Would you pay $2,000 for a bottle of craft beer? If you're one of the 12 lucky souls who last month snatched up the most recent release of "Dave," a strong barleywine from Portland, Ore. brewery Hair of the Dog, the answer is yes.
Barleywine is a dark, robust beer that usually boasts a high alcohol content. "Dave" is no exception -- it's 29 percent alcohol by volume, the result of a 19-year aging first in oak barrels, then in glass bottles.
So why is it so expensive? Hair of the Dog began "Dave" sold for $80 a bottle in 1998. But it proved popular. Three years ago, bottles were auctioned off for $1,500 a pop. This year, the bottles were the most expensive they've ever been, at $2,000 each. But the price tag didn't dissuade "Dave" enthusiasts -- the only available bottles sold out within hours. (A percentage of profits will go to a charity, Guide Dogs for the Blind.)
Hair of the Dog first posted about the sale on Twitter on Sept. 25.
But only a few hours later...
O.K., so people will buy it. But is "Dave" really worth $2,000 a bottle? According to NPR, the beer's creator, Alan Sprints, understands that hype is a big reason behind the price. "There are wines that are so special that there are people willing to pay more than they're really worth," he said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that brewing of "Dave" first began in 1998. Brewing actually began in 1994.