robust brew than most mass-market American Lagers provide. Higher alcohol content helps. although I have been seeing ads for Budweiser-produced brews that look like they are more in line with my tastes, so I’m probably going to give them a try the next time I buy beer. If Budweiser makes a brown ale, stout, or hefeweizen I like, I’ll drink it, regardless. ^_^

              • Powerlurker says:

                In all fairness, the Budweiser American Ale is a surprisingly competent and reasonably priced amber ale. They can make perfectly fine beer when they feel like it.

        • Kamidari says:

          Although clearly there is some anti-American car snobbery in there… :p

          • tbax929 says:

            Some? Hating American cars seems to be a pre-requisite to being a poster here!

            • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

              I loves me my Ford Focus and I’ve never bought or regularly driven anything but an American car.

              Although my next car may be foreign, since my next car will either be a hybrid or mini-minivan. Also buying American in cars doesn’t have the meaning it once did, since I live just a dozen miles or so from a big Mitsubishi plant but I don’t know if there are even any “American” car plants in the state!

            • admiral_stabbin says:

              I’m holding strong at one year with only owning American autos. I hope that doesn’t get me banned from posting! :-)

          • DangerMouth says:

            Well, you could say Blatts is like the Yugo :~)

        • Brazell says:

          I’m definitely not anti-American in my beers, as someone else said… I drink almost entirely American beers. Hands down, the best beer in the world comes out of the United States.

          As for my beer snobbery, calling Budweiser something like a Chevy Aveo isn’t really a bad thing. I have a lot of respect for the giant breweries: they produce something with pretty much 100% perfection EVERY TIME in a scale that is unrivaled by almost any other industry. For the amount that they make, the beer is not bad… it tastes like beer, it’s very drinkable, it’s affordable, and, heck, it’s beer. I don’t myself prefer it, but I wouldn’t hold it against somebody who does. The Beer snob thinks less of the people who drink things that they don’t like, I don’t… I say, drink what you like, if you like Bud Light then that’s a blessing, you spend less money, save hundreds of calories, and you can get what you like anywhere on earth.

          • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

            I take back everything bad I implied about you because you, sir, are a gentleman and a beer-scholar. :D

        • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

          (tear) I still like American Beer… why is everyone pickin’ on me?

      • the atomic bombshell says:

        Cordial. A corgial probably just tastes like dog.

      • freshyill says:

        Dogfish Head 90 Minute all the way. Sure I pay more, but those 30 minutes are worth it!

      • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

        I’d consider the Budweiser a Ford Pinto, or perhaps a Trabi. I’d say Pontiac Aztek, but that’s kind of hitting below the belt.

      • Slave For Turtles says:

        /joy/ — someone else who loves Dogfish Head ## IPA brews! I agree that for the money, the 60 minute IPA is genuinely worth it. The 90 somehow lost something subtle but vital. The 120 is better, but stick with the 60 and buy yourself some good snacks to enjoy with the money you save.

        • Powerlurker says:

          I love the 60 minute and 90 minute IPA (especially at $2 pint night at the local Fox and Hound), but I can’t drink the 120 minute IPA. My dad (who loves IPAs) and I once split a bottle and we couldn’t take more that a couple of sips before we dumped the rest. It’s just way too syrupy and cloyingly sweet.

      • Daemon Xar says:

        So PBR would be a Ford Pinto or Edsel?

  10. Brazell says:

    I’ll regularly spend $5 – $10 on a specific beer from the liquor store for a special occassion… Great Divide Yeti or Squall, Speedway Stout, Sierra Nevada Harvest Hop, 120-min, etc., but the Utopias at the ridiculous price of $100+ bottle never interested me, especially because it’s consistancy is very non-beer-like, and it — at least from descriptions — resembles a barley wine more than anything else. No interest in dropping $100 on something that I wouldn’t like.

  11. sir_eccles says:

    Perhaps the second strongest beer.

    Try Tactical Nuclear Penguin at 32% http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/scotland/north_east/8380412.stm

    • ahow628 says:

      I’d love to get my hands on a bottle of this. Sounds excessive. Just like I like it.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      I was searching for that link, but my google-fu is weak today. I want a bottle of that stuff just because of the name.

  12. aficionado says:

    Vermont limits the alcohol content of beer? The state that allows you to conceal carry without a permit regulates the alcohol content of beer? There has to be some mistake.

    • ARP says:

      Well if you allow both, there would be problems when you mix the two. So, they’ve decided that alcohol is much more dangerous than loaded gun.

  13. theSuperman says:

    “Thirteen states – including Ohio”
    What’s so special about Ohio that warrants it being listed on its own?

  14. lucky929 says:

    Is the “bear” tag intentional, because it made me laugh.

