We don’t bat an eye at an over-priced bottle of wine. Ask $900 for a bottle of beer, and you’ll likely be greeted with a face full of ale when you hand them the bill.
But, what exactly are you paying for when you buy an expensive bottle of wine? The efforts and energy to create it of course, but also the time that goes into it. The older a wine, the more money it’s worth (typically).
Just like wine, most of the beers that top our list of most expensive were aged in barrels for years before being enjoyed.
Like a fine wine, these beers are a limited, exclusive, once in a lifetime experience.
From space beer to fancy PBR, check out the seven most expensive beers in the world, and find out how you can get them delivered to your door.
1. Lost Abbey Cable Car Kriek
Our most expensive beer is an American Wild Ale straight from the great state of California. Packing a punchy price of almost a thousand bucks a bottle, it’s pretty hard to come by. The last bottle sold for $923, and became one of the most expensive bottles ever sold at Skinner Auctions.
What makes this beer so special? It’s a limited edition single run brew. Which means once they’re gone, no one will ever taste that sweet cherry goodness again.
Reviews of Lost Abbey Cable Car Kriek from those lucky enough to have tried it are glowing. Most rave about the juicy cherry flavor, even years after its original release. It has a world-class rating on Beer Advocate, where users gush over the complex fruit flavors, low acidity, and extreme drinkability.
You might not be able to get your hands on a bottle of Cable Car Kriek, but Lost Abbey has an entire line of delicious specialty beers just waiting for you to try.
2. BrewDog End of History (Belgian Blond Ale)
Not only is this one of the most expensive bottles of beer in existence, it’s by far the craziest. Each bottle is cram-packed with alcohol, at 55% ABV. At the time, they were trying to make history with their End of History ale, by being the beer with the highest ABV ever made. They succeeded, although a higher ABV beer has been created since.
All of that is pretty neat, but the most bizarre thing about buying a bottle of End of History is that the bottle comes adorned with a real squirrel. Well, technically a stoat, but that’s basically a European squirrel. Every bottle comes nestled in it’s very own taxidermied stoat cozy.
Although the End of History is sold out with no plans for another run, we do have some blonde Belgian ales you can check out. As a bonus, they happen to be carcass-free and much more reasonably priced.
3. Sam Adams Utopias
This high-priced beer hails from popular American brewery, Sam Adams. 2017 marked the 10th release of their unique Utopias brew. Each release is limited to 13,000 bottles and tastes different than the year before.
What makes this beer so special? Mostly a very complicated brewing, blending, and aging process. The short and sweet of it is, they combine a variety of their best malts, beers, and barrels and come out on the other side with a self-declared Utopia of beers. It’s also 28% ABV (most beer is 4-7%), making it illegal in 15 states. For those of you who enjoy wine or fruity beer, this year’s blend was also their first to use beer aged in Moscat barrels.
Want to see if it’s worth the money? No need to search the shelves, if there’s a bottle available in your area, we’ll find it. With free delivery, why wouldn’t you order it online?
4. Papier by The Bruery
Papier was created to celebrate the one year anniversary of The Bruery. In marriage, tradition dictates that the first anniversary gift is made of paper. So, they created an elite anniversary gift for their consumers. 24 bottles of Papier, sold for $100 each with profits donated to charity.
All of this happened in 2009, so it’s unlikely you’ll find a bottle of Papier still waiting to be popped open. The Bruery has come up with all kinds of great brews since then though. I suggest the Oude Tart. It was in the top five beers of 2013, and it’s quality hasn’t changed since then. They also have an even higher ABV beer than the exclusive Papier. Their Cuivre weighs in at an impressive 16.2% ABV.
5. 3 Floyd’s Barrel-Aged Dark Lord
$50/ 650ml (22 ounce bottle)
Dark Lord comes from Munster, Indiana based brewery 3 Floyd’s. They only sell the brew once a year, at an event they sell tickets to. Depending on your ticket level, you buy the right to purchase a pint of Dark Lord from their bar, or for $50 you can take home your very own bottle of barrel-aged Dark Lord Beer.
Why is this beer worth $50 a bottle? It’s got a whopping 15% ABV, for starters. According to reviews, it’s also pretty delicious. It’s brewed using coffee, Mexican vanilla, and Indian sugar. Sales are super limited, and you pretty much have to be in Munster Indiana to get some. Each release has been aged in different types of barrels, including Pappy Van Winkle and Port barrels. This allows each release a distinct and unique flavor.
If you’re going to need more convincing than a hardcore coffee-beer to pack your bags for Munster, Indiana, you can always try one of 3 Floyd’s other beers delivered to your door. They might not be as exclusive as Dark Lord, but they taste divine and won’t set you back fifty bucks.
6. Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844
Pabst has been holding out on us. Available exclusively in China, Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 comes in a swanky 750ml bottle with fancy gold lettering. A blend unique from the cans and tall-boys that frequent the hands of hipsters here in America, the Chinese version is a real class act.
The Chinese made the American company’s signature brew even better (and more expensive) by adding German caramel malts and aging it in uncharred American oak barrels. Unfortunately, since Pabst Blue Ribbon is only selling this Chinese/German/American love child of a beer in China, it’s going to be pretty tough to find here in the U.S. For now, you can always grab a can of traditional PBR, eat a bag of caramels, and start saving those frequent flyer miles for a trip to China.
7. Sapporo Space Barley
If you’re like me and being on an airplane is the closest you’ve ever been to outerspace, then this beer is officially cooler than you. Japanese brewery Sapporo set records when they made the very first beer to be brewed entirely from ‘space barley’.
As part of a research initiative regarding growing food in space, Sapporo sent their barley up with astronauts for five months. Then they used that barley (and barley grown from its seeds) to make the malt for their Space Barley beer.
Brewed in 2010, only 250 people were offered the opportunity to purchase the space beer, and it was limited to online sales for residents of Japan only. That means you can wish upon as many stars as you like, but your odds of finding a bottle of space beer stateside are astronomically low. You can, however snag a six-pack of their premium Japanese Rice Lager. It may not have been to space, but it still tastes out of this world.
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