Vintage beer at a premium price

Danish brewer Carlsberg has developed a special "grand cru" beer that sells for 270 euros, a bottle.

by: AFP | 06 Feb 2008

"Two years ago I said to myself, 'why not make an exclusive, unique and special edition beer like they do with wine and good years and vintages'?" Carlsberg's 'special beers' brewmaster Jens Eiken.

Six hundred bottles of "Jacobsen Vintage No.1. 2008", a wink to the current year, were brewed in the cellars of Carlsberg founder J.C. Jacobsen, which date back to 1847.

The beer is a Barley wine, a strong ale that originated in England in the 19th century.

"It's like a 'vintage' champagne and can age for 10 to 15 years, as opposed to traditional beer which can be kept for at most a year," Eiken said.

The ale, which is allowed to mature for six months in new oak barrels from Sweden and France, contains 10.5 percent alcohol.

It has "a flavour of vanilla, caramel, smoky oak, Sherry and Madeira, which give it exceptional character," the brewmaster said.

Eiken doesn't find the price exorbitant.

"It took almost two years to develop this beer," and the process was "costly," he said.

The empty bottle, with an original lithograph by Danish artist Frans Kannik featuring four different motifs about Sif, the wife of Thor in Norse mythology, costs 500 kroner alone.

The first bottles were sold on an Internet auction site with the profit going to help children in Africa. Carlsberg is already planning a 2009 vintage.

Would you pay 270 euros (almost R3000) for this special ale?

- None


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