Why Samuel Adams’ utopias are banned in North and South Carolina

Samuel Adams 2021 Utopias is scheduled for release on October 11.

Samuel Adams 2021 Utopias is scheduled for release on October 11.

Samuel adams

Samuel Adams’ mighty Utopia beer is slated for release next month, but people in the Carolinas likely won’t be able to get a drink.

This is because the special beer has an alcohol level by volume of 28% and is so strong that it is illegal to sell it in more than a dozen states, including North Carolina and Carolina. from South. Malt liquors, including ale and lager, cannot have more than 15% blood alcohol content in North Carolina, according to the state’s Alcohol Control Commission.

In South Carolina, the alcohol content is capped at 5% by weight, or about 6.3% ABV.

The limited-edition Utopias will hit shelves on October 11, according to a press release from Samuel Adams. This is the 12th edition of the rare blend, which has been “finished on 2,000 pounds of cherries … to add a slight sweetness and a touch of tangy flavor”.

Sam Adams Utopia.jpg
Samuel Adam’s limited edition Utopia beer is so potent it’s illegal in 15 states, including North Carolina and South Carolina. The special beer has an ABV of 28%. Screenshot of Samuel Adams’ website.

The “fiery blend of several batches of extreme beers” has been aged in a variety of casks, the beer company said, including French oak wine casks from Sauternes to give the flavor profile hints of apricot and of caramel.

“We pioneered the barrel aging and blending process of Utopias almost thirty years ago and continue this centuries-old tradition today,” said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Samuel Adams, in a communicated. “The result is always special, spirited and deserves to be waited for.”

Even in states where the Utopia blend is legal, a bottle can be hard to find. Samuel Adams brews an extremely limited batch of beer – about 13,000 bottles every two years, according to CNN. Beer is also expensive, priced at $ 240 for a 25.4-ounce bottle.

That’s about $ 30 more than the 2019 edition, Fortune reported, and $ 40 more than the one released in 2017.

How do other alcoholic drinks compare?

Twenty-eight percent ABV is exceptionally high for your average beer, which typically contains between 4% and 5% alcohol, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

“Snake Venom”, produced by the British Brewmeister, is considered the most powerful beer in the world and exceeds Sam Adams’s Utopias with an ABV of 67.5%, according to Food & Wine magazine.

By comparison, most wines have an alcohol content of between 11% and 13%, while spirits / distilled alcohols have around 40%, the NIAAA website says.

This story was originally published September 20, 2021 4:15 pm.

Tanasia is an Atlanta-based national real-time reporter covering Georgia, Mississippi, and the Southeastern United States. It also covers retail and consumer news. She is a Kennesaw State University alumnus and joined McClatchy in 2020.

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