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Motor City Mike Presents: A Pricy Brew Through Time , Allsopp's Arctic Ale

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

In the world of beers, Allsopp's Arctic Ale stands out not only for its taste but also for its hefty price tag. This beverage has a fascinating history that takes us back to the 19th century, exploring the origins and the factors that contribute to its status as one of the most expensive beers in history. So grab a pint, sit back, and let's dive into the captivating tale of Allsopp's Arctic Ale.

The Origins:

Our story begins in the year 1852 when a British brewery by the name of Samuel Allsopp & Sons crafted a special beer specifically for an expedition to the Arctic led by Sir Edward Belcher. The goal was to provide a high-quality beverage that could withstand the harsh conditions of the Arctic, offering sustenance and warmth to the explorers.

Crafting the Perfect Brew:

To create this extraordinary brew, Allsopp's brewery employed their finest techniques and ingredients, ensuring a beer that would not only survive the journey but also provide a delightful drinking experience. The beer was brewed with a higher alcohol content, around 12%, and was aged for months, allowing the flavors to develop and intensify. FUN FACT, the high alcohol content prevented the ale from freezing, allowing it to be shipped in 1845 from London to the Canadian Arctic

The Pricey Reputation:

Fast forward to the present day, and Allsopp's Arctic Ale has become a rare and sought-after commodity. The limited supply and the beer's historical significance have significantly contributed to its extravagant price. Collectors, beer enthusiasts, and historians alike are willing to pay a premium to experience a taste of the past.

The Rarity Factor:

One of the main reasons for the expensive nature of Allsopp's Arctic Ale is its rarity. Over time, most of the bottles were consumed, lost, or damaged. As a result, only a handful of surviving bottles remain in existence today, making it a true collector's item. The scarcity drives up the demand and subsequently the price.

Auction Madness:

Allsopp's Arctic Ale has made headlines in recent years when bottles have been sold at auctions for jaw-dropping prices. In 2010, a single bottle fetched a staggering $503,300, making it the most expensive bottle of beer ever sold at that time. The allure of owning a piece of brewing history has captivated the attention of wealthy collectors, leading to intense bidding wars.


Allsopp's Arctic Ale is not just a beer; it is a symbol of craftsmanship, endurance, and history. From its humble origins as a survival beer for Arctic explorers to its status as one of the most expensive beers ever sold, this brew has left an indelible mark on the world of beer enthusiasts. So, the next time you enjoy a pint, raise a glass to Allsopp's Arctic Ale and the remarkable tale behind its lofty price. Cheers! Mike

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