Carlsberg taps designer beer market with $400 bottles

Carlsberg has begun selling what it is touting as the best and most expensive beer in the world, priced at a hefty 2,008 kroner, the equivalent of $400 per bottle.

The Danish brewer is making just 600 Vintage No. 1 bottles, the bulk of which will be sold in three upscale Copenhagen restaurants.

"We believe that there are people out there who are willing to part with this amount of money just so that they can taste an amazing beer or to keep it on their mantelpiece," said Jens Eiken, the company's brewmaster, of the 10.5 per cent proof beer.

Eiken says the beer has a distinctive flavour, a blend of prunes, caramel, vanilla, oak and cherry port. The bottles are also labelled with a hand-stencilled print by Danish artist Frans Kannike.

The company says it will develop similarly priced beers for 2009 and 2010.

Carlsberg is one of many companies unveiling pricey, luxury food items. Serendipity 3 in New York set a record in November 2007 for the world's most expensive dessert with a $25,000 US chocolate treat that bested a Sri Lankan resort's $14,500 US fruit-infused confection.

With files from the Associated Press