America’s Weak-Beer Wars
C. Jarrett Dieterle
As any astute beer shopper can attest, alcohol retailers’ shelves these days are loaded with a wide array of innovative craft brews. These beers are not just diverse in terms of style, but increasingly they are diverse because of their alcohol content. Several years ago, the alcohol levels in beer began rising as American drinkers became obsessed with high-octane brews. While this trend continues apace, there has also been a recent rise in lower-alcohol suds in taprooms as brewers experiment with new varieties.
The beneficiaries of these magnificently fermented experiments are consumers. Beer drinkers are becoming more sophisticated and thus demanding ever-newer releases and varieties of craft beer. The supply of the market, in other words, is rising to meet demand. Unfortunately, this dynamic market continues to be hampered by arbitrary state laws that limit the alcohol level permissible in beer. State lawmakers need to redouble their efforts to clear away these antiquated relics and let the beer flow.