    I’m in New Jersey, of course it isn’t banned here. Awesome. What to get for the beer snob who has everything, I guess.

    • Cant_stop_the_rock says:

      On the other hand liquor stores close at 10 p.m., and buying alcohol at a grocery store is a rarity. When my local Wegmans started selling beer throughout the store I asked 3 times to make sure I could buy it at a regular register and not at the register in the separate but attached liquor store.

      • lucky929 says:

        Our Wegmans doesn’t do alcohol, which surprises me as it’s newer than like the Princeton one that does. My town borders a dry town, and the Wegman’s is right on the border, so that might explain it. There are so many liquor stores around, I don’t really miss it. And my two favorites have a Dunkin Donuts inside and a Wawa next door, respectively.

        • Powerlurker says:

          It’s because liquor licenses in NJ are extremely limited with the number available based on the population of the town back in the 1940s or so. There are different types of licenses for liquor stores and bars/restaurants and most towns won’t have more than three or for of each type available. There may also be the odd beer-and-wine only license. When one comes on the market, it will usually get bid up into the six or seven figures with most of the outstanding licenses owned by small stores and local bars that have had them for as long as this regulatory scheme has been around. On the other hand, you can buy liquor on Sundays and you can be in the liquor store if you’re under 21 as long as you aren’t buying alcohol. Plus, if a restaurant allows BYOB they’re prohibited by law from charging a corkage fee.

      • treimel says:

        Hey–could be a LOT worse, your state could run the liquor stores and outright ban beer sales in grocery stores. Welcome to PA.

  15. robocop is bleeding says:

    I’ve had a bottle of Utopias – didn’t spend 150 on it, but I won it from some nuns in a raffle.

    It’s an… interesting beer. If you like maple whisky, you’d like Utopias. Heck, if you pour 1 part maple syrup, 1 part vodka, and 1/2 part IPA (for the vague hop flavor) in a snifter, you’re pretty much there. I choked my way through one glass and that was enough for me.

    Really, the best part about it is the bottle. I still mean to turn mine into a lamp.

  16. npage148 says:

    When I’m getting tasty beer, its usually about $8-14 for a 22 (southern tier brewing company). I think the most I’ve probably spend is 20 for a bottle of something imported (it was so unspecial I forgot what it was).

  17. ARP says:

    I’ve spent $12 or $13 for a 22 oz Belgian Abbey beer but usually try to keep it in the $10 range. I’ve often spent $9-10 for a four pack of a few beers (La Fin du Monde). Goose Island in Chicago makes a great beer called Matilda that runs $15 or so for a four pack.

    • fs2k2isfun says:

      The Matilda is an excellent beer. Unfortunately, here in FL its pretty much impossible to find.

    • colorisnteverything says:

      Goose Island is worth it, though. I would not pay this much for Sam Adams. I would pay a lot more for a good German beer, though or a tasty microbrew. My mother and I also love GI’s yummy rootbeer. That stuff is addicting. I know I will miss this if I move out of the Chicago area permanently. Although, I have had luck finding it down here in B-Town.

  18. bjdhtgjvbhdgd says:

    Anything more than 33 cents per beer is too rich for my blood.

  19. bitslammer says:

    Fortunately I live right on the border with Indiana & Kentucky so I’ll just pop out of Ohio if I want some.

  20. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    I had a beer-snob friend who made me drink this raspberry fizzy beer that he kept calling “the champagne of beers” that was like $18/bottle. It reminded me forcibly of Boone’s Farm.

    Turned out it was a Framboise ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Framboise ) and since then I’ve had a $6 Framboise that tasted a hell of a lot better.

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      Heh, was it the Lindeman’s? Cheap, girly, it won’t get you trashed but at least it tastes nice.

    • ahleeeshah says:

      My ex’s friend was a huge beer snob, and any time he came over he would bring a box of beer for them and one or two different types for me. I have never liked beer, every brand has tasted the same to me (including microbrews and some of the fancy stuff listed in the comments here), and the only way he got me to like anything was if he gave me a flavored one like a framboise or the peach-flavored one.

    • lannister80 says:

      Mmmmm lambics. Good stuff.

    • aliasmisskat says:

      I know I’m way late on this, but there used to be a bar in town that specialized in, well, specialty brews. Micros from around the midwest, interesting imports, that sort of thing. They had what they called a Black Raspberry. 1 part Framboise to 1 part Murphy’s Double Chocolate Stout (the stout actually being on tap!). It was the best thing I ever drank in a bar. Sadly, my little factory town couldn’t support such a high class joint :(

  21. Geekybiker says:

    I think the most Ive spent on a single bottle is about $12. Im not against trying this one of these days, just not in a position to be buying $150 beer right now.

