Expensive Beers

I was at my local beer emporium the other day. Thirty beers on tap, including a cask conditioned beer, many Belgium beers, etc.

They had Sam Adams Utopia, a 27% abv offering on display. It was $200 a bottle, or $15 a shot. I savored a shot, which got several other people interested and trying it, which led to the bar giving me another shot on the house.

It was tasty. Not a session beer by any stretch. Any others like this around?

Many years ago Sam Adams made a triple bock. Came in a small (6 ozs?) blue bottle. In those days such a beer was rare in the USA. Very interesting but not something I would drink every day. If I wanted to go heavy and high ABV I would drink something like port or liqueur.

Their Triple Bock reminded me of highly alcoholic maple syrup.

I guess there’s Deus, which is a beer made champagne-style. It has definite spice notes to the flavor and I found it interesting and tasty as a special occasion drink, perhaps for New Year’s.

At the last Sam Adams stockholder’s meeting I attended they served us lots of Utopia (after we’d had a chance to eat something, it was 11:00 AM) and it was quite yummy. But I can only see buying it for use like a cognac or port.

This site should whet your appetite. Anyone up for a Brewdog? :smiley:

:DI’ll pass. Although I am getting thirsty…

At the $100+ range there’s really only gimmicks like Utopias and Brewdog’s End of History, Sink the Bismarck, etc. Some rare beers that can usually only be obtained by scalpers on Ebay might be that price - see Kaggen! Stormaktsporter for example.

At the $50 range you have a lot more - Goose Island Bourbon Country Rare, barrel-aged Lost Abbey beers (good luck finding one that isn’t flat), and other expensive barrel aged stuff.

Oh my, I love the End of History bottles. I think I’d like to become keg of Guinness when I die instead of boring old cremation.

What is a session beer? And what does a high alcohol content beer taste like? Like regular beer, but with a stronger alcohol burn?

My friend and I bought 4 bottles of the stuff in college because we heard it was so great. It was by far the worst thing I’ve ever had, it tasted like burnt maple syrup and was about as thick. After a single swig we passed it around a party and couldn’t find a single person who didn’t hate it. After that we went out to buy more since not everyone got to suffer turns out we’d bought the only bottles for a 30 mile radius in Denver.

A session beer (my understanding) is a beer that you can drink for a longish time without total inebriation. They tend to be low alcohol.

The Utopias I had was thicker than beer, complex taste, very nice.

I was lucky enough to attend Dark Lord Day at 3 Floyd’s Brewery and get myself some bottles of Dark Lord. Golden ticket holders could buy four bottles at $15 each. I see them going for about $70 per bottle now online. They also had drawings for some specially aged Dark Lord bottles that are selling for $300+ currently. Sadly, I didn’t get any of that…

I hate the term session beer. It’s so fey. Could you imagine a bunch of guys meeting up at the local bar or a buddy’s house for a “session”? Pfft, too precious. People should embrace the term binge, because they’re talking about the same thing: four or five drinks in a night. “It’s a nice binge brew,” sounds a lot better than “It’s a session beer.” The worst I’ve heard is “sessionable”. Ugh. Yet, “bingable” doesn’t sound too shabby.

One of my favorite restaurants has a great beer list:
http://www.bavarian-lodge.com/Site/Beer_List.html

They have a few 25 oz bottles in the $40-45 range and a few 13 oz bottles in the $20-$28 range.
Brouwerij Bosteels Deus 25oz. Bottle 11.5 $40.0
De Cam Oude Lambiek 25oz. Bottle 5.0 $45.0
Hanssens Scarenbecca Kriek 13oz. Bottle 6.0 $28.0

These seem to be high-end beers that are not in the gimmick category.

The list is built on http://www.beermenus.com/chicago. The beers listed above sell for $50-$70 at other restaurants; there is a lot of variation. Presumably there is a restaurant mark-up so keep that in mind when comparing to store prices.

Hijack: I love that restaurant! :smiley:

If you haven’t tried them, you really need to go to Hopleaf in the Andersonville neighborhood. Their beer menu is massive and the food is yummy too. They’re always seriously crowded and do not take reservations for their very small restaurant, so I highly recommend going early.

So cool! It is a big improvement from when it used to be The Dragon.

Thanks for the heads-up on Hopleaf. I will definitely try that out!

Four or five drinks is hardly a binge. That’s only one and a bit an hour in a four hour hang out.

A session beer is one that is appropriately alcoholic for the event and drinkable enough to be more than a single go. Most heavier brews are simply too much for that type of thing. So when we have a film fail festival for example, we need beer that can go for five or six hours. No Dark Lord or Pliny for that. Something more like Double Thumper.

My favorite local beer emporium. Lives up to the name!

Svytury’s Ekstra is a cult fave here in Korea. Around $12/bottle, it’s not in the same league as what you’re writing about (I suspect Sam Adams Utopia is a clever gimmick to get you to eagerly buy their second most expensive beer), but worth mentioning.

In Texas, it’s not a “binge” unless tequila is involved.

Houston’s BRC Gastropub has a fine beer selection (& pretty good wines) but no hard liquor license. The bartender told me of customers surprised when, after only a few beers, the proprieters put them into taxis. They had* not* been drinking session beers…