UK drinkers dial down the alcohol

Reuters reports on a trend toward lower alcohol beers in the U.K.

And they do mean low alcohol – as in 2% alcohol by volume. They are being compared to more commong 4% beers. How strong are those. America’s Budweiser is 5% and when Americans refer to “three-two” beer sold in Utah and Oklahoma they really mean 3.2% by weight, which is 4% by volume.

Analysts say there is a reaction against high-alcohol beers with UK drinkers demanding a “session” beer for drinking more on one night, while the lower-alcohol beers may encourage more “drinking occasions” and attract new drinkers such as women.

“Over the last three years we have seen a bit a pullback from premium beers to more sessionable beers amid a consumer reaction over excessive alcohol,” said one analyst.

The story points out that 50 years ago Britain’s traditional ale-type beers, typically drunk by heavy industry workers, used to be 3% or less.