The 10 Most Expensive Beers You Should Try


10-Most-Expensive-Beers

Beer is one of the oldest beverages in the world, with Sumerian origins that stretch back about 5,000 years. Once an affordable alternative to bacteria-ridden drinking water, beer is now more expensive than other drinks, but some beers command some truly jaw-dropping prices.

The most expensive beer ever produced is BrewDog’s The End of History. This beer had a $20,000 price tag during its 2016 re-release. But the priciest beer that’s currently available is the 2014 Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis, which retails at $189.99 per bottle ($379.98 per liter).

If you’re curious to learn more about the world’s most expensive brews, you’ll want to check out our curated ranking of luxury-quality beers. We’ll also discuss the reasons why some beers are so pricey!

What Makes Luxury Beers Expensive?

Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance that you can pop by your nearest gas station or liquor store and purchase a six-pack of beers for less than $15. But some beer costs far more, begging the question, “What makes some beers so expensive?”

Four primary factors influence a beer’s final price. These factors are:

  • Rarity
  • Age
  • Ingredients
  • Location

Let’s take a moment to explore each one to discover why some brews are dirt-cheap while others cost several hundred dollars.

Rarity

Like the most expensive cognac bottles, the priciest beers tend to be incredibly rare. This may mean that breweries only produced a limited amount (sometimes less than 50 bottles) or that the beer was so popular it sold out almost immediately.

Nail Brewing’s Antarctic Nail Ale is a fantastic example of rarity influencing price. A single bottle of this stuff sold at auction for more than $1,800!

The rare ingredients partially influenced this beer’s high price tag (it consisted of Antarctic ice water), but the limited production was far more crucial. You see, Nail Brewing only produced 30 bottles of Antarctic Nail Ale!

As a result, this beer’s rarity forced interested buyers to compete for a chance to try it, forcing the price ever upwards.

Age

Many of the most expensive beers are aged. This term means they were bottled several years ago.

Some are also kept in whiskey or rum caskets for several weeks (or months) before the bottling process, producing more complex flavors and adding to their hefty price tags.

Aged beers tend to be more flavorful and rare, making them desirable to beer connoisseurs. And the tastiest (and most expensive) brews tend to feature the highest-quality ingredients and plenty of them!

Ingredients

The ingredients used to produce a beer also contribute to its final cost. After all, beers that feature the highest-quality, most expensive spices are costly to produce, resulting in a higher price tag.

But the presence of higher-quality ingredients (and plenty of them) also ensures that beer is flavorful. For this reason, many cheap beers are often compared to water, while the priciest brews are likened to fine wine or aged liquor.

Location

Finally, location significantly influences the price of a beer. Typically, domestic options are more affordable than imported ones.

That’s because the cost to import alcoholic beverages is comparatively high. In addition, legal restrictions and regulations may prohibit some brews from being sold internationally, making some beers challenging to obtain.

It’s also worth considering the shipping challenges inherent to transporting alcohol. For example, most high-quality beers are stored in delicate glass bottles that can easily shatter.

Consequently, imported beers require more care and packaging to make it to their destination safely. These factors all contribute to higher prices.

Most Expensive Beer: Summary List

  1. Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis (2014)
  2. Samuel Adams Utopias (2021)
  3. Papier The Bruery (2009 Anniversary Edition)
  4. Drie Fonteinen Schaarbeekse Kriek Oogst Blend No. 73 (2019)
  5. Drie Fonteinen Hommage Blend No. 71 (2019)
  6. The Referend This Is Just To Say (2019)
  7. Drie Fonteinen Blend No. 77 (2019)
  8. Oude Quetsche Tilquin à l’Ancienne (2017)
  9. Chimay Grande Réserve Jerobam (2015)
  10. St. Feuillien Tripel

10. St. Feuillien Tripel

St-Feuillien-Tripel
photo source: Untappd

Many of the world’s most expensive beers come from Belgium, a country with centuries worth of experience producing high-quality beers.

St. Feuillien Tripel is a malt-heavy, pale amber beer brewed at the Brasserie St. Feuillien (St. Feuillien Brewery). This brewery has produced flavorful brews since the late 1800s, making it one of the most established still-functioning breweries in Europe.

Still, if you’d like a taste of this creamy beer, you can expect to spend about $260 for a six-liter bottle. That works out to about $43 per liter.

Why It’s Expensive

St. Feuillien Tripel is pricier than more common Belgian ales for several reasons. Firstly, this beer utilizes three times more malt (hence the name) than traditional malt-based beers.

Secondly, this ale is brewed in Belgium. Consequently, it incurs hefty importation fees on its journey to other countries.

Therefore, ingredients and transport costs combine to make this one of the priciest bottles of beer in the world.

