OH BEER!

Distinguished Magazine - - Contents - SRINKA DATTA ROY

Did you know that there is beer, a re­fresh­ing treat en­joyed by mil­lions of peo­ple every day, and then there is BEER? If you have a thing or two about his­tory and tra­di­tion, not to men­tion mythol­ogy, then you will def­i­nitely be in­ter­ested to learn about the world’s old­est recipe. This par­tic­u­lar recipe is spe­cial be­cause of sev­eral rea­sons. Firstly, it is the old­est known writ­ten recipe, dat­ing back to nearly four thou­sand years ago. Se­condly, this recipe was a part of Hymn to Ninkasi, a song writ­ten in praise of a Sume­rian God­dess. The song was prob­a­bly pre­served orally for a long time be­fore it was fi­nally com­mit­ted to writ­ing.

Has the sus­pense gone on long enough? Well, we are talk­ing about beer! This pop­u­lar drink was an im­por­tant part of an­cient civil­i­sa­tions. In fact, it was the na­tional fer­mented drink of an­cient Baby­lo­nia. To­day, beer is one of the most widely con­sumed drinks world­wide. Did you know that there is beer, a re­fresh­ing treat en­joyed by mil­lions of peo­ple every day, and then there is BEER? The se­cond va­ri­ety would prob­a­bly cost an arm and a leg! If you are won­der­ing just how costly a beer can get, this ar­ti­cle can give you some in­sights.

SA­MUEL ADAMS UTOPIAS be­longs to the flag­ship brand of the Bos­ton Beer Com­pany, which sells its prod­ucts mainly in the United States. With an ABV (Al­co­hol By Vol­ume) of 28% (as com­pared to an av­er­age of 4.5% of your usual beer), this spe­cial beer is yours for $200 a bot­tle.

From Down Un­der comes CROWN AM­BAS­SADOR RE­SERVE LAGER, brewed by Carl­ton & United Brew­eries. This limited edi­tion lager has an ABV of 10% and prices rang­ing from $90 to $800 a bot­tle.

An­other Aus­tralian spe­cialty, this time from Nail Brew­ing brew­ery, is ANTARC­TIC NAIL ALE. Only thirty bot­tles of this ‘pure’ beer were pro­duced. While the first bot­tle was sold for $800, the se­cond was bought at $1850!

From Down Un­der comes CROWN AM­BAS­SADOR RE­SERVE LAGER, brewed by Carl­ton & United Brew­eries. This limited edi­tion lager has an ABV of 10% and prices rang­ing from $90 to $800 a bot­tle.

Beer is a ma­jor part of Ger­man cul­ture and is brewed as per the Rein­heits­ge­bot, or ‘Ger­man Beer Pu­rity Law’. It is no won­der then that Deutsch­land brings to you one of the world’s strong­est and most ex­pen­sive beers---the SCHORSCHBRÄU SCHORSCHBOCK. Priced at $275 a bot­tle, the Schorschbock is made with wa­ter, bar­ley, wheat malt and hops. With an ABV of 57.5%, this one sure packs a punch!

For any beer afi­cionado, the name ‘Carls­berg’ is a pretty com­mon one. There is noth­ing ‘com­mon’, how­ever, about the CARLS­BERG JA­COB­SEN VIN­TAGE. The Dan­ish brewer went on a hat-trick in 2008 with its Vin­tage col­lec­tion. Priced at ap­prox­i­mately $400 a bot­tle, these rare bot­tles come with an ex­piry date of 2059! So, if you man­age to get your hands on a bot­tle, you can save it for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions!

If all this al­co­hol has gone to your head, then maybe you need to step ‘out’ a lit­tle; right up to outer space! The world’s first ‘space’ beer, SAP­PORO SPACE BAR­LEY was de­vel­oped by Ja­pan’s Sap­poro Brew­eries us­ing Haruna Nijo malt­ing bar­ley that was grown in the Zvezda Ser­vice Mod­ule of the In­ter­na­tional Space Sta­tion. This ‘other-worldly’ beer, priced at $110 a bot­tle, was limited to in­ter­net sales and Ja­panese res­i­dents.These are but some of the ex­clu­sive and ex­pen­sive lagers that at least some of us have been lucky enough to taste.

Our quest for the world’s rarest and most ex­pen­sive beers takes us to the Land of the Pharaohs. Way back in 1990, Cam­bridge ar­chae­ol­o­gist Dr. Barry Kemp dis­cov­ered Queen Ne­fer­titi’s Royal Brew­ery in Egypt, com­plete with traces of the Queen’s own beer! The 3000-year old in­gre­di­ents were iden­ti­fied to brew the TUTANKHAMUN ALE. While the first bot­tle was sold for an as­tound­ing $7865, the rest of the ‘royal ale’ sold for $75 per bot­tle.

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