How strong is that beer?

May 16th, 2007 | Posted by Real Beer

CBS 4 in Denver found out not everybody knows even close to how much alcohol is in their beer.

“Twenty eight percent?” said one man. “Seven percent,” said another.

Alan Gionet put together a story that explains why some beers are stronger, as well as listing their strengths. Pretty basic stuff if you’re already a beer enthusiast, but with more consumers turning to craft beer every day quite useful.

Things get confusing when you get to dark beers. Many think they have more alcohol. Not true. The chocolaty colored Guinness Draught sports only about four percent. That’s less than Bud Light, Coors Light or Miller Lite.

“That is one of the classic misperceptions about beer strength,” said Eric Warner, co-owner, or “Lead Dog” as he likes to title himself of Flying Dog Brewery in Denver.

“The strength in beer comes from how much grain you put in, not the color of the grain,” Warner said. “Alcohol actually has, contributes a flavor and a lot of times what you’re doing in the brewing process to create more alcohol, you’re going to get more flavor out of it as well.”

Warner said there seems to be demand for higher alcohol beers right now and his company is responding with some heavyweights.

“As the category of craft beer keeps evolving, people want to try newer bolder products,” Warner said.

We’ve got our own list at Realbeer.com that includes not only alcohol strength, but calories and carbs when available.

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4 Responses to “How strong is that beer?”

  1. SteveH Says:

    “As the category of craft beer keeps evolving, people want to try newer bolder products,”

    Are those the same “people” quoted at the start of this article? The ones who wouldn’t know 28% from 7% in their beer?

    S.

  2. Stan Hieronymus Says:

    So is the question whether these people consider 7% the session beer or 28%?

    Perhaps.

  3. SteveH Says:

    I think the real question is how they would react if they really knew the strength of the beer they had in hand. “My Miller Lite CAN’T be 3.8 — I’m hammered on it every night!”

    S.

  4. Jessie Jane Says:

    I think this is a great example of the power of consumer education. If the craft beer industry really wants to expand their market into more mainstream outlets, they are going to have to do a much better job at educating the general consumer base about what beer really is.