Samuel Adams' Latest Brew Is Illegal in 15 States

Limited-edition Utopias is 28% ABV
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2021 1:47 PM CDT
Samuel Adams' Latest Brew Is Illegal in 15 States
Sam Adams Utopia is illegal in 15 states.   (AP Photo/The Boston Beer Co.)

(Newser) – Samuel Adams has a new beer on the way, but it doesn't come in six-packs: The new batch of its limited-edition Utopias brew comes in a 25.4-ounce copper-clad decanter with a suggested retail price of $240—and it's so strong it's banned in 15 states. The beer, which comes out every two years, contains 28% alcohol by volume, making it more than five times as strong as the average beer and putting it on the wrong side of the law in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia, CNN reports. A total of around 13,000 bottles will be shipped to the states where it is legal.

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The brewery describes Utopias as a "spirited blend of multiple batches of our extreme beers," some of which have aged in wooden casks for nearly 30 years. The latest batch was finished with 2,000 pounds of cherries, including Balaton cherries from Michigan. Matt Simpson, owner of beer consulting firm The Beer Sommelier, tells CBS that these "high gravity" beers are tough to get right, but Samuel Adams has "hit it out of the park." "The base beer alone is really good. It's rich, it's complex. And it's very, very strong. It's certainly a sipper," he says. "But then, they aged it in various barrels like spirit barrels, and it adds even more complexity and enjoyment to the product." (Read more Samuel Adams stories.)

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