  22. Hank Scorpio says:

    I bought the Utopias the first two years that they released it (still have the bottles). Apart from that, I’ve spent up to (maybe more) than $20 for a 22 oz. bottle. I’ve also spent over $20 for a 4 pack of Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout.

    Actually, you wouldn’t believe the money I spend on beer!

  23. Ted3 says:

    My splurge is a couple of 4 packs or two large bottles of Duvel now and then. I would have a hard time explaining to the wife why I spent $150+ on Utopias, lol.

    I’m also surprised that Pennsylvania, with it’s antiquated liquor laws did not ban this particular brand.

  24. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I once bought a beer for this girl, and it ended up costing me a few thousand dollars and my front teeth. Does that count as the most expensive?

  25. freshyill says:

    Come on, Consumerist. It’s not “banned.” Saying it’s banned implies that this specific beer was outlawed. It’s just that certain states, most of them already unlivable for a number of reasons, prevent the sale of beer above a certain percentage of alcohol. I can’t get Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA where I am now because it’s 18-21% (depending on the year). This isn’t the only beer you can’t get everywhere. It’ not like it was singled out.

    FURTHERMORE, the laws that prevent the sale of this are extremely idiotic.

  26. PsiCop says:

    I’ve spent as much as $10 on a pint of a porter in a bar, once. Very good stuff. I might even spend $10 on it again … but it’s definitely too much money for me to make a habit of it.

  27. ktetch says:

    If you don’t want to spend so much, there are alternatives
    http://www.zug.com/live/82078/Crappy-Consumer-Reports-Cheap-Booze-Taste-Test.html

  28. ProctorStamkos says:

    Sorry, but it’s not the strongest beer. That honour goes to the Tactical Nuclear Penguin:
    http://www.brewdog.com/tactical_nuclear_penguin.php
    Good stuff, that.

  29. Slave For Turtles says:

    Many thanks for this thread. I’m gathering up a nice list of beers to try in the future!

    Most expensive beer I ever bought was Sam Adams Triple Bock (1995). It was only 8.45 fl oz. I don’t recall the price, but it left me in sticker shock back then.

  30. SubPrimeLender says:

    I’m Good – Illinois not on the list

  31. macinjosh says:

    What’s wrong with the beers we got??? They drank pretty good, don’t it?

  32. quail says:

    US$12 for some specialty, bottle fermented, cork closed beers. They run between 9% to 13% alcohol by volume and contain about two glasses worth of beer per bottle. But good beer (cigars, food, company, etc.) is worth whatever you can afford.

  33. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    The most we’ve paid is $15 a bottle for Dogfish 120 IPA (we live in Ohio and found it in-state). Yeah, it was overpriced, but the $15 was worth the illicit thrill that we got in buying it, and the fact that we can barely finish a bottle between the two of us before we’re too drunk to understand concepts like doorknobs and light switches.

  34. TheMonkeyKing says:

    Yay for North Carolina prohbiting the sale! We stand by our local moonshiners!

  35. samandiriel says:

    $8 for a bottle of Monty Python’s Holy (Gr)Ale
    Well worth it just for the label!

  36. jesusofcool says:

    Why do nanny states have the right to regulate this? Is it the FDA that’s regulating it?

    • RandomHookup says:

      State liquor laws are notorious for being all over the place. Once upon a time, that even extended to the drinking age.

    • johnva says:

      It’s partially a side-effect of the amendment repealing Prohibition. It gives states broad authority to regulate alcohol however they please. So they are able to put wacky laws in place because of this constitutional quirk.

  37. katia802 says:

    Okay, taking this opportunity since open thread hasn’t been posted yet. I am planning a Yule feast next week. Don’t flame me, I hate beer, can’t stand the taste. However, I do want to provide beer for those guests who wish to drink it. Can you drinkers recommend something not crappy but not quite as expensive as this that I can pick up?

    • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

      You might want to ask the guests if they have any preferences; some beer drinkers are very picky about their beers or prefer certain beer characteristics above others. If you can at least figure out if they like light vs. dark beers, you’re ahead of the game.
      Having said that, some of the seasonal brews are nice (I like Blue Moon’s, personally, and it’s a relatively common brand at a reasonable price), and you might want to try picking up some of stuff that Dogfish Head does, like the Midas Touch brew.

      • katia802 says:

        Thank you, I just want to provide general yummies for everyone. If I have a little list of things to look for when I go to the beer distributor’s it’ll make me feel a lot better. Big fear of just dumping budweiser in a cooler and hoping for the best. Would feel like I was being lazy, specially with all the work and time i’m putting into everything else.

        • lucky929 says:

          yeungleng isn’t terribly expensive and tends to go over reasonably well.

