Beer has been around for thousands of years. In fact, the oldest-known barley beer dates back to 3400 B.C. — that’s well over 5,000 years ago.
Still, it did take some time for “modern” beer to come around. Historians say the arrival of beer that we’d recognize today showed up in the Middle Ages when Christian monks began brewing beers flavored with hops.
Today, beer remains a hugely popular drink around the world. Many countries have signature brews — and most are pretty affordable. However, the popularity of beer has also led to some crazy high prices.
First, let’s look at five of the most expensive beers ever sold, then we’ll show you five ultra-expensive beers you could still actually purchase.
- Sapporo’s Space Barley
- Cantillon Loerik 1998
- Felinfoel Pale Ale
- Allsopp’s Arctic Ale from 1875
- Tutankhamun Ale – The Beer of His Majesty
Price: $110 for a six-pack
Brand: Paris Hilton and Paris Latsis
Number of Bottles Made: 1,500
Unique Feature: Barley grown in space
photo source: wired.com
Ever wanted to drink beer made in space? In 2009, Sapporo announced a limited-edition beer made with barley that was grown on the International Space Station. The drink was dubbed “Space Barley” and sold for about $110 per six-pack.
Even though the line of space beer was already limited to just 250 six-packs (or 1,500 bottles), the Sapporo company made it even harder to get your hands on one of these extraterrestrial drinks by selling the packs through a lottery system. What’s more, only people living in Japan — the company’s home country — were allowed to enter.
Did you know?
Sapporo’s unique beer wasn’t a complete gimmick. The Russian Academy of Sciences actually supported the effort and money from the limited release would go to support science education among children.
Price: $2,583 for one bottle
Number of Bottles Made: Unknown
Unique Feature: Longer in-bottle fermentation
photo source: bidsquare.com
In 1998, the Cantillon brewery bottled a new line of beers titled Loerik. Strangely, the product didn’t hit shelves until 2003 due to an unusually long fermentation process.
The resulting beer circulated in Denmark and Sweden for a couple of years, but it’s unclear how popular the drink was among bars. This unconventional start to the product’s life made Loerik 1998 hard to track down. In turn, a rare bottle of the beer sold for $2,583 at an auction in 2014.
Although a new launch of the Loerik line started in 2021, it’s become pretty much impossible to find a bottle of the original Loerik 1998.
Did you know?
Loerik is slang for “lazy” in Belgium. The Cantillon brewery apparently chose this name because of the beer’s longer-than-normal fermentation process.
Price: $2,819 for two cans
Number of Bottles Made: Unknown
Unique Feature: Owned by the same family for over seven decades
photo source: vinepair.com
In 2019, a set of two Felinfoel Pale Ale cans sold for nearly $3,000. The cans were produced in 1936 and reportedly sat on the owner’s desk for years. Incredibly, these cans were in great condition despite their age. As the auction house said, “It’s testament to the durability of the cans that they have survived and are in such good condition.”
According to historians, the Felinfoel company supplied beer to the U.K. Ministry of Defense during WWII. Incidentally, when the cans were sold in September 2019, they were purchased by Felinfoel’s managing director.
Did you know?
Beer hasn’t always been available in cans. In fact, experts say Felinfoel was the first European company to offer canned beer when it debuted its pale ale in January 1936.
Price: $5,131 for one bottle
Number of Bottles Made: Unknown
Unique Feature: Travelled to the Arctic circle with Sir George Nares
photo source: eater.com
Would you pay over $5,000 for a bottle of beer? What if it went on an Arctic expedition in the 1800s? Well, that’s exactly what happened with this ale from 1875. The beer was made in Staffordshire, England for Sir George Nares, an explorer and Royal Navy Officer who traveled to the Arctic circle in the late 19th century.
The beer was sold at auction to a private collector in Scotland, who will reportedly keep it sealed.
Did you know?
Although other bottles of beer from the 19th century have been found, they’re not usually unopened — and they definitely aren’t typically world travelers. According to one expert, “this bottle went all the way to the Arctic circle and came all the way back.”
Price: $6,800 for one bottle
Brand: Scottish & Newcastle
Number of Bottles Made: 1,000
Unique Feature: Made with an ancient Egyptian recipe
photo source: commons.wikimedia.org
Tutankhamun Ale – The Beer of His Majesty is the most expensive beer ever sold.
With just 1,000 bottles in existence, this ultra-rare beer was made from an ancient Egyptian recipe found in a brewery from the 13th century B.C.
