8 Most Ridiculously Expensive Beers That Aren’t Worth It

It’s hard not to love a cold beer, but not all of them are worth the price tag.
Updated May 20, 2024
Fact checked
Young friends having a party

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Benjamin Franklin is erroneously, yet irrevocably, linked to the phrase, “God made beer because he loves us and wants us to be happy.” He didn’t actually say it, but beer connoisseurs can attest to the spirit of it.

Of course, as imbibers know, not all beers are made equal. While some are cheap and some will require a second job, some are simply way overpriced for what they offer you.

Here are eight ridiculously expensive beers that you should avoid wasting your money on.

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Beer at NYC airports

aapsky/Adobe beer and breadcrumbs with cheese

The Big Apple also has big beer prices.

LaGuardia Airport in New York City is facing criticism for its steep beer prices, averaging around $12 per bottle, making it the second highest in North America. If you’re looking for a Sam Adams Summer Ale, get ready to pony up almost $30.

BrewDog’s Sink the Bismarck

det-anan sunonethong/Adobe craft beer in the glass

Described as an "amplified" IPA, "Sink the Bismarck" is a hard-to-find beer that can cost well over $400 at some online stores.

This beer boasts four times the hops, four times the bitterness, and a staggering 41% ABV, which may not appeal to everyone's taste buds. It was created in response to a challenge to brew the world's strongest beer, ultimately losing to Schorschbrau's 57% ABV Schorschbock.

BrewDog’s The End of History

Mystery/Adobe glass of cold beer

BrewDog's End of History, once priced at $20,000, is no longer available, but its intriguing tale remains. Initially boasting a 55% ABV, it was created in fierce competition against Schorschbrau. Each bottle was encased in a taxidermied animal, selling for $765. In 2016, it was revived for BrewDog shareholders, offering a unique ownership opportunity.

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Bruery Papier 2009 Anniversary Ale

Pixel-Shot/Adobe dark beer and snacks

Released in 2009 by beer manufacturer The Bruery to commemorate its first anniversary, the Papier 2009 Anniversary Ale comes with a hefty price tag of nearly $300 per 750 ml bottle.

This potent brew boasts a 75% oak-aged and 25% barrel-aged blend with a robust 14.5% ABV. Initially, it was exclusively available at the brewery but later became accessible through select retailers like BestDamnBeerShop, where it retailed for $249.99.

Drinks at F1 racing

adimas/Adobe formula one race cars

Formula 1 racing is booming in the U.S., bringing yet another opportunity to enjoy overpriced beer at sporting events.

At the 2024 Miami Grand Prix, prices were steep across the board, with some tickets exceeding $10,000 at the suite level. A bucket of 12 oz. Heineken beers cost $60, while a bucket of 16 oz. domestic beers were $55.

Fenway Park

Bruce Leighty/Adobe fenway park night in boston

We can always go out to the ballgame, but beer prices at Boston’s Fenway Park have jumped in recent years.

If you're planning to catch a Red Sox game, budget ahead. You can expect to pay around $11 for a 16-ounce of beer.

Super Bowl beer

Jacob Lund/Adobe fans cheering during a match

Let's face it, attending the Big Game already costs a pretty penny. But if you're willing to splurge even more, head to the concession stands.

At the most recent Super Bowl in Las Vegas, a can of Bud Light cost $16.99 while a Michelob Ultra would’ve set you back $18.99.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin

Дмитрий Баронин/Adobe a glass of dark beer

Tactical Nuclear Penguin, known for its remarkable potency, is best savored in modest quantities and with an air of sophisticated nonchalance. Good luck finding a bottle, but if you do, you can expect to pay $400 or more.

Approach it as you would a fine whiskey or a really good rock album.

Bottom line

Syda Productions/Adobe happy male friends drinking beer

While Ben Franklin might be oft-misquoted, people do enjoy beer. Some are reasonably priced, while others come with a hefty price tag that doesn’t match their quality.

While we can’t tell you precisely what beers you’ll prefer — everyone’s palette differs — you'll save more shopping when you avoid these.

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Author Details

Will Vitka Will Vitka is a D.C. area reporter and writer. He previously worked for WTOP, The New York Post, Stuff Magazine, and CBS News.

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