It's Definitely Not Your Ordinary Beer; but Then, a Bottle of Sam Adams Utopias Sells for about $120

Article excerpt

Byline: ROGER BULL

First things first: Sam Adams Utopias goes for $120 or so a bottle.

And it's beer.

Granted, it's not your ordinary beer. It's a high-alcohol (27 percent compared to the beer's usual 5 percent or so), non-carbonated brew that's meant to be sipped like a fine cognac or port.

But even with that high price, it's in such demand and short supply, you won't find it on any store shelves in Northeast Florida. The local distributor can't get any.

Morton's the Steakhouse is selling it nationwide, and Lori Buck, assistant manager at the Morton's on Riverplace Boulevard, said it took her awhile, but that she finally got some in last week. Morton's will sell it by the 2-ounce glass for $25, she said.

Only 12,000 bottles were made and shipped. Suggested retail is $120 to $140 a bottle. But on eBay, there are bids up to $200 a bottle for this year's batch.

The beer had its birth with Sam Adams Triple Bock, a dark rich sipping beer produced in the 1990s. Utopias first came out in 2002 but hasn't come out every year.

Obvious question: What makes it beer?

Answer: It starts out like any other beer, brewed from a variety of malted barley, hops and yeast, though champagne yeast is added to increase the alcohol level. …