The brew was recreated by two scientists, an Egyptologist, and Britain’s largest brewery. Using sediment residues from old jars, the team made the beer in 1996 and sold the first bottle for about $6,800. The remaining 999 bottles were priced at just $50 each, but good luck finding one today.
Did you know?
Although ancient Egyptians definitely didn’t call their beer Tutankhamun Ale, they did have loving names for it — including words that translate to “beautiful” and “heavenly.”
The Most Expensive Beer You Can Buy
So those are the most expensive beers ever sold, but what about the most expensive beer you can actually buy?
- Pabst Blue Ribbon 1844
- BrewDog’s Sink the Bismarck
- Samuel Adams’ Utopias Line
- Jacobsen Vintage No. 1 Beer
- BrewDog’s End of History
Price: $44 per bottle
Brand: Pabst Blue Ribbon
Reason for Price: Unique marketing strategy
Interesting Fact: Exclusively available in China
photo source: businessinsider.com
If you live in the U.S., you might think of Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) as a cheap, popular beer. But thanks to some clever marketing, the brand has become a high-end drink in China. Selling for about $44 a bottle, the beer is sold as a luxury product rather than a low-cost option.
Although it’s definitely possible to purchase a bottle of this beer, it is somewhat exclusive since the “new” brand is only sold in China.
Did you know?
A big part of PBR’s Chinese marketing strategy was comparing the beer to its more expensive counterparts. In one ad, the brand compares its beer to “Scotch whisky, French brandy, [and] Bordeaux wine.”
Price: $100 per bottle
Reason for Price: High alcohol content
Interesting Fact: Has the highest alcohol content of any beer
photo source: wlvliquors.com
At $100 a bottle, Sink the Bismarck is a very expensive drink — but that’s not its only claim to fame. Reportedly, this drink has the highest alcohol content of any beer. At 41% alcohol by volume, this drink is on par with vodka.
According to reports, the drink is usually sold on a per-bottle basis, which makes sense given the steep price tag.
Despite apparently successful sales, BrewDog has been criticized for its high prices for beer that “tastes so bad.”
Did you know?
BrewDog’s beer might be expensive, but does that mean it’s good? Well, the drink apparently got mixed reviews at the popular Beer Bloggers Conference after its debut.
Price: $210+ per bottle
Brand: Samuel Adams
Reason for Price: Only 77 casks brewed for the 2019 edition
Interesting Fact: Each bottle is numbered
photo source: forbes.com
Samual Adams has been making its Utopias line of limited edition beers since 2002. Although their quantity is limited, it’s still possible to purchase a bottle from this expensive tradition. In 2019, for example, Samuel Adams brewed just 77 casks of the special beer — but some stores still offer the product.
Don’t expect to spend just a couple hundred bucks, though. Although Samuel Adams officially sold Utopia’s 2019 edition for $210, current prices are closer to $800.
Did you know?
The Utopias line is known for its high alcohol content. In 2019, the beer had a crazy rate of 28% alcohol by volume.
Price: $400+ per bottle
Brand: Carlsberg Group
Reason for Price: Limited edition
Interesting Fact: Aged in Swedish and French oak barrels
photo source: gayot.com
Another limited-edition beer, this one might be harder to find but it’s not completely impossible since the drink is available at several fine-dining restaurants in Denmark. Still, just 600 bottles were made, so good luck spending anything less than $400 for the exclusive drink.
The beer was packaged in 375 ml green bottles and is described as “chestnut-brown” in color.
Did you know?
Interestingly, this beer was sold alongside copies of lithographs made by a Danish artist named Frans Kannik. The artist produced four of these lithographs and each depicts Sif, wife of Thor — the Norse god of the sky, agriculture, and thunder.
Price: $20,000 per bottle
Reason for Price: Comes with a stake in the BrewDog company
Interesting Fact: Bottle stuffed in taxidermied squirrel
photo source: twitter.com
BrewDog’s End of History is the most expensive beer on the market.
BrewDog is at it again. This time, the company’s absurdly expensive beer is a remake of a limited release from 2010. At that time, the company made just 12 bottles of the special beer which sold for about $800 a piece. Bizarrely, these bottles were stuffed inside taxidermied squirrels.
Now, the company is offering its boundary-pushing beer again — for $20,000. The purchase won’t just get you a beer, though. You’ll also earn a stake in the BrewDog company. So maybe it’s worth it…?
