from K.M. Weaver at the HopPress blog
“Over the last ten years, about 30-40% of new international beers have had alcohol levels with 5.5%+ ABV, while the proportion of U.S. beers with this characteristic has steadily risen to nearly twice that. Today, more than 70% of new American beers are these bigger, bolder, less-sessionable beers.
In 2009, the average ABV of new U.S. beers rose beyond 7% for the first time. New non-U.S. beers, in comparison, have continued to hover around 5.5%.”
These numbers are sure to intrigue the beer geek crowd because they put a number to alot of anecdotal evidence seen at breweries across the country.
What I would like to see is the future of this graph. Because I think the peak has been reached. Numbers will drop because there is a ceiling to the ABV before it’s not beer anymore. (For me that is 31%). My guess is that the median will drop to about 6%. Session beers and extreme beers will occupy swaths to the left and right but the sweet spot in the middle will be the king IPA. A trend that I don’t see leaving anytime soon.