Posts Tagged ‘5% abw’

High-Gravity Beer

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Once again the issue of high-gravity beer has been raised, now in a story for Radio Iowa by Pat Curtis. He covers most of the major points of the issue while staying neutral.

But nothing can hide the confusion of Lynn Walding (head of the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division). “I think it’s a little disingenuous and misleading to call them beer… they’re aging and finishing like a scotch whiskey.” Let’s ignore for a moment that it’s not the place of the state to define a well-defined term (like pi?). We can’t ignore the fact that these beers age and finish like (and are almost exclusively in the alcohol range of) fine wine, not spirits. And in Iowa, native wines are legislatively encouraged for their economic development effects. Wineries are invited to the ABD for feedback. Where are our native breweries? Why were they not invited? All brewers want is equality.

This might also be a good time to point out that the numbers for 2009 high-proof beer sales have been released. Sierra Nevada’s Torpedo, Bigfoot, and Celebration once again make every other brand feel impotent. Together they are 72,840 bottles of beer that could have been made by an Iowan if the legislature modernized our ancient alcohol laws.

Edit: The story is also available in audio format from Iowa Public Radio (stream or download).