Well, I guess if there was ever a time to buy an expensive beer - it’s Christmas - so with the silly season in full swing, I thought it might be fun to look at some of the top tier offerings currently at Beer Cellar.
I’ll be honest, I don't often splurge on beer - and it’s probably fair to say that with a decent search around the $15 mark, you can find some great beer drinking - especially if you look to Belgium. So when should you splash out on a beer and how much should you spend?
How long is a piece of string - would probably be the most fitting reply - as with most things in life - the value of beer is super subjective.
Exclusives from breweries, limited editions and vintage releases are finite offerings which will always come at a premium - as too will anything aged in a barrel. Barrels aren’t cheap and the time taken to age comes at a cost to the brewery.
Higher ABV also marks the price up too (as levies and taxes increase in line with ABV) and often these special treat beers are high ABV offerings. Alcohol content may seem like a crude form of analysis, but when you look at beers like barrel aged stouts - and compare to wine - they actually offer great value for money. Many come in at an ABV similar to wine, have spent a comparable time in barrel but are a fraction of the price you might pay for a specialty wine where, let’s face it, the sky's the limit.
On this note - here are three fab looking brews - which would be a great way to finish a meal, and certainly compare well by price to a bottle of port or dessert wine…
Unibroue 30th Anniversary Stout 750ml - $70.00
I love the crazy Quebecois at Unibroue and their Belgian styled modern beers are often excellent. This one is flavoured with maple syrup - perfect for pouring over your pancakes on Xmas morning.
Epic Big Bad Baptist Orange Stick Stout 650ml - $40.00
Am imperial stout aged in whiskey barrels with orange peel and cacao nibs added. This sounds super festive - the prefect dessert beer.
North Coast Bourbon Barrel Aged Old Rasputin XX Imperial Stout 500ml - $55.00
Turn on the Boney M, crack this beauty open and Ra Ra Rasputin into the early hours on Xmas night. This the 10th anniversary commemorative bottling of this beer - aged in bourbon barrels.
So there we go - a few ideas for Xmas treats for you or the beer-lover in your life. Sure, they’re not cheap, but at the end of the day you can’t really put a price on experiencing something special with the loved ones in your life!
Shining Peak 2022 Barrel Aged Vintage Stout 650ml - $34.00
Keep it kiwi with this vintage stout and get your geek on courtesy of a Reiterated Double Mashing Schedule, in which the second mash is mixed in with high gravity wort from the first mash. A small amount of dextrose is added to balance the tannins from the barrel - clever stuff in every respect!