Did you know?
BrewDog has been a controversial figure in the beer world for a while now. Apparently, the company has pulled a variety of publicity stunts, including driving a tank down a road in England.
What is the most rarest beer in the world? ›
- Westvleteren 12. ...
- 3 Floyds Dark Lord. ...
- Pliny the Younger. ...
- Unhuman Cannonball. ...
- Cantillon Fou' Foune. ...
- De Dolle Arabier. ...
- Buxton Yellow Belly. ...
- Treehouse Julius.
According to the 2021 World Beer Index by Expensivity, Qatar has the most expensive beer prices in the world. The average price of beer in Qatar is approximately $11.25 (with some estimates as high as $13.61) for a single 330 mL bottle.What is the top 10 beer in the world? ›
- Budweiser. Budweiser, sometimes known as “the king of beers,” has been the number one beer in the world for a long while. ...
- Bud Light. Budweiser's profits remain steady, especially in the domestic beer market. ...
- Corona. ...
- Heineken. ...
- Coors Light. ...
- Tsingtao. ...
- Modelo. ...
- Keystone Light.
Budweiser was the most valued beer brand worldwide in 2021, with a worth of 16.17 billion U.S. dollars. The brand was followed by Heineken in second and Stella Artois, ranked third. Brand value is a bit of nebulous concept and different definitions exist.What is the #1 beer in America? ›
Corona and Bud Light are the most well-known beer brands in the United States. Both these brands are recognized by 85% of respondents in the U.S. Next on the list is the most valuable beer brand in the world, Budweiser, reaching a brand awareness of 84%.What is the healthiest beer? ›
The healthiest are stouts and porters, and higher hoppy beers, such as DIPAs and Imperial IPAs, Trappist beers, and spontaneous fermented beers, such as Lambics and Gose. Trappist-style beer is probably the most famous of the Belgian beers.Does beer healthy? ›
Potential Health Benefits of Beer
In fact, beer may be as effective at improving general heart health as wine at comparable alcohol levels. One study showed that one drink a day lowered the risk of all-cause mortality for women and up to two beers a day produced the same results for men.
The maker of popular beer brands Corona and Modelo expects to raise prices by up to 2 percent this year because of a shortage of glass, an inflation-fueled rise in the price of commodities and supply chain bottlenecks.Where is the best beer in the world? ›
- Russian Federation. Total Beer Exports in 2021: $160.85 million. ...
- Poland. Total Beer Exports in 2021: $260.26 million. ...
- China. Total Beer Exports in 2021: $278.97 million. ...
- Ireland. Total Beer Exports in 2021: $279.69 million. ...
- Italy. ...
- Denmark. ...
- Spain. ...
- Czech Republic.
Top Shelf is an American-style lager brewed with noble hops and Canadian malt. It's an easy-drinking 4.5% alc./vol., handcrafted to please craft beer drinkers as well as the mainstream beer market.
What is the king of all beers? ›
A bottle of Budweiser beer. The slogan was changed to the “King of Beers” in the mid-twentieth century as aluminum cans became a more popular form of packaging. It's still in use today and is featured predominately on Budweiser labels.What state drinks the most beer? ›
American Beer Consumption By State.
|Beer Consumption By State (2020)||Annual Gallons Per Capita||Preferred Beer|
The country that drinks the most beer per capita is the Czech Republic. It has topped the list for almost 30 years straight, since 1993. The Czechs drink on average 181.7L of beer per year per person.What is America's oldest beer brand? ›
Yuengling and Son was place on the national and state registers as America's Oldest Brewery. This is a title that we are proud of and can be seen on every bottle of Yuengling beer.Are there any 3% beers? ›
3% ABV Popular Brands of Beer
A beer with an alcohol content of 3%-3.99% is a perfectly good sessionable beer. You're also bound to find the word "light" in its name, as evidenced by Amstel Light and Heineken Light. If you're looking for low calorie beers, you're in luck with the 3% range.
- Yuengling Lager. Year introduced: 1829.
- Old Milwaukee. Year introduced: 1849. ...
- Schlitz. Year introduced: 1849. ...
- Stroh's. Year introduced: 1850. ...
- Hamm's. Year introduced: 1865. ...
- Leinenkugel's Original. Year introduced: 1867. ...
- Coors Banquet. Year introduced: 1873. ...
