Around the Region

Boston Beer offers potent Utopias

Associated Press / December 1, 2009

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It is banned in 13 states, and it sure doesn’t come in a six-pack.

Utopias, from Boston Beer Co., which also makes Sam Adams, is now the beer with the highest alcohol content, 27 percent. The brewer has released an updated version of Utopias, its biennial beer, with a price of $150 a bottle. The limited release of the brandy-colored Utopias comes as more brewers take advantage of scientific improvements to boost potency and enhance taste.

“Just part of trying to push the envelope,’’ said Jim Koch, owner of Boston Beer.

Since the 1990s, craft brewers like Boston Beer and Delaware-based Dogfish Head have produced “extreme beers’’ that challenge old notions, and decades-old laws. In some states, including Vermont and New Hampshire, Utopias’ alcohol level exceeds the cap. But such specialty drinks are still classified as beer if they are based on fermented grain.