Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > The Homebrewer's Board

Is Beer Getting too Boozy?

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David in MN:
The backstory here is pretty simple. I've always loved the super boozy Belgian ales that have yeast funk and general weirdness. But in the past few years IPAs have become way too boozy. When I drink Delerium I know it's one and done. But a Stone IPA at 8% tastes the same as a traditional IPA at 4%. You're doing 2 for 1 without noticing.

I recently drank a Funky Buddha 'Hop Stimulator' beer.

It was delicious. I loved the hops and the malt back was perfectly balanced. I failed to notice it is 9.5% alcohol and was a little drunk after one bottle. Good as it was, that's barleywine, not IPA.

This feels like complaint from a jerk because I like whiskey and brew strong beers from Belgian Trappist styles to real German Hefeweizen at ~6% so the yeast has more funk. But an IPA (to me) is a ~4% beer you can have 3 of at the bar and drive home like a proper Brit.

The high hops high alcohol seems reserved to British styles. Nobody does a 10% alcohol Munich lager. And the Belgian, French, and Russian beers that have the high gravity come in small individual bottles, not a pack. Even the Brit barleywines and harvest ales come in tiny bottles for a reason.

For years I brewed an ideal British pub beer that had victory and biscuit malts and hopped by fuggles that was ~3%. It was a great session my friends would drink while we played cards.

Why do all the beers need to be 8% with 75 IBU? I realize that all homebrewers do the highPA thing but most calm down and make either lagers or Belgians. When I have a dubbel, tripel, or quad in bottles I'd caution anyone not to have 2. They're boozy and you'll wake up with a headache.

This doesn't even pass the logic test. I can make hoppy non-alcoholic water if you love hops. Belgian ale and hefeweizen need the extra gravity to get the yeasty flavors. Hops need only hops. If the only goal is super boozy flavored drinks we already have gin. Packing a 10% alcohol beer in a 12 ounce bottle seems crazy to me. I'm actually going back to German styles just because they are 4-6% and I can't trust the ale producers. I like going to the Gasthaus and having a few Haacker Pschorr Munchner Dunkeln and being able to play games and stay vertical. Better than the new IPAs which will make you drunk after one.

Alan Georges:
Oh I agree, and I say this as a drinker and not a brewer.  While I do enjoy the variety that we're getting these days, I've had more than one nasty experience with these new 9ers and have learned to be more careful.  Unfortunately, a lot of the time this means downshifting to beers with a lot less taste, given the selection a bar has on tap.

My youngest got caught by this last year, it is worse for the young ones who are not expecting it. Was at someones house and handed a beer, was not warned it was double alcohol, drank a couple and got overly drunk and sick.

I think beer should be in beer range of alcohol, different than hard cider or wine ! Beer is something people want to drink more of, sip all evening.

Smurf Hunter:
Yes.  I really appreciate trappist ales, and if it's a special occasion or I'm someplace that has a noteworthy beer available I'll indulge.
Though those are not "lawn mowing" or poolside beers for me. I drink the doubels and trippels like I would sip bourbon.

While I like a good balanced IPA, they have gone overboard.  That style has been beaten to death, and distorted from it's original form.  When I home brew I rarely make IPAs as they are too common. Instead I go for "weird" like a saison, or a really clrisp czech pilsner with saaz hops.

Not sure if it's all places, but in this area the brewery with taphouses have started making session beers to combat this.  You go into a taphouse with some friends to have a couple and next thing you know, you are over legal limit.

Personally, I'm not an IPA fan, but the other beer styles are going that way too.  The exception seems to be sour brews.  I love them and they tend to be lower alcohol.


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