- Budweiser. Year introduced: 1876. ...
|1||Modern Times Monster Tones||Modern Times Beer|
|2||Russian River Pliny the Elder||Russian River Brewing Company|
|3||Russian River Pliny the Younger||Russian River Brewing Company|
|4||Lost Abbey Yellow Bus||Port Brewing Company / The Lost Abbey|
Pilsner. By far the most popular type of beer in Germany is pilsner, generally known as 'Pils'. The light-golden beer with the dry hoppy aroma is very popular in the North, West and East. The name goes back to the Czech town of Pilsen.What is Gordon Ramsay's favorite beer? ›
A Scottish classic and one of Gordon Ramsay's favorite beers, I had wondered why it took me so long to try anything from Innis & Gunn. Well, it's a big world of beer which continues to grow, which makes it difficult to "taste 'em all". Comes in a 330 ml clear decorated bottle.What is the easiest beer to drink? ›
- Coors Light 12pk 12oz Can 4.2% ABV. ...
- Miller High Life 12pk 12oz Btl 4.6% ABV. ...
- Corona Extra 12pk 12oz Btl 4.5% ABV. ...
- Bud Light Lime 12pk 12oz Btl 4.2% ABV. ...
- Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy 6pk 12oz Btl 4.2% ABV. ...
- Abita Purple Haze 6pk 12oz Can.
What is the best selling beer today? ›
- 8) Budweiser. Budweiser. ...
- 7) Heineken. Heineken. ...
- 6) Modelo (Modelo Especial) Modelo. ...
- 5) Michelob (Michelob Ultra) Michelob. ...
- 4) Miller Brewing (Miller Lite) Miller. ...
- 3) Coors (Coors Light) Coors. ...
- 2) Corona (Corona Extra) Corona. ...
- 1) Bud Light. Bud Light.
Long drinks lists can be overwhelming, but if your liver got to choose, it would probably go with something brimming with hops. Yep, just like the majority of craft beer drinkers, it would probably grab an IPA.Which beer is best for skin? ›
Though beer is the third most consumed drink after water and tea, it has several skin and hair benefits too. According to a study conducted in London in 2000, drinking darker beers helps to improve the quality of skin as they are filled with antioxidants and that makes it a beauty potion.What alcohol is best for high blood pressure? ›
Whiskey reduces your blood pressure and it is against bad cholesterol and blood clots, both lower the risk of stroke or heart attack. Drinking wine, dark beer, and whiskey moderately helps to reduce the risk of heart attack.What is the most popular beer in Mexico? ›
Corona Extra (Best Selling Beer in Mexico)
Arguably one of the most famous Mexican beers out there, Corona is the best-selling Mexican beer in the world. It's also the number one imported beer in all North America, including the United States and Canada. Corona Extra Mexican Lager is a light, refreshing pale lager.
Even without binge drinking, regularly drinking too much too often can also damage the kidneys. The damage occurs more slowly. Regular heavy drinking has been found to double the risk chronic kidney disease, which does not go away over time.What is the best alcoholic drink for heart health? ›
Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent coronary artery disease, the condition that leads to heart attacks.Can a dog drink beer? ›
Dogs should never drink beer brewed for humans. Beer contains alcohol, and alcohol is toxic for dogs. Even a little beer can cause alcohol poisoning, especially if the dog is small.Does beer expire? ›
Short answer, no. Beer isn't like milk. With age, it doesn't actually expire or become unsafe to drink. Old beer's taste, however, will absolutely change.Is it OK to drink beer everyday? ›
Alcoholic beer is likely safe for most adults when used in moderation (two 12-ounce glasses daily). But drinking more than this is possibly unsafe. Drinking higher amounts of alcoholic beer can cause, blackouts, drowsiness, low blood sugar, vomiting, and other serious problems.
Do Mexicans drink Modelo? ›
Modelo Especial is Grupo Modelo's second brand after Corona, and was first brewed in 1925. It is a pilsner-style beer that is available in both bottle and cans since 1966. It is second in popularity in Mexico and the company's third best seller in the USA.Which beer is better Corona or Modelo? ›
With the superior alcohol content, Corona Extra has a stronger taste. It's slightly bitter than Modelo Especial. If you are looking for something with a richer taste, buy a Corona. On the other hand, Modelo Especial has a crisp and mellow taste profile.Which beer is stronger Corona or Modelo? ›
Modelo Especial, a pilsner-style, comes in at 4.4 percent ABV, while Negra Modelo, fashioned after Dunkel-style beers first popularized in Munich, is made with roasted caramel malts and clocks in a bit higher at 5.4 percent ABV. Corona Extra, also a pilsner-style, is bottled at 4.6 percent ABV.Which country has the tastiest beer? ›
Considered by many to be the apex of the best beer countries in the world, Belgium has a huge diversity of original beer styles, and a deeply-embedded heritage of traditional beer production.Why is Mexican beer so good? ›
Mexican beers are unique and taste different from normal beers because most Mexican beers use corn, barley, and plants to make beer. They might look like ordinary beer, but when you taste them, you can taste the difference. Many Mexican beers are well made. They often have little to zero fruity esters.Which city has best beer? ›
- Milwaukee. ...
