Portland beer costs $2,000, brewer insists it's worth it

Portland beer costs $2,000, brewer insists it's worth it »Play Video
Hair of the Dog's $2,000 beer that has been aged since 1999.

PORTLAND, Ore. – What’s the most you’d pay for a bottle of beer? Ten dollars? Maybe 20?

How about $2,000.

A dozen people recently paid two grand for a bottle of beer at Portland’s Hair of the Dog brewery. The bottle has been dubbed the most expensive beer in the world.

Don’t let the price fool you – the beer was so popular that the twelve bottles sold out in just a few hours.

We were lucky enough to head over to Hair of the Dog on Friday and chat with brewer Alan Sprints about his prized beer.

“You can’t just go anywhere and find this beer,” Sprints said as he pointed out the brew date on the bottle: 1999.

Sprints brews beers, studies it and believes it’s every bit as fine as wine. And much like wine, he believes that making great beer takes time.

“I’ve always been a big believer in the fact that there are beers that do improve with time,” Sprints explained. “If you look behind you all of these beers on the rack, they’re all vintage beers I’ve collected from stuff I’ve produced over the years.

Sprints first aged his expensive beer in bourbon barrels, and then it continued to age it in the bottle.

“I actually add fermenting beer when it’s inside the bottle and it re-ferments when it’s inside the bottle and that re-fermentation process helps it improve with time,” Sprints said. “That’s called ‘bottle conditioning.’ And that bottle conditioning process is something I do that most brewers don’t do.”

He said the barrels add flavors like vanilla and coconut, similar to flavors a winemaker looks for.

“It’s a way for me to kind of change the beer a little bit and get more money for the beer I make,” Sprints explained.

He has other aged beers that are a relative bargain with three-digit prices. He doesn’t sell them regularly, however. You’ll find just a handful of these rare bottles for sale every few years.

If you can get your hands on it, Sprints thinks it’s worth every cent.

“I’m happy to say a lot of people who’ve paid $2,000 a bottle have actually enjoyed the beer.”