You may think that your local off-licence stocking a the latest Brewdog creation is a rare occurrence. But that’s nothing on some of these ridiculously rare beers. From secluded Belgian monasteries to hops actually brewed in space, grab yourself a (probably less prestigious) bottle and enjoy as we show you four of the rarest brews from around the world.
Affectionately known to beer aficionados as Westy, to get your hands on this beer you need some serious dedication to travel – and a little bit of luck. Brewed at the Trappist Abbey of St Sixtus in Vleteren, Belgium, this 10.2% ABV has been consistently been voted among the best beers in the world.
However, it only goes on sale four times a year, and you have to go the Abbey to collect it. Around 15 miles from the city of Flanders, this wouldn’t be too hard – but there’s also a waiting list. And a long one at that. Should you get your hands on it, you’ll have to register your car’s licence plate, ensuring that you won’t return to pick up more for six whole months. Oh, and you’re not allowed to sell it either. Although you may find some local Belgian shops surreptitiously stocking priced up bottles under the counter!
Cantillon Blåbær Lambik
Another Belgian drink for this list – boy they must know a thing or two about beer. This distinctively sour yet fruity beer is fermented with wild yeast, like all the Lambic beers of the Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, Belgium. However, this one is extra special. It’s only brewed once a year, exclusively for the specialist beer store Ølbutikken in Copenhagen. Despite the sour notes, it has a 4.8 rating on Rate Beer, with one user commenting ‘I never knew beer could be this good’.
Goose Island Bourbon Stout
This 14.1% American Bourbon County Stout is aged for 12 months, in barrels that were previously used for whisky. To make even more different, the warehouse it is stored in is not temperature controlled – meaning the wood expands and contracts throughout the seasons, diffusing its flavours into the beer. With only around 800 bottles per release, the Beer World Cup medal winning Goose Island Bourbon Stout has a cult following amongst beer lovers. So much so that they auctioned the last few cases of this year’s product in a live stream on Facebook.
Sapporo Space Barley
Yes, this is the beer that was (partly) made in space. Well, it was brewed back here on Earth – but the hops were grown aboard the International Space Station. Orbiting between 403 and 406 kilometres above the Earth, at 17,200 miles an hour, we don’t think any other beer in the world could hold a candle to this in terms of exclusivity. Sadly however, it supposedly doesn’t taste that great. Which is not hard to believe when you consider it was made with 100% barley, and no other additives at all. Japanese brewer Sapporo only made 100 litres of this 5.5% beer, way back in 2008. And with the majority of it drunk at a special tasting event that year, it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever even see one – let alone get to taste it.