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This Major Beer Brand's New Product Is So Strong, It's Outlawed in 15 States

The alcohol-by-volume suggests you'll want to sip this slowly...

Some craft beer makers are known for pushing the limits on flavors and alcohol content, but this season, it's a major national brewery that's dropping a beer with the highest alcohol content you may have ever heard. This beer brand is definitely popular for their fall beer releases—which, while exciting, are usually pretty tame. However, check out the dare they're taking with this launch.

This week, USA Today reported that on Monday, October 11, Sam Adams will release Utopias: A beer variety that clocks in at 28% alcohol by volume.

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The Utopias launch isn't an experiment for Sam Adams; in fact, since 2002 they've offered limited runs on Utopias every-other year. What's unique about this year's Utopias batch is that it spent some time in French oak wine casks, which the brewery says will yield "subtle notes of honeyed apricot and and caramel."

The 2021 Utopias was also reportedly finished on one ton—that's 2,000 pounds—of Michigan Balaton sour cherries, and aged in 86 barrels that all had previously contained various spirits-fortified wines, including port, sherry, and Madeira.

The flavors sound dynamic… and in truth, Utopias may not appear to the classic beer lover. Our source suggests some fans of Utopias have compared the beer to port or Cognac (it's even designed to be served in a snifter).

The "Utopias" ice cream dessert from Sunset Grill And Tap in Allston, Massachusetts. (Photo credit Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)Dina Rudick/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

So it may be no wonder Sam Adams calls Utopias an "extreme" beer. Buyers willing to pay $240 per bottle will find it in speciality beer, wine, and liquor retailers… but not in 15 states, where the highest percentage limit range from 11.5% to the percents in lower twenties. USA Today says these include Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more about Krissy
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