WYOMING -- Good news for Wyoming beer drinkers.
The lack of regulation on the amount of alcohol in beer sold in Wyoming means that the new Samuel Adams “Utopias” beer is legal in the Cowboy state.
Not so in 15 other states where the 25.4-percent alcohol level is too high for it to be sold.
Last week, Samuel Adams’ announced the latest incarnation of its “Utopias” beer will be released on Oct. 11. The special brews are released every two years and this batch, the brewery said, is made with thousands of pounds of cherries and the highly-coveted “Balaton” fruit — which is another type of cherry — and foodies love it.
The reason it’s making news, however, is due to its alcohol content. At 25.4 percent, it’s six times what the average beer holds.
Does that make it really that much more intoxicating?
“Oh, sweet Jesus, yes,” said Mike Moser, executive director of the Wyoming State Liquor Association.
Moser explained that drinking a bottle of Utopias would be similar to drinking 17 or 18 ounces of straight tequila.
He said if a bottle was consumed in one hour, the blood alcohol content level in a 150-pound male could top 0.3 percent, about four times the legal limit.
“If you drank one of those containers in an hour, you could quite possibly be dead. You’ll either be hospitalized or wish you were,” he said.
Either way it would be expensive. Samuel Adams is selling the beer for $240 for a 28-ounce container.
Beer snobs say the beer is so costly because of the “long, painstaking process of brewing and aging thick yeast-based beverages like Utopias.”
Moser said the beer is so costly because people will pay for it.
“People love these weird beers the same way that they’ll spend $100 on Bourbon that they’ve never tried before,” he said. “People don’t necessarily drink more today but they are spending more when they do.”
It’s not unusual, Moser said, for the cost of wine to be more than the cost of a meal when going out to eat.
Regardless, he cautioned that Utopias should be considered sipping beer, not a chugging beer.
The states which don’t allow the beer include: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.