Not even compared to absinth, even SKYY vodka has a higher ABV and we well that everywhere.

The end result is a 28 percent alcohol-by-volume beer that's void of any carbonation. According to Forbes, Utopias is illegal to sell in 11 states because it's so alcoholic.

This $200 beer is reportedly illegal in 11 states, but not Texas.

1 Answer 1


States often have different laws for beer and spirits, including different licensing requirements, different requirements for sales, and so forth. Because of that, some states have limits on the percentage of alcohol that is allowed in beer. In North Carolina, where I live, all spirits sales are state-controlled, and retail sales are only allowed in state-owned Alcohol Beverage Commission stores. Beer, however, can be sold by traditional private retailers such as grocery stores and convenience stores. Because of this, North Carolina also limits how much alcohol beer can contain; the maximum here is 15% ABV. (alcohol by volume.) So, Samuel Adams Utopias is indeed illegal here, as are a number of Dogfish Head beers, and a few others.

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    FYI, it's not that it's illegal to sell these high octane beers in these states, it's about taxes and packaging. When they go over the alcohol limit, say 15% for NC, it kicks it into the Liquor category and the taxes are much higher per bottle and they have to package it as such so the breweries don't want the additional hassle of printing labels for all these different states and paying the taxes. Commented Nov 12, 2017 at 14:07

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