Share this article

print logo

Beer Matters: Try a $200 beer, Flying Bison show, Blue Monk's rare Dogfish

How much would you pay for a 24-ounce bottle of beer? Does $20 seem a bit steep? Because Sam Adams Utopias beer is $200 a bottle, and you still can’t find it.

Except Sunday night, when you can drink a sample of Sam Adams Utopias at World of Beer.

The occasion is "Friendsgiving," which is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. at World of Beer – Walden Galleria.

"I am lucky to have a bottle allocated for me,” said World of Beer Product Manager Chris Sutton. “Unless you have a group of friends who will all chip in and buy it or unless you can afford a bottle yourself, most people don’t have an opportunity to try it.”

The event includes four pairings of Sam Adams beer and World of Beer food, culminating with a sample of Utopias paired with 70-percent dark cacao. In earlier courses, other Sam Adams beers such as Boston Lager and Winter Lager are paired with Southwest skillet cornbread and Colorado chili, respectively.

Why is Utopias $200 a bottle? The process used to create it is lengthy and time-consuming. The company’s small research and development brewery in Boston halts all other production to focus on Utopias. The beer demands constant monitoring as it develops.


Maple syrup is added to boost the fermentables and the 2015 batch of Utopias comes in at 27-percent alcohol by volume. The beer is then transferred into multiple bourbon barrels, before being divided into other barrels such as Carcovelos (a Portugese wine), Armagnac, Cognac, tawny port, and ruby port.

After time passes, the barrel contents are blended back together with portions of old stock from previous Utopias. Various blending ratios are tested until the a balance of desired flavors is achieved. The end result is a high strength beer with a complex flavor profile consisting of maple, cognac, caramel, and toffee. Only 15,000 copper-covered porcelain bottles leave the brewery.

Tickets for the beer and food pairing event are $40, available at World of Beer. There were 15 tickets remaining Thursday. World of Beer is located at the Walden Galleria Mall between Macy’s and JC Penney on the Union Road side of the mall.

More Events

“America is Beautiful”  Photo Show
5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 21
Flying Bison Brewing Company
840 Seneca St., Buffalo (873-1557)

Nature enthusiast, amateur photographer and blogger Elaine Bobkowski traveled across the country in a journey spanning eight months, 12,000 miles, 22 states, and 14 national parks. She visited Rocky Mountain National Park, Zion National Park, and Redwoods National Forest. Along the way, she snapped pictures and chronicled her travels. Her blog can be read here.

Bobkowski will be presenting her favorite photographs and sharing travel experiences in an informal setting at Flying Bison Saturday night.

“The goal is just to share stories about people’s travels,” she said.

Photos of various sizes will be available for purchase at the event. Appetizers will also be available.

Flying Bison has 13 draft beers available for consumption and growler fill at the brewery. For the event, Flying Bison will be tapping an imperial stout named “Loco Cocoa.” Loco Cocoa in an oatmeal milk stout brewed with Sulawesi coffee, coconut, and cacao nibs.

Flying Bison

Dogfish Head Thanksgiving Eve’s Eve Party
5 p.m. Nov. 24
Blue Monk
727 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo (882-6665)

Dogfish Head representative Joshua Jaufmann will bring a collection of rare beers to Blue Monk. Dogfish Head is known for pushing the craft beer envelope in terms of style and flavor by including seldom used ingredients in the brewing process. Its 90-minute IPA has long been ranked one of the top IPAs in the country.

The roster of event beers can be viewed here. Two notable beers include Pennsylvania Tuxedo and Higher Math. Pennsylvania Tuxedo is a spruce-infused pale ale brewed in collaboration with Woolrich, the outdoor clothing company. Hand picked spruce tips were used to impart a resinous conifer note to this beer. Pennsylvania Tuxedo comes in at 8.5-percent alcohol by volume and moderate to high bitterness.

Higher Math, a 17-percent golden colored strong ale containing low to medium bitterness, is fermented with sour cherry juice and cocoa nibs. This beer was constructed to celebrate Dogfish Head’s 20-year anniversary, as the first Dogfish Head beer was made using cherries.


Blue Monk

Cole’s complete 36 tap takeover featuring Sierra Nevada will take place Saturday, Nov. 21, starting at 11:30 a.m. Many beer styles will be represented, from Grapefruit Witbier to Narwhal imperial stout, to Celebration fresh hop IPA. For more details, see the Beer matters report here. No tickets are required.

Community Beer Works (CBW) has tapped Kettle Sour 2: Juicy, the second beer in its Kettle Sour series. “Juicy” is a highly hopped sour ale that tastes more like citrus juice than a beer. This beer is now available for on-site consumption and growler fills at the CBW brewery located at 15 Lafayette Ave.  Other beers are also available, including “Heatrays,” a 10.1-percent alcohol by volume barleywine beer. Barleywines contain an alcohol strength similar to wine, but are made with grain instead of fruit.

Ballast Point Brewing Company, manufacturer of craft beer such as Grapefruit Sculpin, was sold this week for $1 billion dollars to Constellation Brands based out of Victor. Constellation Brands is the third-largest producer and marketer of beer in the U.S., and its portfolio includes such beer brands as Corona and Modelo.

Kevin Wise, Ph.D. is a Professor of Biology at Trocaire College who maintains a blog on beer science and beer reviews and can be reached at:
Twitter: @BuffaloBeerBio
Untappd: @BuffaloBeerBiochemist

There are no comments - be the first to comment