In the Name of Better Beer: More Buzz Coming

Author: Jason Harris
November 8, 2009

USAToday is reporting that some states are making legislative moves that will increase the amount of alcohol content in beers. Southern US states Alabama and West Virginia have recently passed laws that increase the maximum alcohol percentage in beer from 6% to as high as 13.9%. Other states are looking at similar increases as well.

For comparison, on average, beer has an alcohol content of 4.65% whereas wine averages around 11.45%.

So why would these states want to make beer stronger? It all has to do with beer makers wanting to make higher quality beers, many of whom are micro-brewers. From what little I know about brewing, the flavorful ingredients such as hops and malts, whose mixtures give us fantastic ales, have sugars that when ferment, make beer stronger.

So, the idea of increasing the alcohol content ceiling iss not about being able to get a beer buzz faster, the issue has to do with making beer better, especially with the rise of micro-breweries across the country.

Micro-brew lovers are known for not “drinking to get drunk”, but rather, they enjoy craft brewed beer for its authentic and unique flavor and profile. Also, craft beers are much more expensive than traditional macro-brewed beer. In my area, my micro-brews are typically $25-$35 a case whereas a more typical beer is $15-20 case.

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