Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.
Ok, so I’m as much of a fan of the “extreme” beers as the next guy, but things are getting a little bit out of hand. When I’m picking drafts these days, one of my primary concerns is ABV. At this point, you have to factor that in. The average craft beer seems to have risen to over 6% with your everyday IPA topping out over 7%. Want a stout? You’re probably looking at 8% or 9%. Christmas beer? 10% or more.
Don’t get me wrong, there are good session beers out there these days, but the specialty beers and the seasonals are getting a little out of hand. Want proof? Just look at some of the new seasonals available in Maryland right now. Mad Elf is 11%. Bruery 4 Calling Birds is 11%. Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is 10%. Uinta Dubhe Black IPA is 9.6%. Dogfish 120 Minute just came out at a whopping 18%! Victory Yakima Glory is 8.7%. Evolution Menagerie #3 is an even 10%. All delicious beers, all high abv.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re saying to yourself “there are great beers out there that are lower abv. This guy is nuts”. That’s true, I know. You can snag a Sierra Nevada Celebration at a meager 6.7%. Or a Sam Smith Winter Warmer at 6.1%. A Sixpoint Diesel at 6.8%. But the reality is that this becoming the exception rather than the rule. I beg you to find a winter beer that sits under 6%. Or a coveted seasonal that isn’t 8% or higher. When I choose beers for the restaurant, everyone wants the rare and unique. But when that’s the only thing I choose, we end up with more than half of our drafts at 8% or higher. And for a lot of people, or a lot of dayparts, or a lot of situations, that’s kind of limiting. So let’s keep making some high abv beers, but can someone please make me a drinkable, delicious, 5% Christmas beer?!?