4% to 5%--New Entries?

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by dcw6363, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. dcw6363

    dcw6363 Initiate (76) Nov 11, 2009 Utah
    Trader

    So Utah has some dumb beer laws. Here is a thread that discusses them.

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/utah-general-beer-rules.579167/

    One of the dumb laws is that all tap beer must be 4% by volume or lower. Same goes for beer bought in a grocery store: 4% or lower.

    However this law will change slightly on November 1, 2019. The limit will go up to 5% for tap beer and grocery store beer. As an aside, I was pretty disgusted by the small magnitude of this change--the bill originally had it going up to 6%, which is still dumb, but at least it would get some decent beer in the grocery stores. However the 6% was deemed too strong and so they settled on 5%. Mostly what this will do is get regular Bud and Miller in the grocery stores and on tap. (FYI Utah can make/sell stronger beer, they just can't put it on tap or sell it in grocery stores.)

    I think most of the 4% beers are... not great. Some of them are not bad. Sometimes if it's appropriate to the style, 4% is fine. However most of the 4% ales, stouts and porters are a bit thin.

    Anyway my question is this: if a beer goes from 4% to 5% on November 1, does it get a new entry?

    Here is what the BA FAQ says for how to add beer.

    Recipe Variations
    • Brewers will often tweak their beer recipes over the years for numerous reasons, however, don't add a new version of the beer for minor tweaks. Examples: a minor change in ABV, hop/malt variety.

    Is the change from 4% to 5% a "minor change"?

    I am guessing most of the brewers will be making the jump from 4% to 5%. I ask every time I go to a brewery and they all say "oh yeah we are going up." 5% is right around the target range for some styles, some of the German styles especially. There are some brewers that I think will make some damn good beer at 5%. Take Templin Family for example; they do some German styles. Their 4% stuff is pretty good, so I have high hopes for the 5% stuff.

    On the one hand, a 1% change is not so high in absolute terms. And some beers might not even change, if the brewer is happy with the recipe (and sales). Plus it would be hard to keep track of what beer is being reviewed--does the reviewer even know if it's a 4% or 5%? Most cans/bottles give the %, but not all (I think).

    On the other hand, 4% beer is... not ideal in most cases. 5% isn't either, but for certain styles 5% is closer to ideal. So speaking just for myself, I would lean toward retiring the reviews for any beer that goes from 4% to 5%, and starting a new category for that beer, even if the name is the same. I would want to at least give that beer a chance. It might have been somewhat weak or thin at 4%, but much better at 5%. This could be a problem logistically though.

    What say you BA? New entries for any beer that makes the switch?

    Edit: if this belongs in Mountain forum, feel free to move. Thought it could use some general opinions though.
     
  2. raynmoon

    raynmoon Crusader (799) Aug 13, 2011 Colorado
    Trader

  3. Premo88

    Premo88 Poo-Bah (1,831) Jun 6, 2010 Texas
    Society Trader

    1. I've no idea what to do about the BA.com entries. I could see that going both ways, and it's the brothers' job to figure it out.

    2. While I understand your plight ... and I do ... not having access to 100s of great beers sucks. But the idea that beer can't be great under 4% might be the No. 1 worst thing about the American craft beer movement (no offense, milk IPA). Again, I think any cap on ABV is a horrible idea, and I'm on your side about that. Seriously. And we think our laws in Texas suck. :rolling_eyes:

    But here's a list:
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/31902/106836/?ba=Premo88#review
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/35210/423733/?ba=Premo88#review
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/2150/5561/?ba=Premo88#review
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/383/366362/?ba=Premo88#review
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/4909/37039/?ba=Premo88#review
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/24018/75930/?ba=Premo88#review
    https://www.beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/187/599/?ba=Premo88#review

    That's a teeny tiny tip of an iceberg on how good beer can be under 4%. There's untold numbers of examples more, and if we go up to under 5%, virtually every beer I love falls into that category.

    OK, I'm off that soap box. Maybe you can start rounding up as many state congress(wo)men as you can and force feed them Stone Enjoy By or Old Rasputin or Prairie Bomb! until they get it. Geez, just a mainline of one of Rushing Duck's stouts would set the entire Utah congress straight.
     
  4. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (3,408) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Society Trader

    Mayhaps this isn’t the right place for all my unanswered questions about drinking beer in Utah, but here goes...

    Are there already two of the “same” beer already in circulation out there? A 4% on tap and the actual/stronger sold in bottles? Typing it makes no sense to me, but then again so does capping the abv at 4%
     
  5. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,794) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    LOL I am beyond grateful I don't live in Utah. Holy cow with the laws, beyond silly.
     
  6. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,745) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
    Society Trader

    No kidding. I just had a great beer on tap the other day, at 15.5% ABV. The world didn't end, not going to hell for it. Puritanical laws only increase demand for what is limited/banned.
     
  7. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    You know for sure you won't go to hell for that??? :slight_smile:
     
  8. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Understand the dilemma. Tweaking a recipe does not need a new entry, unless the brewer feels the number of changes are large enough to deserve a new name and the expense of re-branding. If you want, on the beer entry page, you can suggest the ABV get an edit and why, etc.
     
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  9. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,491) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    'Holy' may be the operative word there. I'm guessing that the legislature is filled with members of the Mormon faith.
     
