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A Class of Blue Buds

Friday's Brews You Can Use

We'd been suspecting it for a few years now, but this article from Forbes confirms it: conspicuous consumption has infiltrated beer, the most beautiful bastion of the blue collars.

"The Italian word for chutzpah is audacia, but it might as well be 'Sam A. Calagione.' His Dogfish Head Craft Brewery packs an 18% alcohol content into its stout and gets $9 (retail) for a 12-ounce bottle. That's twice what the Trappist monks in Belgium charge for their Chimay ale and ten times what you'd pay for a Coors. 'We saw $100 as the magic number," Calagione says, referring to what distributors pay him for a case of 24. "It seemed like the most outlandish figure we could charge.' Today his Web site posts a release schedule of brews, as if they were the finest Bordeaux."

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Eric Scheske

Eric Scheske