This holiday season, Samuel Adams is hoping that consumers will feel enough of the giving spirit that they’re willing to hand over $200 for a bottle of its latest version of Utopias, a limited-edition pale malt blend that’s a lot boozier than your typical beer.
This year, there will be 10,000 bottles of Samuel Adams Utopias, a 28-percent-alcohol-by-volume concoction that looks and feels quite a lot different from, say, Sam Adams’ Boston Lager. For starters, Utopias isn’t carbonated — it’s completely flat, and it’s aged in Cognac, Armagnac, and bourbon barrels.
According to some reviews, Utopias is truly unlike any other beer you’ve had in your life, and Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company, which produces Sam Adams, describes it as “the lunatic fringe of extreme beer.” MarketWatch describes Utopias as akin to a top-quality port, but that begs the question: why not pick a port?
The answer lies within another review of Utopias which describes Sam Adams as “to craft brewing sort of what Will Smith is to the summer blockbuster — enjoys experimenting with some pretty out-there stuff.” Utopias is probably best suited for the friend or family member closest to you who likes beer but doesn’t need to scour the hip American Northwest for the tiniest brewery to call their favorite, and doesn’t contest the concept of Sam Adams as a craft brewery. That is, as long as you’re willing to spend $200 on their Christmas gift.