$9 Beer?

They are selling Dogfish Head: 120 Minute IPA beer in my local for, get this, $8.99 (plus tax) for a single 12oz bottle.

Although curious as to what could possibly justify that price, I did not buy one. First, I didn't want to encourage them. Second, how can you buy just one, when your spouse sent you out you volunteered to go out and buy some nice beer. Third, I could see little chance of a good outcome. Either it would be awful and I'd feel cheated, or it would be great, but I'd still never spend that much for a bottle of beer again and might regret it.

Actually, can something 42 proof really be called beer?

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18 Responses to $9 Beer?

  1. Evelyn Blaine says:

    A lot of Trappist ales go for around $9 per 12 oz.-equivalent — and to be honest, it seems a steal. I mean, how much would one have to pay for a bottle of wine from one of the world’s oldest and most famous chateaux?

  2. Donald A. Coffin says:

    The “comparable wine style: grappa” guarantees that this is not for the faint-of-heart. Grappa strips paint and clears out your sinuses and is something Iusually take about an hour for a 1-ounce glass of.

  3. Steve says:

    Don’t be so fixated on the term “beer.” This ain’t Budweiser we’re talking about. A 12-oz bottle is a little less liquid than half a bottle of wine. Ever paid $20 for a bottle of wine? I’ve not had the pleasure of tasting the 120-minute yet, but I do know that there are a lot of very high-end crafted beers that have every bit the quality and complexity of a good mid-range wine. I’m not saying it would hold up to a grand cru or one of the huge Napa cabs, but you can’t get those for $20 a bottle.

    Anyhow “beer” is usually taken to mean an undistilled alcoholic beverage made from malted grains (usually Barley, sometimes wheat and occasionally oddball grains like rye as well) and hops. They’re doing some neat tricks with their yeast to get it to survive at 20% alcohol, but it’s definitely still beer…

  4. ruidh says:

    Technically, it’s a barleywine, not a beer. I paid $9 for a one pint bottle of Fuller’s Vintage Ale (1999) a few years ago and aged it a year or so more. It was a very pleasant sip when I had an occasion to drink it.

  5. ruidh says:

    Technically, it’s a barleywine, not a beer. I paid $9 for a one pint bottle of Fuller’s Vintage Ale (1999) a few years ago and aged it a year or so more. It was a very pleasant sip when I had an occasion to drink it.

  6. Michael says:

    I’ve had the 90 minute IPA, and it was worth every penny. If you like seriously hopped beers, you won’t be dissapointed. ruidh – I don’t know if I’d call it a barleywine. It has the alcohol, but not the maltiness I normally associate with that style.

  7. tony says:

    FYI: the Dogfish Head 90-minute IPA is maybe the best beer in America–a simple delight to drink–and it costs $9 for four. So try that sometime. Their Raison de’etre beer is also worth every penny.

  8. Enthusiastic assent on the 90 minute IPA – the best hopped beer I’ve ever had (not as keen on the Raison d’Etre – it has raisins)

  9. Byron says:

    Technically, a barleywine IS a beer. It’s just a beer with a high alcohol content. Beer is simply fermented grain (normally malted) without distillation. That’s it. And 120-minute is an American IPA, India Pale Ale. Not a barleywine.

  10. Michael says:

    I agree that the 90 minute is very good beer (it’s what I got on the day I spotted the 120 minute whatever-it-was). But at $9 for a four, I don’t think it’s enough better than, say, Indica IPA, which is about $8 for a six-pack, and which despite the garish package is nice beer. (Fun review of Indica IPA and over-serious review of Indica). We can get Presidente cheap around here often, and while I prefer an IPA even the six-pack seems self-indulgent.

    And no, this isn’t anti-beer snobbery: we don’t drink $20 wines at home except on very special occasions.

  11. Blue says:

    I might try the beer just to see what it taste like.

  12. peter jung says:


    I notice that your post on pineapples drew 3 responses. The post on beer has 11 replies already.

  13. Michael says:

    Peter, I notice you posted this on the beer thread, not the pineapple one. But just imagine what would happen if I wrote about fermented pineapples.

  14. Marvin Lieberman says:

    The Dogfish Ale you wrote about sells for about $8 for a six pack in stores in Brooklyn and Western Mass. It is excellent and was highly recommended in the Wall Street Journal within the last year.

  15. Marvin Lieberman says:

    Correction: I was referring in my previous post to the 60 Minute version of India Pale Ale.

  16. Randy Paul says:

    I’ve had fermented pineapple. At least it tasted fermented after I put my father-in-law’s homemade cachaça in the blender with it . . .

  17. Ben Hyde says:

    I have a liquor store I enjoy due to the extreme diversity of the staff. The music is delightful. The tattoos, the hair styles all extremely bizarre. So I says ‘What’s new and cool in the beer department?” The dude, who appears to in that curious intersection of hockey fan and dope head, brightens up and drags me over to to the belgian beer set section (which is at least 20 feet long) and brings my attention to the latest addition. His excitement over a recent additon is extreme. He hands me a liter bottle. 73$! I disappointed him.

  18. ruidh says:

    I had pineapple beer in China. Bizarre. It tasted like pineapple; and beer.

    I’d consider any beer with that much alcohol a barleywine, hops or no.

    I can’t find my Charlie Papazian, but Lutzen and Stevens agree with me in Homebrew Favorites, p. 75: ” Strong ales and barley wines are a continuation of the English pale ale style, moving toward heavier gravities, higher alcohol levels, and usually more bitterness. … Because they have such high gravities, barley wines can also be more highly-hopped and will also have bitterness of about 50-100 IBU.” According to this source, IPAs have bitterness in the 40-60 IBU range and gravities between 1.05 and 1.06 and barley wines have gravities between 1.09 and 1.12. 1.12 converts to 15% alcohol.

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