- Philadelphia. ...
- Asheville. ...
- Portland, Maine. ...
- Portland, Oregon. Portland's official tourism office bills the city as “Beervana,” and given the incredible diversity among the city's 75-plus breweries, it's easy to see why. ...
- Seattle. Washington. ...
- Denver. Colorado. ...
- Grand Rapids. Michigan.
Think watered-down caro syrup with a smidge of alcohol in it. Not terribly impressive — and it probably went sour pretty fast. The sugar in the barley is the thing; some of it is fermentable, so the yeast turns it to alcohol, and some of it isn't fermentable — so you taste sweetness.What is the oldest beer ever found? ›
The earliest chemically confirmed barley beer to date was discovered at Godin Tepe in the central Zagros Mountains of Iran, where fragments of a jug, from between 5,400 and 5,000 years ago was found to be coated with beerstone, a by-product of the brewing process.What is the oldest drinkable beer? ›
Australian brewers, James Squire, have managed to revive a 220-year old beer, made from the yeast from a beer bottle found inside a shipwreck discovered off the coast of Tasmania.What is the oldest beer bottle? ›
Brewers at Carlsberg factory in Copenhagen were clearing out their cellar when they found an unopened bottle sealed in 1883. Scientists for the beer maker claim this was the year when pure yeast was invented, which stopped beer sickness - a common problem for our ancestors.
What did Vikings drink? ›
The Vikings drank strong beer at festive occasions, together with the popular drink of mead. Mead was a sweet, fermented drink made from honey, water and spices. Wine made from grapes was also known of, but had to be imported, from France, for example.What beer did Vietnam drink? ›
As for the local Vietnamese stuff, there was “Ba Moui Ba” – Biere “33”, which came in a bottle about the size of a US 12 oz., and tasted OK, most of the time. The other local beer was called “Tiger Beer”, but was actually named Biere Larue, and usually came in a one liter bottle.What was beer first called? ›
Therefore, beer was considered a barbaric drink and only fit for lower classes to imbibe. Even so, the Romans were brewing beer (called cerevisia) quite early, as evidenced by discoveries in the tomb of a beer brewer and merchant (a Cerveserius) in ancient Treveris (modern-day Trier).Who drank the first beer? ›
The first beer in the world was brewed by the ancient Chinese around the year 7000 BCE (known as kui). In the west, however, the process now recognized as beer brewing began in Mesopotamia at the Godin Tepe settlement now in modern-day Iran between 3500 - 3100 BCE.What beer is healthiest? ›
The healthiest are stouts and porters, and higher hoppy beers, such as DIPAs and Imperial IPAs, Trappist beers, and spontaneous fermented beers, such as Lambics and Gose. Trappist-style beer is probably the most famous of the Belgian beers.What's America's favorite beer? ›
The top selling beer of 2020 is Bud Light:
Bud Light from the Anheuser-Busch InBev Brewery is america's best selling beer brand with it's natural light flavour by restaurants in 2020. Bud Light accounted for 17.8% of the total unit sales, but only 9.4% of the volume sales.
Yes—but its flavor will degrade over time. Beer is a perishable product that stales when it's exposed to light, oxygen, and heat, which degrade the organic compounds that make beer smell and taste great. But even when its flavor is declining, it can be perfectly safe to drink.Is 2 year old beer drinkable? ›
Short answer, no. Beer isn't like milk. With age, it doesn't actually expire or become unsafe to drink. Old beer's taste, however, will absolutely change.Who is older beer or wine? ›
Q: Which came first: beer or wine? The earliest evidence leans toward beer, says Theresa McCulla, a curator at the National Museum of American History. Archaeologists found traces of cereal grains on mortars near Haifa, Israel, dated at around 13,000 years old.