Beer is the biggest pastime alcoholic beverage. It’s the number one alcoholic beverage consumed in the world, and the third most popular drink after tea and water. It has been around for thousands of years, with the beginnings of the beverage dating back as far as the late 900 BC era. Over the years, beer has transitioned in the way of ingredients, taste, and how it is processed. The main ingredients are a source of starch, for example, malted barley, which is fermented, a brewer’s yeast, and a flavoring, like hops. Beer ranges in price, from inexpensive six-packs, to some that are as much as a mortgage payment for just one bottle.
10. Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844 – $44/bottle
When most people think of Pabst, they think of a cheap beer that can be bought in just about any store that sells beer. It is certainly not a high-end beer here in America, however, in China, it’s a whole different story. This is the Cadillac of all beers and is only sold in China. The brewer wanted this beer to be one that competed with some of the high-end wines and Brandies on the market, and that it does. The beer is made from German caramel malts before it is aged in uncharred American Whiskey barrels. This is one of the most expensive bottles of beer in the world, which has some beer surprised to hear, knowing what they pay for a Pabst here in the U.S.
9. Tutankhamun Ale – $75/bottle
The name sounds Egyptian, which is exactly what this beer is, Egyptian. A Cambridge archaeologist discovered the royal brewery of Queen Nefertiti back in 1990. Some old beer residue was found and brought back for analyzing and all of the ingredients were identified. Once it was clear what the beer was made of, a Scottish master brewer, by the name of Jim Merrington, was hired to recreate this rare and ancient beer. The concoction was sold for $7,865 a bottle in the beginning, but over time, the prices dipped all the way down to just $75 a bottle. Today, since the brewery has since closed down, it is said that any remaining bottles could go back up in price since there is no longer any production of the beer.
8. BrewDog Sink the Bismarck – $80/bottle
Yes, this is a name that does have links to a World War II battleship, the Bismarck), however, the name was also derived as a way to fight back against a German brewery who had claimed to have the strongest beer. BrewDog decided to create it’s own, very strong beer that had four times more alcohol as the German brewery’s beer, and to do this, they had to add four times the amount of hops, then distill four separate times, and finally, freeze it four times. The final product produced a beer that gives you four times the punch of a regular beer, so you have to drink with caution, or you could wind up four times drunker than you expected, and this experience will cost you $80 a bottle to get that way, so yo may not want to plow through a six pack just for that reason alone.
7. Sapporo Space Barley – $110/bottle
Many sci-fi movies like to portray space and spaceships as being able to grow some sort of agricultural plants, so when Japanese and Russian scientists decided to give it a shot and try this on their own in 2006, they were surprised to learn that is indeed possible. In 2006, barley was planted on the International Space Station to see if by chance they could get it to grow and after five months in space, it was the fourth generation of the planted barley that was finally sent home to earth and given to the Japanese brewer, Sapporo, who then brewed the first batch ever, of space beer. Despite this being the first space beer, it’s not the only beer created from space-grown barley. The Russians then gave it a crack and brewed their own, called 4pines Vostok Space Beer. It’s also a cheaper version, listed at about $20 per whole 6-pack, while Sapporo is $110 per bottle.
6. Sam Adam’s Utopia – $150/bottle
This is not only supposed to be a very luxurious beer in the way of taste, but it comes in a beautiful copper bottle that you will want to hold onto long after you down the beer. The Utopia beers were brewed using the main, traditional ingredients found in beer, along with four different types of noble hops to give it a bit of an herbal flavor. After the brewing process, the beer was put into barrels that are typical used to age fine wines, and in the end, the flavor is described as a bit “fiery.” This is a beer that is made to sip on and enjoy, like a Brandy, and due to its distinct and rare flavor and gorgeous bottle, not to mention that only 3,000 were ever produced, the beer sells for $150 each, making it one of the most expensive bottles of beer.
5. Schorschbrau’s Schorschbock 57 – $275/bottle
This is a beer that is said to be the strongest beer globally. Yes, BrewDog created a beer that is 55% alcohol, but this German beer is said to have gone a bit above this and produced a beer, the 57, stronger than what the German Beer Purity Law allows. The beer has several different testable flavors noted, such as, nutty and smoky, along with light tastes of raisins. Of course, with an alcohol content as high as they claim to have in this beer, that will be the first and foremost flavor you taste. This beer sells for $275 a bottle, earning it a place on the list of most expensive bottles of beer.
4. Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager – $90-$800/bottle
Only 8,000 bottles of the Australian beer, Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager were produced. It’s a beer that is comparable to fine wine, in the form of beer, and was marketed as a fine wine’s alternative. The beer has an expensive taste and price, at $90-$800 a bottle, you can expect that all the ingredients are of the highest quality, like the handpicked green Galaxy hops used for each batch that was brewed, and the ale was bottled in an expensive looking bottle, then placed in a beautiful velvet case.
3. Carlsberg Jacobsen Vintage #1 – $400/bottle
This is a beer that can only be found in Denmark and is a highly sought after beer. It is a brown ale that is said to have a mixture of soft, woodsy, caramel, dried fruit, and subtle smoky flavor. Only the finest hops and caramel are used to brew the beer before aging for six months in Swedish and French barrels. When you are able to locate a bottle of this precious beer in a fine restaurant in Sweden, it’s recommended that you pair the beer with fine cheese or a desert. There were only 600 bottles of the vintage ale produced, which is why the beer will cost you about $400 a bottle, if you’re lucky enough to find one.
2. BrewDog End of History – $765/bottle
Only 12 bottles of the End of History beer was made. It is a formula brewed by the BrewDog beer company and it is said to be the rarest beer for a couple of reasons; it is 55% alcohol, which is really unheard of, and it is also bottled in a taxidermied squirrel. Although the alcohol content might be enough to charge a large sum per bottle, it is the bottling of the beer that makes it so rare. Have you ever drank any beverage from a taxidermied animal? The company said that the bottles were going for $765 for each, and any company that invested $20k or more to their “Equity for Punks” program, a program to expand BrewDog’s initiatives, they would gain access to End of History.
1. Antarctic Nail Ale
This is a one of a kind beer that only exists in 30 bottles. Unlike any other beer, this ale is made from thawed Antarctic ice that was dug up in the Antarctic by the Sea Shepherd non-profit organization when they flew by helicopter to retrieve it for the purpose of brewing some beer, but not for you who you might think it would be for, and that naturally would be, humans. The purpose of this beer was to support animals that are supported by the organization, Sea Shepherd. All the proceeds of each individual bottle sold, went to the organization, and due to the pristine waters of the Antarctic that the beer was made with, the price of the beer was astronomical. One bottle of beer sold at an auction in Fremantle for $800 and a second sold for $1,850 to Dr. Anthony Durrell and made it the most expensive bottle of beer.