What’s your poison, people? When the weekend rolls around, what’s your favorite way to drink away the stresses of the week just gone by? When you’re at a party, which elixir do you guzzle down on to convince strangers that you’re an interesting person (most of the time, failing to do so)?
Depending on the situation, I like to nurse a liquor of some kind, or if I’m in a social situation where I have to pretend to be a friendly person, I might have a glass of wine instead. One type of alcoholic beverage I’ve never really been convinced by, though, is the humble beer.
Don’t get me wrong: if someone offers to buy me a frothy cold one, I won’t exactly turn my nose up in disgust, but all the same, I never really got on the Heineken hype train at any point. The way I see it, the low alcohol content combined with the hoppy fizz means I end up more bloated than I do buzzed. Why drink more when I can drink harder?
This craft beer from Samuel Adams, however, eradicates one of my most common complaints about drinking beer: its relative lack of potency. The barrel-aged Samuel Adams Utopias craft beer is only made every two years, and comes in a $199 bottle that holds craft beer with a whopping 28 percent alcohol-by-volume (ABV).
For reference, you can usually find beer in America with a 5.9 percent ABV, while in Canada that limit rises to 6.1 percent. Utopias is more alcoholic than liquors like Malibu, sloe gin or Crème de Menthe, and identical in ABV to Amaretto. As such, it’s actually banned in 12 states around America.
In order to brew this most unique of craft beers, Samuel Adams starts by blending two-row pale malt with Munich and Caramel 60 malts, which gives the Utopias its deep red, almost wine-like color. After that, three German Noble hops are added to balance the malt’s sweetness, before special yeasts (including a special “ninja yeast” that can survive in super alcoholic environments) get mixed into the formula.
This brewing and aging process hasn’t got much time at all for carbonation, so when Utopias comes out of the barrel for the first time, don’t be surprised if it’s completely flat. A statement from the brewery says Utopias is more like “a rich vintage Port”, while Jim Koch, founder of Samuel Adams’ parent firm Boston Beer Co., explains what he was going for with this awesome-sounding beer.
“My original idea for Utopias was to push the boundaries of craft beer by brewing an extreme beer that was unlike anything any brewer had conceived, I’m proud to present to drinkers this lunatic fringe of extreme beer worthy of the Utopias name.”
Unless you live in one of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, or Washington, you should expect to see Utopias from Samuel Adams in stores at some point this month. Excited?