Vintage beers — special brews dated with their year of production — are made by relatively few breweries around the world. Perhaps the famous example is Thomas Hardy’s Ale, produced by Eldridge Pope in 1968, 1974, 1975, and 1977-1999, and then brewed by O’Hanlon’s from 2003. A wine-like strong brew of around 12% alcohol, Thomas Hardy’s Ale will age and develop with time, and is said to be drinkable even twenty years out.

In central Europe, the most famous vintage beer is Samichlaus, a extremely strong lager of 14% alcohol, originally made by Hürlimann in Switzerland until 1997, then produced by Austria’s Eggenburg from 2000 onward. Vintages are said to develop for at least five years, if not much longer.

And on the other side of the world is Coopers Extra Strong Vintage Ale.

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