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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, beers 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.

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
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
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
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.

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).

Photo Courtesy Flickr/George Ruiz


Dark Lord
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
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
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
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.


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