Beer has generally been considered a “working class” drink, meaning for the most part it’s cheap and easy to find. But, with any consumer product, there is always the extreme end of the spectrum; those either exceptionally rare, or ridiculously expensive options that entice high end buyers and attract a lot of media attention. Does that mean these expensive beers are any good? Hard to say, considering they’re so expensive and so rare that we haven’t had a chance to try any of them.
If you have a curiosity to taste these expensive brews, and the budget to match, here are the world’s most expensive beer options:
Lost Abbey Cable Car Kriek
This California based brewer released Cable Car Kriek back in 2011, with only 60 bottles ever being produced. That limited inventory went for $50 initial sale, but the rarity and reputation of this beer has driven prices up to an astonishing $923 the last time a sale was made at Skinner Auction House back in 2014. There are definitely bottles still floating around, but expect the next sale to be much, much higher.
Sam Adams Utopias
Samuel Adams isn’t the first name you’d expect to come up in a list about the world’s most expensive beers, but the brewer regularly releases Utopias which is highly sought after, and in some states illegal. Utopias is barrel aged for two years, and runs an incredibly high 28% ABV, making it illegal in 16 states. The price tag for this one runs at around $199 a bottle, but the resale is much higher.
3 Floyds Dark Lord
A beer you may actually be able to get your hands on, provided you’re willing to put in the effort. Dark Lord is only sold once a year at the Munster, Indiana brewery. There is such a mystique around this beer, there’s now a dedicated festival called Dark Lord Day, where you have to buy tickets to attend. If you’re lucky to secure a ticket, you may purchase a single bottle of Dark Lord for $50.
This beer has the distinguished honour of being labelled the best beer in the world several times over. Having been in production since the 1800’s, only 26 monks produce this beer, making a limited 5,000 barrels a year. The reputation, and scarcity once drove prices of this beer through the roof, but the monks have attempted to combat that by making online ordering through the brewery available. This means a six pack can now be purchased for about $140.
Cantillon Lorek 1998
Cantillon has a reputation for producing some of the best sours in the world. So, when they do a one-time run, people are going to pay attention. Lorek holds the record at Skinner Auction House as the most expensive bottle ever sold, a whopping $2,583 sale price in 2014.
Brewdog The End Of History
While this beer is no longer for sale, it is so ridiculous we had to include it. At $765 original sticker price, not only was the beer 55% ABV but it was packaged up in your very own taxidermied squirrel (well stoat, which is essentially a squirrel). Completely weird, so we’re not overly disappointed it’s no longer available.
Allsopp’s Arctic Ale
And the world’s single most expensive bottle of beer goes to Allsopp’s Arctic Ale. Why? The beer was originally brewed for an Arctic expedition way back in 1875, making it one of the oldest beers still in original condition (and with an interesting history to boot). In 2015, a bottle sold for $5,131 in auction, but another bottle made internet history when it was put on eBay for the low price of US$304, because the original seller listed the name of the bottle as “Allsop’s”, with the ‘p’ missing. The buyer, allegedly then turned around and sold the bottle under its accurate naming for a whopping $503,300!