From Advertising Age Magazine this very day:
While so much of the buzz around craft beer these days is about exotic, extreme ales — including some with soaring alcohol content — there is also a growing recognition that these blends must be balanced by easier-drinking brews. In the trade it’s called “sessionability,” which basically means you can drink more than a couple and not be stumbling drunk or so full that you’re looking for the nearest couch. And there’s a business side effect of so-called session beers: More people will drink them.
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There is no single style that defines craft. Top sellers have moderate levels of alcohol, including Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (5.6% alcohol by volume), Sam Adams Boston Lager (4.9% ABV), and New Belgium Fat Tire (5.2% ABV), but still more than the dominant U.S. beers, Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light (4.2% ABV), and Coors Light (4.2%), which is MillerCoors’ top brand. In recent years, crafts have pushed the alcohol envelope with new offerings such as Flying Dog Brewery’s “Raging Bitch,” a Belgian-style IPA at 8.3% ABV, and “Hellhound” a super-hoppy ale by Dogfish Head at 10% ABV.
Some in the industry are saying enough is enough. “There’s a myth that high-quality needs to be wrapped around high alcohol and that’s just not the case,” said Chris Lohring, an 18-year veteran of the craft industry. Mr. Lohring, who sold his brewery in Boston in 2004, recently got back in the game, launching a brewery called Notch that specializes in session beers under 4.5% ABV. The beers are sold in Massachusetts, with plans to expand to New York City.SHARE