NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- No matter how much craft beer takes off or how many 22-ounce and 750-milliliter bottles of it show up in restaurants of note, beer's still considered wine's slack-jawed yokel cousin.
Let's put this out there: Why is it naturally assumed that wherever wine is being drunk, people in linen pants are counting money and discussing offshore holdings and wherever beer is being drunk there's a large sporting event nearby or a game of cornhole just waiting to happen? For every 30-pack of Busch, there's a box of Franzia. For every $1 tallboy of Narragansett, there's a $5 bottle of Kendall Jackson.
For every bro at a college beer pong table wearing a hat backward and yelling "woo!" there's a couple of empty-nesters knocking back samples at a nearby winery and celebrating their newfound independence just as loudly.
Beer and wine aren't separated by much until you get to the cellar. The tannins and acids in the winemaking process help great vintages age well and become sought-after commodities valued in the thousands of dollars. While there are some beers served well by a bit of cellaring, almost none reach the age or the value of their vino contemporaries.That doesn't mean they never will, though. Craft beer lovers have spent the past few years experimenting with the cellaring process and have had success with barrel-aged varieties such as Dogfish Head's Burton Baton old ale/IPA hybrid and Green Flash's Belgian-style Le Freak as well as Belgian varieties that benefit from a bit of time in the cold. Combine that cellaring with some rare batches and blue-collar beer suddenly becomes a hot commodity. We took a look through the racks and found 10 beers that are not only rare finds, but hold their value for beer lovers looking to swap or sell: Kate The Great
Style: Russian Imperial Stout
Alcohol by volume: 12%
There are a couple of common threads that run through the beers in this list: Many are Russian Imperial Stouts. Many have very limited production capacity and release windows that escalate demand. Many force normally sane people to stand in line for hours and bypass beers that are just as good (if not better) to claim their prize. Die-hards line up overnight on the streets of Portsmouth, N.H., each March and brave bone-chilling winds off the water for their glasses and bottles of this high-octane warmer. Though tough to resell, Kate The Great's real value is as a trading chip for some of the other beers on this list.
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