Rare beers are like hidden treasures in the world of brewing – they’re unique, hard to find, and often highly sought after by beer enthusiasts. These brews are not your average six-pack finds at the local store; they’re special, limited edition creations that showcase the creativity and skill of the brewers. If you’re someone who loves exploring new flavors and pushing the boundaries of traditional beer styles, these rare beers might just be your jam.
Heady Topper is a Double IPA from Vermont’s Alchemist Brewery. It has a bright and citrusy hop character, intricate layers of malt sweetness, and an intense yet balanced bitterness. Its unique, juicy flavor makes it a great beer to enjoy any time of year.
Westvleteren 12, also called the Flemish Burgundy, is a strong beer of Trappist with 10.2% ABV, but it still manages to go down smoothly. It has caramel, chocolate notes, and nutty aromas that are lovely after a long work day.
Pliny the Younger
If you’re a fan of IPAs, you’ll want to get your hands on Pliny the Younger, a triple India Pale Ale with a distinct bitterness and plenty of hops. This copper-toned beverage is an excellent choice for the fall or winter seasons, as it has a lovely warmth and orange and stone fruit notes that refreshingly balance out the boldness.
Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout
This rare beer is a barrel-aged imperial stout made with maple syrup and coffee, delivering bold espresso flavors and dark chocolate. It’s a smooth and creamy beer with notes of vanilla and a hint of sweetness that beautifully ties everything together. It’s one to try if you’re looking for something unique!
Dark Lord is a Russian Imperial Stout from 3 Floyds Brewing that packs a punch at 15% ABV, so it’s not for the faint of heart. It has an intense aroma of coffee, Indian sugar, and Mexican vanilla that creates an intense yet surprisingly balanced experience. I love drinking these whenever I want a single beer for the night since it’s quite heavy.
Barrel-Aged Abraxas from Perennial Artisan Ales is stout with hints of ancho chilies, cocoa nibs, and cinnamon. It has a nice roasted malt flavor with an aftertaste of smoke and oak that makes it unique. I think this beer is best enjoyed during the winter season, as it has a comforting warmth that’s welcome on chilly nights.
Samuel Adams Utopias
Samuel Adams has many common beers, but their barrel-aged Utopias beer stands out from the lineup. It has an astounding 28% ABV and elements of the barrel that have been aged for over 30 years. I love the vanilla, oak, and other distinct notes that make me question whether it’s even beer!
Nectarine Premiere from de Garde Brewing is a sour ale that contains real nectarines. It’s crisp and light but still has a nice tartness, making it an enjoyable experience. It’s perfect for summertime, and because of the nectarine, it holds a lovely sweetness that’s hard to ignore.
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout
Founders Canadian Breakfast Stout is aptly named because it comes from maple barrels and has notes of maple syrup and roasted coffee, reminiscent of an ideal morning. I don’t necessarily like to drink this in the morning, however. There’s also a chocolate flavor that lights up my taste buds after dinner or heavy lunch.
King Julius from Tree House Brewing Company is a New England double IPA that brings the hops! It’s one of their signature beers, and it delivers a complex hop flavor combined with a smooth malt character. The result is an incredibly drinkable experience you can appreciate any day of the week.
Pliny the Elder
We’ve already discussed Pliny the Younger, and if you like that sound, you’ll also love Pliny the Elder. Like a true elder, this beer is more relaxed than its younger brother, at 8% ABV instead of 10.25%. They make it with such a limited supply because it’s best enjoyed fresh to enjoy the slightly bitter and lightly floral notes.
Zenne Y Frontera
Zenne Y Frontera from Avery Brewing Company is a Belgian-style pale ale that’s been dry-hopped with a blend of European and American hops. I love the tropical fruit aromas from the hop combination, and it has a nice bitterness that’s well-balanced with a malty backbone. It’s definitely a beer I’d recommend to someone who wants something light and refreshing but still highly flavorful!
Maine Beer Company named this beer “Dinner” for good reasons. It has a unique, dynamic flavor profile, including fruity notes like mango and pineapple, savory notes like onion and garlic, and sweet notes like malt and caramel. The result is a delicious combination that’ll make you feel like you had a full-course meal with every sip.
Lou Pepe Gueuze
Lou Pepe Gueuze from Brasserie Cantillon is a traditional Belgian sour beer with a tart, acidic taste. It’s known for its complex flavor profile, which includes lemon, green apple, and biscuit notes. It’s an acquired taste, but once you get used to it, its tartness is truly addicting.
The Bruery Black Tuesday
The Bruery’s Black Tuesday is a Bourbon barrel-aged imperial stout that always seems to be out of stock. If you’re lucky enough to attain it, you’ll enjoy its sweet hints of malted milk balls, crème brûlée, and poached fig. It’ll surely leave you wanting more, so I recommend ordering more than one if you can!
Cantillon Fou’ Foune
Cantillon’s Fou’ Foune is an apricot lambic beer made with real fruit. It has a slightly sour taste balanced with a sweet apricot flavor, making it the perfect beer for any fan of fruity flavors. It’s both complex and sessionable at 6% ABV, so I recommend it as a great introduction to sour beers.
Fundamental Observation from Bottle Logic Brewing is an imperial stout aged in Bourbon barrels for 18 months. This aging process produces a beer with dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted coconut notes that make for an incredibly delicious flavor profile.
A Deal with the Devil Double Oaked
A Deal with the Devil Double Oaked from Anchorage Brewing is a double IPA aged in two different oak barrels. The result is a beer with notes of toffee, vanilla, and coconut that goes down incredibly smooth. It’s one of my favorite beers, and I definitely recommend it to IPA lovers looking for something special.
OWK is an American imperial stout from Side Project Brewing, and it integrates several of its favorite creations into one delightful, tasty stout. With an ABV of 15%, you’ll likely only want to drink one or two of these, but you’ll thoroughly enjoy the Bourbon barrel-aged vanilla notes.
Kaggen! Stormaktsporter is a strong Russian Stout from Sweden’s Närke Kulturbryggeri. At 10% ABV, this beer has a robust flavor profile with sweet and roasted chocolate, coffee, and malt notes. It’s a great beer for those cold winter months, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good stout.