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No need for extreme beers
November 30, 2009 - Jim Smith
Just what the nation needed ... a beer that contains 27 percent alcohol.
The brewer of Samuel Adams beer is selling an updated version of its biennial beer Utopias ... with the highest alcohol content of any beer on the market and, at an unbelievable price of $150 a bottle.
"Just part of trying to push the envelope," Jim Koch, founder and owner of the Boston Beer Co. the maker of Sam Adams, told the Associated Press. "I'm pushing it beyond what the laws of these 13 states (where it is illegal because of its alcohol content) ever contemplated when they passed those laws decades ago."
The traditional cap for beer is 14 percent alcohol.
It should be noted, though, that West Virginia and Alabama have passed laws allowed higher alcohol content in beer and Iowa and Mississippi legislatures are considering such legislation.
According to an AP article, "Utopias has reached its unique strength through a 15-year aging process in barrels at the Boston Beer Co.'s brewery in Boston. It's aged and finished in wooden containers like Scotch whisky barrels and sherry casks. The drink's yeast strains are regularly used in making malts and champagne.
"A quick sip unveils a cognac-like hit combined with vanilla, honey and maple flavors.
"The long production cycle is what limits its availability to once every two years. This holiday season, for example, Koch is only releasing 10,000 bottles with the suggested retail price of $150 apiece.
In February 1993 my wife and I visited our then 16-year-old daughter who was spending a year in Denmark as a foreign exchange student. In those days I would occasionally have a beer and under our daughter's urging, I tried a bottle of Danish beer that was about 20 percent alcohol. I vividly remember having trouble standing up when we left the restaurant. I can't imagine when a 27 percent alcohol-content beer would be like.
I also can't imagine what would be the practical use of a $150-a-bottle, 27 percent alcohol-content beer. What would be the purpose? Who would enjoy such an expensive beer? And, does a nation that already has an alcohol-related problem need a 27 percent alcohol-content beer?
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