If you think paying $7 for a pint of craft beer is pricey, wait until you hear about this next brew.
Samuel Adams Utopias is a specialty beer released every two years for the cool retail cost of $200 per bottle. No, this isn't a magnum — it's a 24-ounce bottle, and a stunning copper-laden bottle shaped like a brew kettle at that. The vessel even has little windows that open to reveal a picture of Samuel Adams.
But back to the beer: Utopias is a barrel-aged blend of several Sam Adams beers, one of which is 24 years old.
Utopias starts with a base beer brewed each year it is released. That batch is then divided and aged in several kinds of barrels. In 2017, portions of the brew were aged in bourbon, white wine, port and aquavit barrels, according to the Sam Adams website. Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit commonly flavored with caraway, a type of fennel.
After it's aged, brewers blend those batches with other house brews, including a 24-year-old version of Sam Adams Triple Bock (American strong ale), a 17-year-old batch of Millenium (American strong ale), previous Utopias vintages and other barrel-aged blends. And we're not done yet.
After the beer has been blended, it is again put into barrels to age. Talk about a process.
The end result is a 28 percent alcohol-by-volume beer that's void of any carbonation. According to Forbes, Utopias is illegal to sell in 11 states because it's so alcoholic.
Just 13,000 bottles of this beer are available in the United States, and some landed in Dallas-Fort Worth. If you're anxious to fork over the $200 to try it, be warned: Utopias is not for the novice beer drinker.
I tried the 2015 Utopias vintage two years ago and remember it as a kick in the mouth. The beer has a syrupy mouth-feel due to lack of carbonation and a strong flavor profile that might give off the burning sensation of a shot of liquor.
Total Wine and Spec's locations through North Texas are sold out of the Utopias, which came out at the end of October. But other stores, such as Kegs and Barrels in Plano, said they have yet to receive their inventory.
World of Beer in Arlington plans to host a three-course beer dinner next month that features Utopias paired with dessert. Tickets, which are expected to cost $50-$60, will go on sale Dec. 1, according to general manager Ryann Spradley. Call the store and ask for her to purchase them.