So it’s Friday. You had a great week. Like, a GREAT week. Maybe you got a raise or a promotion. Maybe you are celebrating a special milestone with friends. And you are at your favorite beer store and you’re thinking about spending a little bit more this time. A couple of bucks more is worth it, right? Well, how much is worth it for a special brew, maybe a rare import or a seasonal microbrew with limited distribution?
Now let’s say you are rich. Like, super rich. Like Bill Gates rich. And it’s time to celebrate. What beer is worth spending just a little bit more?
Outside of the list you are about to read, there are more expensive beers out there sold at auction, but those are hundred year old collectibles that are not drinkable (please do not try to prove us wrong on this one). We are only counting beers that could conceivably be consumed immediately after the auction gavel goes down.
So pry open that wallet and wipe that dust off your AmEx Black card, because here we go…
Table of Contents
Sink the Bismarck - BrewDog Brewery - 41.0% ABV
Price: $80 for a 375ml bottle
Scotland’s own BrewDog created their beer “Sink The Bismarck” in 2010 for the ultimate connoisseur who REALLY loves an IPA. This is a quadruple IPA, with four times the hops, four times the bitterness, and it was freeze-distilled four times.
BrewDog promises that this is a “full out attack on your taste-buds” and for $80 a bottle, I want my taste buds to be under attack. If you do get your hands on a Sink the Bismark, make sure you take it slowly… that is a LOT of alcohol.
Crown Ambassador Reserve - 10.2% ABV
Price: $90 for a 750ml bottle
This Australian lager is dense, fruity, pungent with deep, sweet and malty notes. So what makes this different from Fosters, Coopers, or other Aussie ales?
The key word here is “reserve.”
Each year Master Brewer John Cozen releases 8,000 bottles. Each bottle is champagne-styled, individually numbered, and features the brewer’s signature. This was listed as Australia’s most expensive beer. But as you’ll soon read, that record has been broken.
If you think spending $100 or more for a single bottle of beer is ridiculous, we won’t disagree with you… however, you may want to stop reading now. Open that new line of credit, because the list goes on…
Papier - The Bruery - 14.5% ABV
Price: $100 for a 750ml bottle
This Orange County, California brewery created Papier, which is an English-style old ale in honor of their first anniversary, using an old house yeast strain from Belgium.
Since the traditional first anniversary gift is paper, they have named this “Papier.” You know what else is made of paper? A $100 bill, which
is what you’ll spend for one of these robust ales that contains flavors such as dark fruit, vanilla, oak and burnt sugar.
While you have your wallet out, the brewers recommend pairing this with osso bucco, roast duck, or creme brulee.
Utopias - Sam Adams - 28.0% ABV
Price: $199 for a 750ml bottle
Sam Adams is a respected brewery known for strong flavors available to the masses… except for Utopias, which is definitely for those with money and patience.
Utopias is barrel-aged, which is a time intensive process involving three varieties of German Noble Hops. This brew is aged in a
variety of barrels, ranging from Moscat to Scandinavian Aquavit. And they are aged 24 years.
Think about that: the Utopias you crack open today was first brewed back when Hootie & the Blowfish was a thing. Alas, they don’t ship to every state, so you may have to get creative if it’s not directly available to you.
Schorschbock 57 - Schorschbräu - 57.5% ABV
Price: $275 for a 330ml bottle
The German brewer loves making strong beer, and this Eisbock is considered to be one is their strongest in the world. Schorschbock 57 has a lacy tan head, smells of cognac, tastes of tobacco, leather, cherry, and walnut, and can empty your wallet fast.
But good luck getting your hands on one; This was a limited-edition brew produced in 2011 and only 36 bottles were made. We’re guessing they have all been recycled by now, but if one goes on auction, we say take it, and let us know how it tastes!
Jacobsen Vintage No.1 - Carlsberg - 10.5% ABV
Price: $400 for a 375ml bottle
Respected Danish brewery Carlsberg produced this Jacobsen Vintage No.1 gem in 2008, and was the first of a trilogy of limited edition vintage brews. Only 600 bottles were made of each vintage.
This barley wine aged for six months in oak barrels in the founder’s “crypt-like cellar” which has been around since 1847. A famous artist created the artwork for each series. As for No.1, it was Denmark’s own Frans Kannik who created each hand-etched image which depicts Sif, who is the wife of Thor and a symbol of strength.
Who knows how many of these 600 bottles remain but we guess that if you find one on auction they will cost a bit more than $400.
BrewDog The End of History - BrewDog - 55.0% ABV
Price: $765 for a 650ml bottle
BrewDog’s “The End of History Brewery” makes our list a second time with this limited edition Belgian Blond Ale. This one has a higher alcohol content (and a higher price tag).
It is named after the work of Francis Fukuyama, a philosopher who said that Democracy is the end to man’s evolution, and therefore the end of our history. BrewDog believes that this beer is, like Democracy, the end of human evolution.
That’s a lot of pride in their product! Unfortunately, this beer sold out quickly so it might not be possible to get one anymore.
Millenium Geuze 1998 - De Cam Brewery - 7.0% ABV
Price: $1,290 for a 750ml bottle (Auction)
Belgian brewers Armand Debelder and Willem van Herreweghen collaborated to create Millenium Geuze 1998. This very limited-edition beer was meant to be enjoyed at the millennial celebration (that’s the year 2000 for you younger generation kids).
This lambic had a silk-screen label and there were only 8,000 bottles made. While initially somewhat moderately priced, in the following years the price for one at auction kept rising.
The most recent price of nearly $1,300 came at an auction in 2017. If there are any left, the price will no doubt go up.
Antarctic Nail Ale - Nail Brewing - 10.0% ABV
Price: $1,850 for a 500ml bottle (Auction)
This Australian Pale Ale goes way past Down Under from this one… like to the bottom of the Earth. Antarctic Nail Ale was a limited edition beer that was created using actual ice from Antarctica.
When we say limited edition Nail truly meant LIMITED, as in 30 bottles. All were sold at an auction to raise money for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, who brought the ice back from Antarctica to make the beer.
Spend money, drink beer, help the environment… a winning combination!
Loerik - Cantillon 5.0% ABV
Price: $2,583 for a 750ml bottle (Auction)
Cantillon Loerik is a beer was only produced once, in 1998 and released in 2003. This Lambic Gueuze is made using the same process as champagne and has similar flavors…but is definitely a beer.
The reason that it was finally released 5 years later, was that the beer spent an unusually long time in the bottle before fermentation actually began.
Because it took so long before it was ready to drink, it was named Loerik, which is a slang term for “lazy.”
In April 2014, a bottle sold for this high price at an auction, making it the most expensive beer sold at that particular time.
If you want to get your hands on a bottle, you might be in luck. There is a rumor that the 2nd batch is due to be released sometime in 2020.
So there you have it.
If you have hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to spend on an rare or expensive bottle of beer, check out your local beer auction house and maybe you can taste some of the greatest and rarest beers of all time. And make sure to share these with friends… friends like us!
If you are not ready to spend the amount of money that it will take to try some of these expensive beer brands, but still want to try to rare and hard to find craft beers, have a look at the Monthly Clubs Rare Beer Club.
Also, let us know in the comments below what is the most expensive beer that you have tried, and if it was worth the money.