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The World's 15 Rarest Beers for Collectors

Explore the world's most elusive beers coveted by serious beer collectors. From Brazil's Way Amburana Lager to the iconic Pliny the Younger and the one-of-a-kind End of History from BrewDog, discover 15 extraordinary brews that make any beer lover's collection a true masterpiece.

The World's 15 Rarest Beers for Collectors

Sure, everyone’s tasted those beers that you can get anywhere, the ones that are always on tap, and you’ve probably tried some seasonal favorites that only come around a few times a year from your favorite craft breweries. But the serious collectors know that there are extremely rare beers out there in the world, white whales that come only once in a blue moon -- so to speak. Some are so hard to come by, in fact, that you have to travel to a remote monastery or well-hidden brewery just to get a taste. Read on to explore the 15 rarest beers for collectors.

For collectors, these beers are like the Holy Grail. Sipping them won’t grant you eternal life, but it is something of a miracle if you manage to get a bottle of your own.


Amburana Lager by Cervejaria Way


Brazilian beer is poised to become the next big thing on the craft scene. This is a quickly developing beer market that's ready to explode, and the savviest and trendiest collectors are paying attention. One of the rarest brews you can get in Brazil, or anywhere else in the world, is Way Amburana Lager. Amburana is Brazilian oak, an ingredient that's really only available in beers you can find in Brazil.

The taste of the rare wood really comes through in this beer, which has an alcohol content of 8.4 percent. It's ideally served in a balloon glass or snifter. Get ahead of the curve and get your hands on a bottle of this rich, oaky lager while you still can because soon, everyone’s going to want to get a taste of this luxurious Brazilian beer.

Bruton Limes by Birrificio Bruton

What if wine married beer and the two had children of their own? You'd end up with something like the grape ales from Lucca, Italy. This is where you can find Bruton Limes, a craft grape ale from Birrificio Bruton. This is a somewhat tart, sparkling beer that truly tastes like a beer-wine hybrid. It produces a dry, lip-smacking crispness in the mouthfeel that's best served in a large tulip goblet within its 8.5 percent ABV.

It's a unique blend, and it's something that's hard to find even when you're actually in Italy. Go directly to the brewery to get your hands on a bottle to become the envy of all your beer-loving and collector friends.

Pliny the Younger by Russian River Brewing Co.

If you want to add an easily recognizable and highly sought after American beer to your collection of rare brews, it's got to be Pliny the Younger from Russian River. This is a well-known limited-edition beer from Russian River Brewing that's extremely hard for people to get their hands on. This is a triple IPA beer, which means it has a strong hops flavor. It also has a strong alcohol content at 10.25 percent and is a more hopped-up and stronger version of the brewery's more readily available Pliny the Elder.

Pliny the Younger is released only once a year on draft only at the brewery and extremely few local taprooms and bars in the brewery's neighboring areas. Tickets are nearly impossible to obtain, and lines can often be seen snaking their way around various city blocks and in front of numerous storefronts. One of the most popular and sought-after beers of all time, this is one brew that requires a true beer-cation (unless you live near the brewery in Santa Rosa, CA).

Photo Courtesy Flickr/George Ruiz

Dark Lord by Three Floyds Brewing

Three Floyds Dark Lord is loved by collectors because of the distinct bottle. This Russian Imperial stout has a 15 percent alcohol content and it’s brewed with molasses and vanilla, which gives it a unique taste. But the reason it's on the radar of so many beer lovers is due to its exclusivity. Dark Lord is available exactly one day of the year in late April. Go directly to the Dark Lord Day in Munster, Indiana to get a bottle...if you can.

Barrel-Aged Abraxas by Perennial Artisan Ales

How limited is Barrel-Aged Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis? Local residents of St. Louis have to make reservations to buy bottles, and out-of-towners enter their names into an online lottery in hopes of getting a chance to claim a bottle of their own. If you're lucky enough to win, you'll pay $30 at least for a purchase of just two bottles.

This imperial stout is well worth all the effort. It’s aged in rye barrels with chiles, cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans and cacao nibs to create a distinctive flavor profile. It has an ABV of 11 percent.

Samuel Adams Utopias by The Boston Beer Co.

It's a little-known brew from a very recognizable brewery, and it's a crown jewel in any beer lover's collection. Utopias from Samuel Adams comes in a totally unique bottle that will immediately stand out. This beer has a ridiculously high alcohol content (ranging from 24 to 30 percent), and Sam Adams has been working on perfecting the blend since 2002. This is a barrel-aged beer made with multiple varieties of German hops and a special malt blend.

Only around 15,000 bottles are sold every season, typically on odd-numbered years, and will run you around $200 to own just one. Because 13 states prohibit the sale of high-alcohol beer, this is definitely a rarity and definitely worth a trip to Boston if you want to snag one of these eye-catching kettle bottles to add to your collection.

Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout by Toppling Goliath Brewery

Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout is so hard to get and so very desired, there are actual counterfeit versions of this beer out there. Collectors need to get this barrel-aged coffee stout directly from Decorah, Iowa, where 300 to 400 bottles are released once a year.

You can find bottles of this beer at online auction sites, but you’ll want to proceed with extreme caution before buying. It’s best to check the brewery’s release schedule frequently, as Toppling Goliath does not maintain a regular timetable for this, and buy a genuine bottle directly from the brewery.

