I'm relatively new to the US (California, to be exact.)
I'm used to being able to tell what the alcohol content in a given
beer is. Most beers sold here (maybe just the ones made in CA, or
maybe all US beers?) don't have the content indicated.
Why is this? Is it a law? In Canada, where I'm from, it's always
California? My sympathies. Just don't start thinking
that's representative of the whole US.
It used to be a law that beer could not have the alcohol
content listed (while liquor and wine had to have it; go
figure). That law changed several years ago, so it's up
to the brewer/importer whether it's listed. FWIW I see
more beers with abv listed than otherwise.
With a notable exception: If a given state chose to require
beers to list alcohol content, like Oregon does/did. Not all
beer sold here *did* have alcohol content listed, though, I
suppose due to slackery on the part of out-of-state brewers.
I think it's still a requirement in Orygun.
It's a bit of a joke in the rest of the country to make fun of California to
compensate for how depressed everyone else is that they don't live here.
If you're in Venice, you're down the street from some excellent beer places
in Santa Monica - the Library Ale House and Father's Office. Haven't found
anything real top-notch for beer in Venice itself.
Yeah, the Ale House is great. Haven't been to Father's Office yet,
but I hear it's good.
It's true - life in SoCal is amazing. I've just got to figure out a
way not to have to drive as much as I do and I'll be completely happy.
As long as that way doesn't include being unemployed.
Getting back to the original question, even if the bottle doesn't have
the alcohol content many times you can find it on the company's web
I've got a small alcohol content data base on my Palm so I can compare
depending on the mood I'm in.
This is one of those post-prohibition state law things that foreigners
find completely nuts. Some states require alcohol content to be listed
(fair enough), some don't seem to mind, and some require that it *not*
be listed. Presumably the thinking is that people will always choose
the strongest drink if the alcohol content is listed (are these state
legislators all reformed alcoholics?) Meanwhile, it's impossible to
work out how much you've drunk.
Don't some states require alcohol to be stated as a percentage by
weight rather than by volume?
Best regards, Paul
Paul Sherwin Consulting
Mainly in the "maintstream" beers. Pretty much every craft brewery that
lists it does so by volume, at least from what I've seen.
The large brewers, if they label, will usually do so by weight. Largely
because certain states - Minnesota and Oklahoma come to mind - allow sales
of only "three-two" beer in groceries and the like, and stronger beers have
to be sold in liquor stores. The three-two beers reference the max alcohol
content, measured in ABW, of 3.2 that is allowed to be sold in groceries.
Since they often had to brew different versions of their beers to reflect
that, it became customary for a time to list by weight.
Steve Jackson a écrit :
Ah right... thanks for the precisions Steve. I assume this situation
with brewers using ABV and brewers using ABW does little in terms of
easing the average consumer's confusion ?...
This whole thread seems to be some sort of "retro pre-internet" 20 year
old thread. MOST of the US beers I see these days have alcohol content
listed on the label (and it happened quietly and without much fanfare,
IIRC)- I didn't realize that it was still a state-by-state thing. AND,
checking my refrigerator, Victory, Avery, Yards, Dogfish Head & North
Coast all list ABV (as does Anheuser-Busch- I found a Bud can in the
road and just check the label in the recycle can). Couldn't find any
alcohol listing on a couple of Brooklyn and Heavyweight products, tho'.
But, since I take it the Submarine Captain isn't in the US, one can't
expect him to know this. He is right about recalling the former
preference of US beers to list alcohol by weight, which gave their beer
a lower number than, say, Canadian beers, since alcohol weights less
than water. And thus the myth (currently being repeated in the thread
called "American beer compared to others") that American beer has less
Very little. And it's not just the States. It's what prompts Canadians to
claim their beer is so much stronger than American, never mind the fact that
the respective ABW and ABV values end up coming out to show startlingly
similar levels of alcohol.
Most American beers? I remain skeptical.
It's less of a state-by-state thing, but that's a recent development. It's
only in the last couple years that the Supreme Court weighed in saying that
states can't prohibit the display of that info, as some did. Or the bureau
formerly known as the ATF. Can't remember whose rule was struck down, the
states' or theirs.
No, no, remain skeptical, I said "most of the US beers I see..." by
which I meant "whose labels I bother to read" since technically I do
'see' all those doors of A-B, Miller, Pabst and Coors brands. I WAS
surprised to see it listed on A-B brands.
I only mentioned it because the OP in Calif. DIDN'T find it on the beers
he was looking at.
IIRC, didn't Coors (or Miller) go to court over not being able to list
alc. content a few years ago? I thought that's what did it.
I understand. (Hey, so was the first "Kidden" in the America, circa
I guess the big brewers like A-B and Coors don't export beer, they own
subsidiaries who brew beer for local markets. Any beer sold in the EU
has to have the ABV stated on the bottle (and the 'Best before' date).
US craft brewers are obviously interested in selling beer in
international markets so use ABV.
Best regards, Paul
Paul Sherwin Consulting
I don't know- I'd guess that the small amount of craft brew that's
exported from the US probably has separate labels from the stuff they
sell at home, to meet the particular rules of the importing countries.
Certainly most of the imports we get obviously are labeled for the US
(including some who leave the BEST BEFORE date off the bottle, even tho'
there's a place for it on the label).
I'd say that's a small percentage of the total craft brewers- most can't
even handle shipping their beers one or two states away...
But, getting back to original question (so, NO store clerks read this
newsgroup? We really have to wait until someone goes to the store
tomorrow and check out the megabrew labels?) do ANY US beers that DO
list alcohol content still use ABW (other than in 3.2 states)?