Sam Adams' $200 Beer Is Back and Still Illegal in Over a Dozen States

The company releases the limited-edition, super-strong beer every two years.

Courtesy of Samuel Adams

Every two years, Samuel Adams releases an incredibly strong beer, Sam Adams Utopias. And every two years, it makes headlines all over in the internet. 2021 is no exception. The beer is back for another year, and so is the buzz.

Of course, all of the attention is warranted. Last released in 2019, the extremely limited beers are aged in wooden bourbon casks, some for as long as 30 years. The beer is then blended in Carcavelos, Madeira, Ruby Port, and Sherry Oloroso. Not only is the beer uniquely brewed, but it also has such a high alcohol content that it's illegal in 15 states. Utopias has a whopping 28% ABV, compared to Budweiser’s 5% ABV.

For that reason, the beer won't be sold in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia. 

For this year's Utopias, brewers aged a portion of the to Sauternes French oak wine casks, which bring flavors of honeyed apricot and caramel to the already rich beer.

"Since the introduction of Utopias in 2002, brewers have explored uncharted territory with each brew, experimenting with different kinds of aging barrels, new flavors, and different blending techniques,” said Samuel Adams Founder Jim Koch in a press release. “The result is always special, spirited, and worth waiting for."

This sounds incredibly decadent, right? Like all luxury, it comes with a hefty price tag. Utopias will hit shelves starting October 11 with a suggested retail price of $240, and there will be extremely limited availability with only around 13,000 bottles made available for sale.

Koch's personal, signed bottle of 2021 Utopias will be auctioned off and the proceeds will be donated to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. To learn more about how to bid on the bottle, visit stjude.org/launchparty.

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.