Inky Beer is on a life-long search for liquid art and the unusual, when it comes to beer. Below are 10 of the world’s most expensive beers, sometimes elusive, potentially not brewed again, unknown taste (we’ve never had one!), and full of expectations when you throw down for such a beer. What do you think about beer with these price tags? Would you or have you bought one? Tried one?
Our sources are located in the paragrahs below, in case you’d like to know more about these magical beers. Quoting Tom at Most Expensive, Brooklyn Brew Shop, and Drinking Made Easy, we bring you THE WORLD’S MOST EXPENSIVE BEERS! The beers are broken into six price categories and include commentary from our sources. Prost!
“Trappist Westvletern 12” from Westvleteren Brewery, 10.2% ABV – (starting at) $85 per bottle
If you buy this beer directly from the Westvleteren Brewery, which is located inside the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus of Westvleteren, you can pick up a crate of 24 beers for €39, or about $50. But that’s if you can get your hands on this small-batched produced, extremely popular, and highly rated Quadrupel ale (BeerAdvocate gives it a perfect score of 100). In live and online auctions, a six-pack of the rich, dark, and somewhat fruity Westvletern 12 has gone for anywhere from $85 to $625.
“Tutankhamun Ale,” 6% ABV – $52 per bottle
This expensive beer has a peculiar history. It’s brewed in a Cambridge laboratory from a recipe discovered in the Queen Nefertiti’s Temple of the Sun in Egypt. The beer is named after the queen’s stepson, more commonly known as King Tut. The temple, which housed a brewery, is believed to have been built by King Akenhaten, Tut’s predecessor and likely father.
$100 – $199
“Utopias” from Samuel Adams/Boston Beer Company, 20-27% ABV – $100 per bottle
Vintage No. 1 may be four times as expensive as Samuel Adams/Boston Beer Company’s Utopias, the former most expensive beer, but Utopias still holds a Guinness World Record for being the strongest beer at 50 proof.
Utopias was brewed with a blend of high-quality hops and sold in an ornate copper-plated brew kettle and offers a flavor unlike any other expensive beer or beverage in the world. The sweet flavor is richly highlighted with hints of vanilla, oak and caramel. The expensive beer is non-carbonated and should be served at room temperature. Production of Utopias was limited to 8,000 bottles.
“Space Barley” from Sapporo, 5.5% ABV – $110 for a six-pack
Imported beers usually come with a price increase to cover the transportation cost. So when you are importing ingredients from space you could expect to pay a pretty penny. In 2006, Japanese and Russian scientists tested how well barley could grow in space by growing some in the International Space Station. After 4 years of growing they brought it back to earth, where Japanese brewer Sapporo fermented it into the world’s first space beer.
$200 – $299
“Schorschbock 57” from Schorschbräu, 57.5% ABV – $275 per bottle
Currently the reigning champ for Alcohol by Volume is Schorschbock 57 with a womping 57.5% ABV. Any higher and the beer would violate Reinheitsgebot, Germany’s 500-year-old beer purity law. Only 36 bottles were made. Taster say this strong bock is moky and nutty, with hints of raisins and a lot of alcohol.
$300 – $399
“Vintage 3” from Carlsberg Jacobsen Brewhouse, 15% ABV – $348 per bottle
The Carlsberg Group, a brewing company founded in 1847 and named after founder J. C. Jacobsen’s son Carl, is best known for their light-bodied lager, Carlsberg Pilsner (also known as Carlsberg Beer or Carlsberg Hof). In 2008, however, Carlsberg introduced another beer guaranteed to be linked to the Carlsberg name in the public consciousness, Vintage 1.
Vintage 3 is the third in the trilogy of beers created from 2008 to 2010. At the time of its launch, the “pale barley wine” was the only available beer to have been aged in French Oak Barrels in the Carlsberg founder’s original cellar. Only 1,000 bottles of this exclusive beer were hand tapped and labeled with art by Kaspar Bonnan and two artists selected from the Radiant Copenhagen project.
The price of Vintage 1, 2,008 Danish kroner, reflected the year it was introduced. The brewer introduced Vintage 2 in 2009 and Vintage 3 in 2010, priced at 2,009 and 2,010 kroner respectively.
$400 – $499
“Vintage 1” from Carlsberg Jacobsen Brewhouse,10.5% ABV – $350-400 per bottle
First produced in 2008 by the Jacobsen Brewhouse, an upscale brand owner by the Danish Carlsberg Group, only 600 bottles of the Jacobsen Vintage No. 1 were ever produced. One 12 ounce bottle was set to sell for DDK2008 (about $350) when it was first released, but if you can manage to find a bottle of this innovatively designed and carefully brewed and aged barley wine, chances are the price has only increased since.
$500 and up
“Vielle Bon Secours” from Caulier, 8% ABV – $750 per bottle
Generally touted as the world’s most expensive beer, a bottle of the Vielle Bon Secours comes in at £500 (about $750) or £39 a pint (roughly $60). But don’t expect to find this one just anywhere, the ultra-rare beer—which is noted for having citric tart flavors mixed with malty fruitiness balanced with distinct hoppy-bitterness and spicy liquorice—is only available in London’s Belgo Bierodrome restaurant, and only in very limited supply.
“The End of History” from BrewDog, 55% ABV – $765 per bottle
Well, PETA is going to have a field day with this one. Scottish brewery BrewDog has produced a beer served in bottles as shocking as the beer’s extremely high alcoholic content.
Only eleven bottles of this expensive beer, named after a book by philosopher Francis Fukuyama, were produced. The blond Belgian ale, infused with nettles from the Scottish Highlands and fresh juniper berries, is 55 percent alcohol and will be BrewDog’s final high ABV beer.
The bottles, however, are the beer’s most striking aspect–each one is encased in a squirrel or weasel stuffed by a gifted taxidermist. The four grey squirrels and seven weasels selected were all roadkill, however, so their immortalization as beer bottles may actually be considered more respectful than ignominious roadside decomposition.
“Antarctic Nail Ale” from Nail Brewing Company, 5.2% ABV – $800 and up, per bottle
If your conscience rails at the thought of drinking beer clothed in roadkill, perhaps you’ll find this entry on our list of the world’s most expensive beers more to your taste. Australia’s Nail Brewing Company has been brewing craft beer for nearly a decade, and their limited edition Antarctic Nail Ale sold at auction for a record-breaking price. Best of all, that money is going straight to charity.
This expensive beer was brewed with actual Antarctic ice. Only thirty bottles were produced, and the number one bottle was sold by the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society at an auction in Fremantle, Western Australia.
Sea Shepherd opposes whaling in the Antarctic sanctuary. They are also selling bottles numbered two through ten to support their cause. The number one bottle was purchased by the Elliot Syndicate.