Beer

This pricey beer is illegal in 11 states. California isn’t one of them.

Jay Edelstein, left, watches as Shari Doulman checks out a copper kettle-styled bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias beer in 2005. The beer has a 28 percent alcohol content by volume, a level illegal in 12 states.
Jay Edelstein, left, watches as Shari Doulman checks out a copper kettle-styled bottle of Samuel Adams Utopias beer in 2005. The beer has a 28 percent alcohol content by volume, a level illegal in 12 states. Associated Press file

A popular American company is once again releasing what it calls “the craft beer community’s most renowned and sought-after extreme barrel-aged beer.”

Samuel Adams is bringing back Utopias, which is a blend of two-row pale, Munich and caramel 60 malts, then three types of German noble hops and yeasts are added to make a drink that has a 28 percent alcohol-by-volume level.

According to Fortune magazine, Utopias is released every other year and, because it’s classified as a beer, the alcohol content is illegal in 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vermont.

Samuel Adams says “the brew is reminiscent of a rich vintage Port, old Cognac or fine Sherry with notes of dark fruit, subtle sweetness and a deep rich malty smoothness.” Only 13,000 bottles will be distributed nationwide, with a reported price tag of $199 each.

Editor’s note: Washington state was originally listed among places where selling Utopias is illegal. This story has been updated.

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