Noble Experiment

Entrepreneur. Cocktail and spirit champion. Old world wine provocateur.

The Big Beers Just Keep Getting Bigger…

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?!?


One comment on “The Big Beers Just Keep Getting Bigger…

  1. brian
    March 11, 2012

    Hi, there’s a manchester (england) brewery called jw lees that makes a really nice beer called brewers dark, that could possibly fill your need for a lighter “winter beer”. It’s only 2.8% abv and is a real session beer, but still has a depth of taste I haven’t often found in weaker beers ( I believe it won a CAMRA gold award). In the uk at least it’s significantly cheaper than many other other bottled ales due to the lower abv, and is sold in most of the major supermarkets, perhaps it’s possible they ship to foreign markets too

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This entry was posted on November 23, 2011 by in Beer, Rants and tagged , , .
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