9. Chimay Grande Réserve Jeroboam (2015)

Chimay-Grande-Réserve-Jeroboam
photo source: beeroftheday.com

If you’re not a fan of blonde beers, you might want to try a bottle of Chimay Grande Réserve Jeroboam. The 2015 vintage is exceptionally flavorful, with a dark amber coloration and mild port-like taste.

Additionally, this beer is brewed in a Trappist monastery. Trappists good have been around for centuries, and modern iterations tend to use the same recipes as those followed hundreds of years ago.

With an average price of about $174 per three-liter bottle ($58 per liter), this dark ale is far more expensive than the domestic brews available from your local convenience store.

Why It’s Expensive

The 2015 Chimay Grande Réserve Jeroboam features a rich flavor profile that can transport you back to ancient times. It also ages well, making it a perfect addition to any wine cellar.

Classic ingredients, a unique brewing process, international origins, and a well-defined aging process contribute to this beer’s hefty price.

8. Oude Quetsche Tilquin à l’Ancienne (2017)

Oude-Quetsche-Tilquin-à-l'Ancienne
photo source: flickr

With an average price of $46 per bottle (about $61 per liter), the 750ml bottle Oude Quetsche Tilquin à l’Ancienne produced in 2017 is one of the more expensive types of beer available today.

This brew is made of malt, plums, wheat, and hops. But it has a surprisingly golden-orange color that betrays its fruity notes. You’ll want to enjoy this costly beer with a plate of luxurious cheeses to make the most of the experience!

Why It’s Expensive

This beer is expensive because it’s aged, imported, and made of high-quality (but simple) ingredients. In addition, it’s one of the few lambic beers featuring plums, making it an ideal choice for those that enjoy golden beers with a noticeable fruit-forward flavor profile.

Because this beer is becoming increasingly rare, scarcity is another factor influencing its high price.

7. Drie Fonteinen Blend No. 77 (2019)

Drie-Fonteinen-Blend-No-77
photo source: Untappd

The Belgian brewery Drie Fonteinen (also called 3 Fonteinen) produces some of the most beloved spontaneously fermented beers in Europe. Blend No. 77 is a fantastic example of this process, as it’s a one-of-a-kind combination of four lambic brews.

These brews feature different fermentation times, with some enjoying a one-year fermentation and others having fermented for three years. The result is a beer with a complex flavor profile that improves with age.

A sip of this rich, amber-colored beer is bound to make any evening a little brighter! But you’ll need to spend about $48 to snag a 750ml bottle, meaning that a single liter of the stuff costs about $63.

Why It’s Expensive

Every blend of Drie Fonteinen beer is entirely unique. As such, it’s unreplicable. This rarity (plus import costs) makes it more expensive than other types of beer.

6. The Referend This Is Just To Say (2019)

The-Referend-This-Is-Just-To-Say-2019
photo source: Untappd

The Referend Bier Blendery is one of the few American breweries specializing in Belgian-style lambic beers. They’re also well-known for crafting “spontaneously fermented beers,” a process that’s designed to emulate ancient brewing practices.

Each beer released by this brewery is intensely flavorful and distinct, and This Is Just To Say is one of the few aged brews still available for purchase. Bottled in early 2020, this vintage beer has a pale amber color and a bright, lemony flavor.

Due to its sweet-and-bitter taste, this beer is a refreshing summertime beverage. However, you’ll need to invest about $55 to own a 750ml bottle. Because This Is Just To Say costs about $73 per liter, it’s one of the most expensive domestic beers.

Why It’s Expensive

The Referend Bier Blendery (in Pennsylvania) produces unique beers using high-quality, locally-grown ingredients. These beers take anywhere between nine months and five years to finish fermenting, increasing the labor costs to create them.

Because this brewery isn’t massive, each beer is somewhat rare, raising the price above the average factory-produced brew. In short, the uniqueness of beers like This Is Just To Say makes them incredibly expensive.

5. Drie Fonteinen Hommage Blend No. 71 (2019)

Drie-Fonteinen-Hommage-Blend-No-71-2019
photo source: Untappd

If you’re looking for luxury beers, you can’t go wrong with Drie Fonteinen. But if you’re ready to upgrade from the 2018 Blend No. 77, you’ll want to make a beeline for a bottle of this 2019 Hommage Blend No. 71.

This sweet beer combines Kriek (sour cherry lambic) and frambozenlambik (raspberry lambic). As such, it has a sugary flavor profile that’s punctuated by the sour punch of fermented cherries.

But a single 750ml bottle will set you back about $78 (or approximately $104 per liter), so you’ll want to savor each sip of this bright red brew. You might also want to pair a glass of this beer with a luxury-quality snack.

A handful of some of the most expensive nuts is a perfect complement to this fruity, rosé-colored lambic beer, so be sure to stock up before you pour yourself a glass.

