Ohio to get a taste of Utopias

Written by on June 22, 2016 in Beer - 4 Comments

Sam-Adams-Utopia-OhioSamuel Adams Utopia is one of the most highly coveted bottles of beer, clocking in at a massive 30% ABV. It also comes with a massive price tag: $200 for a 24-ounce bottle. But Ohioans have never had to make the hard choice to shell out the cash for a bottle, as Utopia — and all beers above 12% — were not legal in the state until a few weeks ago, when the legislature passed a bill to remove Ohio’s beer ABV cap, which Governor Kasich signed into law on May 31.

“Now that the ABV limit has been lifted, Ohioans can experience innovative and boundary pushing beers, like our Samuel Adams Utopias, which we hope to offer to drinkers in Ohio in the near future,” said Jim Koch, Founder & Brewer of Samuel Adams.

High ABV beers will be able to brewed and sold in Ohio after August 29, though Samuel Adams, which also operates a brewery in Cincinnati, has not yet set a date for debuting the coveted Utopias in Ohio.

“Since the [law] just passed, we’re still looking into the logistics of having Utopias for drinkers in Ohio,” said Ashley Leduc, a spokesperson for the brewery.

Koch says eliminating the ABV cap is important for innovation in the brewing industry.

“Brewing is a form of art and the possibilities as a brewer are endless,” said Koch. “Creativity and innovation can’t be capped at 12% ABV.”

Utopias and other high ABV beers are still illegal in a dozen states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia and Vermont.

About the Author

Cheryl Harrison. Editor of Drink Up Columbus. Geek of the craft beer/board game/sci-fi varieties. Fan of patios.

4 Comments on "Ohio to get a taste of Utopias"

  1. Keith Pritchard June 22, 2016 at 4:50 PM · Reply

    Since these are higher alcohol brews above 21% are they only going to be available through state stores? At 30% abv which is above a natural fermentation level, this is likely freeze distilled (concentrated).

    • Cheryl Harrison June 24, 2016 at 3:15 PM · Reply

      That’s a good question, I’ll have to look into that. I know they will have to be MARKED as “high alcohol” but not sure about where they can sell

  2. Kevin Dobo September 9, 2016 at 1:05 AM · Reply

    Not sure how Ohio’s laws will apply, but from what I’ve been able to find around the ‘net, Sam Adams achieves the 28% (it’s not actually 30%) thru fermentation using “2 proprietary yeasts”. Other famous (notorious) high ABV beers going above Utopias ABV are freeze concentrated to remove water.

    One possible yeast strain is “Super High Gravity Ale Yeast” by WyLabs, which they advertise “can ferment up to 25%”, pretty close to the 27-28% of Utopias.

    • Barclay April 3, 2017 at 3:28 PM · Reply

      Hey Kevin, get a life bro

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