You’ve been living in a condemned World War II bunker under your backyard if you remain oblivious to the craft beer revolution that is rampaging like an inferno across the United States and the world. Although the craft beer seed was planted over three decades ago in the United States, it’s just now blossoming and bearing delicious fruit. The popularity here has spurred on other breweries worldwide to renew their passion, as well as to spawn new craft breweries abroad. In the midst of this fermenting flurry, beer has won the respect of many, and in some circles, elite status. If you think a glass of wine is the default accessory of the rich and famous, it’s time to rethink that.
Unfortunately beer’s image has suffered for many centuries due to the imaginary “grape line.” It’s a fictional line that runs through Europe that separates the southern wine producing and drinking countries, from the northern grain producing and beer drinking countries. Basically the line shadowed the northern reaches of the Roman Empire more or less. The Romans associated beer drinking with the Visigoths and Barbarians from Germany, hence beer’s lowly status for centuries to come. But now, this is all changing very rapidly. Wine is more dependent on nature’s influence: amount of rain, sunshine, temperature, soil, etc. Beer is wholly dependent upon the brewer making it and his/her vision, thus brewing beer is much more of an art than making wine. Here’s a look at five of the world’s most expensive beers and the countries you can vacation to, to find them.
If you want to impress your guests when you’re having shrimp on the barbie at the 19thhole, then fly down under to Australia and pick up a bottle of Crown Ambassador Reserve Lager. This strong ale, which is made for cellaring, comes in at 10% ABV. You’ll be swapping out your soccer air horn for your polo mallet in no time with this beer. The brewery sticker prices the rich, malty, limited edition Ambassador Reserve at $80 per bottle, but prices upward of $800 per bottle can be reached at auction. Brewed with handpicked Galaxy hops and packaged in a bottle that will have you waiting for the ball to drop in Times Square, you’re bound to make new friends when a bottle of this is unveiled.
Sausages, sauerkraut and schnitzel haven’t always boasted a lot of sexiness, but you might want to change your mind and take a trip to Germany for the Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57. Only 36 bottles of it were produced in 2011, at which time it held the world record for highest ABV in beer. Take one guess what percentage it is. Yes, it’s a throttling 57%! The cost won’t hit your wallet as hard as the alcohol hits you, setting you back $275 per bottle.
When you’re done in Germany, swing over to Scotland. Skip the whiskey and hit the beer straight away. The Brew Dog End of History comes highly recommended. The brewers at Brew Dog are famous for their passion for extreme ABV endeavors. End of History doesn’t disappoint at an astounding 55% ABV. The Belgian blonde ale, infused with juniper berries and Scottish Highlands’ nettles, comes with its own certificate of authenticity as only 11 bottles were produced. This kind of exclusivity requires a $765 outlay.
By the time you’re done in northern Europe, you may want to take the chill off again by returning to Australia. But the bottle you’ll be holding will remind you of the freezing temps you might have left behind. After taking care of your transportation at Budget Rent a Car, hop in and seek out the Nail Brewing Antarctic Nail Ale. This beer will undoubtedly score you points in the manhood and adventure categories. Antarctic ice was procured during an anti-whaling campaign and brought back to Australia to brew the beer with. The beer was sold at an auction benefitting charity, for anywhere between $800 and $1,800 per bottle.
Lastly, any luxurious, globe trekking, craft beer circuit isn’t complete until a visit in the United States is made. You’ll need to go to Portland, Oregon to say hello to the brewers at Hair of the Dog, who brew “Dave.” Dave is an English barley wine that has a 29% ABV and has been cellared for 19 years. This is the caviar of the craft beer scene. You’ll have to dish out $2,000 for a single 12.7 ounce bottle.