Why It’s Expensive

Drie Fonteinen, a Belgian brewery known worldwide for its traditional brews and astounding craftsmanship, produces this lambic, berry-based beer. The brand name alone adds to the price of a bottle Hommage Blend No. 71.

Still, the high-quality ingredients, age, and transport costs also make this beer one of the priciest on the planet.

4. Drie Fonteinen Schaarbeekse Kriek Oogst Blend No. 73 (2019)

Schaarbeekse-Kriek-Oogst-Blend-No-73-2019
photo source: Untappd

It should come as no surprise that Drie Fonteinen’s beers consistently rank as some of the most expensive in the world. After all, each brew is made of a combination of lovingly fermented fruits, hops, and wheat.

That said, if you’re looking to buy the priciest bottle of Drie Fonteinen beer, you won’t want to miss the 2019 bottle of Schaarbeekse Kriek Oogst. At about $80 per 750ml bottle, this beer costs about $106 per liter!

Still, if you’re a fan of sour cherries, you’ll fall in love with the delicate, long-fermented cherry flavor of this unique lambic beer.

Why It’s Expensive

This beer is aged, imported, and consists of high-quality ingredients. These factors are the primary reasons you can expect to spend more than $100 per liter on this fruity brew.

3. Papier The Bruery (2009 Anniversary Edition)

Papier-The-Bruery-2009-Anniversary-Edition
photo source: Untappd

Belgian yeast strains are highly coveted due to their ancient lineage and distinct flavor profile. And you’ll find plenty of Belgian yeast inside the 2009 Anniversary Edition Papier beer by The Bruery.

Though this beer is a domestic option (produced in California), it’s incredibly expensive. A 750ml bottle costs about $250, which is approximately $333 per liter.

Part of this high price is the beer’s age. At more than a decade old, it’s developed a robust flavor that only comes with time.

This dark brown brew has vanilla, bourbon, and oak notes and features an ABV of 14.5%, making it more akin to hard liquor than a craft beer.

Why It’s Expensive

This ale is expensive because of its increasing rarity, age, and labor-intensive brewing process. Nevertheless, it’s a fantastic anniversary gift and an unforgettable treat for any dark ale drinker.

2. Samuel Adams Utopias (2021)

Samuel-Adams-Utopias-2021
photo source: Untappd

Samuel Adams isn’t typically known for producing luxury-quality craft beers. For example, their product lineup is readily available from most grocery stores. But Samuel Adams Utopias is an entirely different kind of brew.

Utopias is a barrel-aged brew with a dark red coloration and a hefty 28% ABV. Though it’s primarily comprised of cherries, each sip is imbued with vanilla and maple flavors.

Though it’s far newer than many of the vintage beers included on this list, buyers are encouraged to let Samuel Adams Utopias age before opening it. Still, you might struggle to get your hands on a 700ml bottle of this beer, as it’s proved a popular investment for beer connoisseurs around the world.

If you find an available bottle, expect to spend $240 ($342 per liter) or more to make it yours.

Why It’s Expensive

Samuel Adams Utopias is made using the highest-quality Michigan-grown cherries and is aged in dozens of barrels. The combination of top-notch ingredients and the aging process makes it an expensive but refined choice.

1. Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis (2014)

Jester-King-Nocturn-Chrysalis-2014-500ml
photo source: bestdamnbeershop.com

Those who refuse to settle for anything less than the best will want to invest in a 500ml bottle of 2014 Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis. Brewed in Texas, it’s the priciest domestic beer currently available, with a per-bottle price of about $190 (about $380 per liter!).

With an ABV of 5.9%, it’s not the most alcoholic brew, but its taste is sublime. That’s because Nocturn Chrysalis is a wild ale made from blackberries. It’s aged and fermented in thick oak barrels before being bottled, which generates a complex array of flavors.

While you could opt for a more recent vintage, the 2014 version is one of the best-aged versions still in existence. Still, quantity is limited, so you’ll want to act fast.

Why It’s Expensive

Though this beer is a domestic brew, it’s the most expensive per-liter beer available. That’s because it enjoys a labor-intensive fermentation process and is made of delicate wild blackberries. The 2014 vintage is particularly pricey due to its age.

Choose an Award-Winning Beer Today

The most expensive beer ever sold is The End of History, a Belgian ale with a staggering 55% ABV rating. However, this beer was only available for a limited time and is nearly impossible to find today.

If you’re looking to treat yourself to a high-quality luxury beer today, you’ll likely want to choose a bottle of 2014 Jester King Nocturn Chrysalis. You could also choose one of the Belgian Drie Fonteinen beers.

Are you looking to treat yourself to some of the world’s priciest snacks and drinks? If so, check out the most expensive food and drink now!

Eric Lyons

Eric is a subject-matter expert on the world's most expensive luxuries and collectibles. He has explored thousands of luxuries and collectibles over the past few years and now brings them to readers around the world.

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