        • fs2k2isfun says:

          Be careful of beers that are heavily influenced by fruit. A poster above suggested the Blue Moon seasonal, which may be their pumpkin beer. These beers tend to be either hit or miss. I would recommend something fairly neutral, Sam Adams Boston Ale/Lager, Yuengling, and maybe an import like Heineken would give a good variety at a decent price.

          • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

            The brew I was referring to is their winter ale Full Moon, which is a vanilla/malt/spice influenced blend. The pumpkin brew is Harvest Moon and only released in the fall.

    • Slave For Turtles says:

      You are so kind to think of your guests! The trick to beer is that there are many different families, so if you buy a nice hoppy ale, some folks might be disappointed. When in doubt, ask your guests what they like. If you want to surprise them, ocal brews are usually a very nice touch. If you’d rather do stick to more universally known beers that you can usually get at grocery stores, try a selection such as this:
      * Sierra Nevada pale ale
      * Corona (with limes)
      * Guinness (any, but you need glasses to serve it in)
      No light beers. ;-) It’s Yule time!
      Now I’ll just stand back and reap any possible flames (which I’ll turn into a shopping list, tyvm!).

  38. MaximusMMIV says:

    I’m curious. Why is 46% scotch okay, but not 27% beer?

    • Crim Law Geek says:

      It’s not about the alcohol content of one drink versus another. It’s just that some states define what a drink is (and thus the licensing/selling) based on its alcohol content. For example, a state can define “beer” as being a hops-based fermented drink with 4-12% alcohol, a “wine” as a grape-based drink with 8-18% alcohol, and a “spirit” anything not grape or hops-based with an alcohol content of 12-100%.

      This beer, having an alcohol content of 27%, can thus not be sold as “beer”. I suppose they could advertise it as a “hops-based spirit”, but that sounds ridiculous and may not be allowed under those states’ laws. Scotch, on the other hand, is a “spirit” and can have whatever alcohol level. Of course, beer and wine may be sold in supermarkets while spirits may not.

  39. webweazel says:

    I seem to remember years ago, the big thing was something along these lines. I can’t remember who put it out, but it was a dark beer with high AC, sold in small cobalt-blue bottles, for like $20 each. (It wasn’t that spectacular.)

  40. Darkneuro says:

    Not surprised it’s illegal in TN. Most screwed-up alcohol laws I’ve ever seen in my life….

  41. theblackdog says:

    I once spent $30 for a tall glass of Barmans, which is made by Coors and is not generally available to the public (usually sold in country clubs), unless you happen to visit one of the on-campus bars at Johnson and Wales University in Denver. It takes about 7 minutes to pour it as well, and for the $30 you get to keep the glass. It was one of the smoothest beers I ever drank.

  42. Scuba Steve says:

    Go Florida!

  43. DH405 says:

    I paid $100 for a six-pack of Westvleteren 12 to be shipped from Europe against the wishes of the monks who brew it. They require any purchasers to agree not to resell the product.

  44. trujunglist says:

    I love good beer but I don’t think I’d pay $150 – I’d take out all my friends for a town romping good time instead and let them drink Stella or something.
    The most I’ve ever paid for a bottle of beer was like $12. Very good belgian stuff.

  45. thisistobehelpful says:

    $20 on some Hobgoblin Ale which is still sitting waiting to be enjoyed. Although since I mostly drink guinness otherwise it’s stilla bout $5/pint.

  46. Chris.W says:

    While touring their Boston “test” brewery, we were offered the chance to smell an empty Utopia bottle. I don’t think it’s extreme to sell unique, small-batch beer at this kind of price. I think it’s silly that states have to BAN a beer since the alcohol content is too high.

  47. G00MAN says:

    Enter text…That reminds me, it’s time for Trader Joes annual Vintage Ale. Must go buy…

  48. XTC46 says:

    I saw this, and wanted to look for some. there is 1 store in the state that seels it, it is 250/bottle and they have 4 in stock.

  49. lonestarbl says:

    I have spent more than $25 on a 22oz bottle of beer on multiple occasions, and have considered purchasing a bottle of Utopias.

    It can’t possibly be a good sign when New Hampshire turns you away

  50. Azagthoth says:

    I’m pretty sure that would be banned in Utah as well. Our local beer can only be 3%, we have to drive out of state or go onto a military instillation to get “real beer.”

  51. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    I chalk it up to clever marketing. Since when was anything rare and/or illegal not expensive and in short supply? I’m also guessing that people who will pay $150 for a bottle of beer probably wouldn’t mind paying an extra $25 or $50 for a friend or relative to smuggle it in from another state.

    As for New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” thing is merely a motto. We don’t actually get to do anything we want.

  52. soj4life says:

    illegal beer? not in a large majority of the country.

  53. Slottsherre says:

    I have spent 32 us dollars on one bottle of beer once, but it was Deus Brut des Flandres.