'Extreme Beer' Features High Alcohol, Cost

One new highbrow bottle, with 27% alcohol, costs $150
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2009 11:47 AM CST
A bottle of Boston Beer Company's Utopias will set you back $150.   (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
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(Newser) – Beer with a high alcohol content is in the spotlight after two breweries announced supercharged creations—Boston Beer Company's Utopias, with 27% alcohol, and BrewDog's Tactical Nuclear Penguin, with 32%. Are they good for the average guzzler? Salon gets details from expert Brooks Hamaker:

  • They don’t come cheap: Utopias will set you back $150 a bottle.
  • Yes, it is beer: Regardless of alcohol content, it’s made from barley, malt, hops, water, and yeast—but it’s not carbonated, "or at least not very well," because of its high sugar content.

  • Wine-like talk: “At a certain point, with a certain alcohol content, you've got a lot more flavor and a lot more complexity.” Plus, the beer often improves with age.
  • Taste: “The very high-alcohol ones tend to be very sweet. They can have a fairly hoppy character. They’re very heavy on the tongue, and thick in terms in body.”
  • No kegs here: You’ll probably drink this kind of beer out of a sherry snifter.
  • This last one should be obvious: “They’re not the kind of beers where you're going to knock back five or six at a time.”

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