Photo Courtesy Untappd/David H.

Blabaer Lambik by Brasserie Cantillon 

Brasserie Cantillon is a highly-respected craft brewery in Europe, but it may be most famous for its blueberry Lambic loon, Cantillon Blabaer Lambik. This fruity beer is brewed with blueberries and has a strong fruit scent.

It's only sold from the Brasserie Cantillon brewery in Belgium. Some years, as few as 100 bottles of this brew are released. Bottles of it can be found at beer auctions occasionally, but be ready to pay for the privilege of owning this rare beer if you plan to buy.

Photo Courtesy Flickr/Bernt Rostad

The End of History by BrewDog

The End of History from BrewDog may, in fact, be the world's rarest beer. Only 12 bottles of this Scottish beer were released from 2010 to 2016. Maybe that's because The End of History, an ABV beer, was released in bottles made from a taxidermy squirrel. It's true. It also has a 55 percent alcohol content. Presumably, by the time you’re done with the bottle, you will no longer care that you’re drinking from a squirrel.

In 2016, Brewdog decided to open up a U.S. brewery in Columbus, Ohio and to make The End of History its first brew. However, you have to be very, very serious about your beer to get a bottle. It's only available to shareholders who invest more than $20,000. So how much is a bottle of beer worth to you?

Westvleteren Abbey 12 by Brouwerij de Sint-Sixtusabdij van Westvleteren

Westvleteren Abbey 12, an APV beer, is made by the Trappist Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Vleteren, Belgium. The Trappist monks at this monastery makes and sells beer to fund various charitable products. It's incredibly difficult to get bottles of this beer, though occasionally some do find their way to the U.S. Serious collectors will want to reserve a case directly with the monastery and then travel to Belgium in order to obtain the order.

Photo Courtesy Flickr/Trecca

Fou' Foune by Brasserie Cantillon 

Cantillon Fou Foune is aged with apricots that give it a bright, fruity taste. This beer comes on the market only twice a year, and all bottles sell out within the day of release. The beer is aged for 18 to 20 months at Brasserie Cantillon in Belgium, you’ll have to go there directly to purchase a bottle. You can only purchase up to three bottles with every release. This fruit Lambic has a world-class rating with "Beer Advocate,” so the taste is definitely off the charts. It has an alcohol content of 5.5 percent.

Beyond Fou' Foune, Brasserie Cantillon is also the home of Zwanze Day. A special event that focuses on a beer available in extremely limited quantities called Zwanze, this festival used to be held yearly before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, it's 2023 rendition has been delayed to spring 2024, but it's still worth a trip, as Zwanze is extremely hard to get your hands on otherwise.

Photo Courtesy Flickr/Bernt Rostad

Schorschbock 57 by Schorschbräu

Schorschbräu Schorschbock 57 is one of the rarest beers ever made and probably the strongest beer ever made. It has a 57.5 alcohol content, so you need to drink it sitting down. The brew was created with a unique brewing process that involved freezing the water.

Only 36 bottles of this Eisbock were brewed and sold when it was first released in 2011. It can be purchased through some exclusive craft beer shops, but be ready to pay a pretty price for this pretty rare beer.

Duck Duck Gooze by The Lost Abbey 

Made with a naturally-occurring yeast, Duck Duck Gooze has been on every beer collector's radar since its first 2009 release. This beer is only released by the Lost Abbey every three years, and most bottles are purchased the day of release. This is a sour ale with an oaky, leathery bouquet and a very distinct flavor.

You can only purchase this directly from the Lost Abbey in California, but every once in a while, you can get a taste of it. Rarely, you will find it on the Vintage List in their Tasting Room. This beer is so sought-after, tickets were issued in 2018 for the privilege of buying a bottle.

Photo Courtesy Twitter/The Lost Abbey


Chicha by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery 

Dogfish Head Chicha is so rare, it isn't even brewed every single year. This beer is based on an ancient Peruvian recipe that requires corn to be chewed up and spit right into the mash. When Dogfish releases this hard-to-find-brew, hope that you're in Peru to get a bottle or you will miss your chance.

Chicha has a fruity, spicy aroma and a dry taste, with an alcohol content of 3.1 percent. Most recently, Dogfish released just 200 bottles of this beer exclusively at their Milton Tasting Room and Kitchen in March 2018.

Oude Geuze by Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen 

Brouwerij Drie Fonteinen’s Oude Geuze is a must-have for Lambic drinkers. This Belgian beer is released yearly, and its growing popularity is making it more difficult to find every year it's released. This brew is one of the only traditional gueuze blends being made in Belgium, aged in oak casks that give it an earthy taste. For now, there are a few U.S. beer shops that occasionally carry Oude Geuze. Grab a bottle when it becomes available to get a taste of this Lambic that has a 6 percent ABV.

Cool Collecting

Some people collect stamps or coins or those souvenir spoons. But if you’re seriously into craft beer, then you know you need to find the rarest, most sought-after and hardest-to-purchase brews the world has to offer. Start by trying to get your hands on the beers on this list, and you’ll end up with a crazy cool collection that other avid beer drinkers will envy and admire.

Photos Courtesy Respective Breweries except where noted

Table of Contents - Issue 70