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Mike Pomranz
June 22, 2017

Do you ever feel like it’s getting harder to find beers that aren’t high in alcohol? Does it seem like IPAs with ABVs hovering around seven percent dominate every tap list? It’s not just in your head. Despite a recent resurgence of lighter “session” beers, new market research shows that new beers really are higher in ABV than they were just a few years ago.

According to market research giant Mintel, 23 percent of new beers released globally last year had an ABV above 6.5 percent. In 2012, that number was significantly lower: just 15 percent were that strong. Those high gravity brews are mostly coming from America too, with over three times as many beers over 6.5 percent released in 2014 compared to those released in 2011.

“More global beer drinkers now view high ABV as a key quality indicator, inspired by the success of craft beer in the US – and increasingly globally over the past two years,” said Jonny Forsyth, Global Drinks Analyst at Mintel. “The craft beer phenomenon has made high strength beer acceptable for consumers. And not just acceptable, but trendy and sophisticated.”

However, if you’re the kind of person that prefers to avoid getting fall down drunk, you’re not alone. Mintel also found that only 37 percent of American beer drinkers say they’ve tried high alcohol beers and liked it enough to try it again. Apparently, some people just don’t like having a good time.

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