With limited-release beers attracting rock concert–style lines at shops carrying them, wildly expensive resale markets, and near hysteria, it's easy to get swept up in the hype for every new quadruple-hopped pale ale and ridiculously strong stout. More hops, or a few months in bourbon barrels, generally makes an awesome beer, but not every iteration is worth your precious time and cash. Here are 11 of the best rare beers in America that are worth tracking down.
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Brewer: Perennial Artisan Ales
Style: Imperial Stout
Perennial Artisan Ales' barrel-aged Abraxas epitomizes the freewheeling approach the brewery applies to classic styles by incorporating cacao nibs, cinnamon sticks, and ancho chiles into an already intense imperial stout. Ancho chiles pack a raisinlike flavor in addition to a mild heat, and the brewers have built in chocolate flavors and a malty depth that stands up to it. The barrel-aged version of Abraxas sleeps in Rittenhouse Rye barrels and promises to add notes of both this whiskey and some vanilla from the wood.