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  10. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Crusader (797) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Plot twist: Hell is actually Utah and he has to spend eternity there.:stuck_out_tongue:
     
  11. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Legislature there is dominated by folks from areas outside Salt Lake City, which is fairly cosmopolitan. As with some other religions, alcohol is a "no-no" for members of the Church. Unlike some countries, however, you can by alcohol there and there are some really fine breweries in Salt Lake area. There's a lot to recommend breweries that can produce a flavorful beer at low ABV.
     
  12. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    If flavorful low ABV beers is your idea of Hell, don't visit the UK.... :sunglasses:
     
  13. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,794) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    I would agree 100% with that.
     
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  14. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,794) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I am still on the look out for a low ABV session beer that tastes good. Maybe Utah can lead the way on this for us all? I am fine drinking low ABV beer if it tastes great, sadly most of the ones I had to date are on the watery/low flavor side.
    Cheers
     
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  15. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,794) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    It makes zero sense, they are forcing low ABV but what is stopping folks from just drinking 10 of them to get a buzz. I really don't see it helping anything its just a feel good law in my book.
    Cheers
     
  16. dcw6363

    dcw6363 Initiate (76) Nov 11, 2009 Utah
    Trader

    (Here I am discussing a beer style like a pils where 5% is close to the standard for the style.) My only thought is that the 4% entry is somewhat unfair to the brewer, since it doesn't represent the % that she/he feels is appropriate for the style. They were forced to brew it at 4%, but the 5% version is the way they want it. At least on a new entry, we are reviewing the beer the brewer wants to make, as opposed to the one she has to make.

    I think logistically it would be hard though.
     
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  17. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    What is stopping folks from just drinking 10 just to get a buzz? Well, one factor is the Bartender and the Dram Shop law, that makes the owner and/or the bartender legally liable if you drive drunk and do damage to other folks. Another is that if you do the 10 over the course of a long evening with friends your body processes out enouth alcohol that it can be done with out getting drunk.

    Feel good law? All laws are "feel good" laws. Especailly for the majority voters who elect the state legislature. If you think Utah is restrictive, don't bother to visit Saudi. :grin:
     
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  18. eppCOS

    eppCOS Meyvn (1,005) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado
    Society

    Utah: a gorgeous state, with a good % of the population still trying to live like it's 1870.
    Or 1370.
    I mean, there already was a Dark Ages - don't need to relive that. Cheers.
     
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  19. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (4,006) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    For sure it is a challenge to a brewer to get flavor and low ABV at the same time. But for some that is part of the fun!
     
    #19 drtth, Aug 27, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  20. dcw6363

    dcw6363 Initiate (76) Nov 11, 2009 Utah
    Trader

    I hear ya man, I am actually not a high ABV guy. In WI I drank a ton of good 4% beers; it helped that we had New Glarus there. Here in UT I am not finding a lot of good (for example) English milds, grisettes, berlinners, low % fruit beers etc. Some, but not a lot.
     
  21. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,794) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    I was referring to grocery store buys. The OP mentioned the same low ABV applied to them as well. I think if people want to get buzzed they will, regardless of making it low ABV they will just consume more to achieve the goal. I believe most bars are legally liable now in most states no? I thought they had to recognize when a customer had too many and cut them off.

    On a side note how do they treat hard liquor?
     
  22. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (600) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I was planning a snowboard trip last year and it was between Utah and BC. We went to BC but I still want to ride Snowbird.

    Are you telling me that the bars around the ski resorts or at the resorts itself all draft beers are 4-5%? Is so I am sure glad we went to Whistler.
     
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  23. Benish

    Benish Meyvn (1,079) Mar 13, 2013 Wisconsin
    Trader

    Snowbird is amazing, I lived in Utah for a couple years and glad to have the opportunity to snowboard there. Yes all tap beers will be 4-5%. Snowbird do serve beer though. Kinda nice to sit and enjoy the views while drinking a 4% Pilsner. Damn it, if I could move back to Utah, I would.
     
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  24. dcw6363

    dcw6363 Initiate (76) Nov 11, 2009 Utah
    Trader

    I am not aware of a case where the same beer (same by name) has a 4% version and a higher ABV version. I think in that case they just have two separate beer names
     
  25. dcw6363

    dcw6363 Initiate (76) Nov 11, 2009 Utah
    Trader

    You can buy hard liquor in the state-run liquor stores, the selection is fine. You can get regular hard drinks in a bar (a “full” bar) but they limit the amount that goes in each drink. So you can’t have a martini with 4 oz. of gin; this is a sin if you ask me
     
  26. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Defender (600) Mar 28, 2009 California

    Damn! I didn’t know that about draft beer. However, I would gladly trade higher abv beers to ride snowbird. I hear the terrain is awesome!

    A Pilsner after a day of riding sounds great! Some of my buddies might be less enthusiastic about the low abv when going out.
     
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  27. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (211) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Trader

    Can we just kick Utah and the Dakotas out of the US already? :grin:
     
  28. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,837) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    How do you feel aboot dry counties? Having to drive to another county just to GET some beer. Yikes.
     
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  29. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,794) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
    Society Trader

    LOL that is also dumb. I also hate places that won't sell beer in a grocery store, they force you to a standalone store for it. Laws and times need to modernize and just get over it already lol.
     
  30. Squire

    Squire Poo-Bah (2,309) Jul 16, 2015 Mississippi
    Society Trader

    That still exists around here. I live in a wet city in a dry county and two of the four counties that border ours are dry.
     
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  31. Amendm

    Amendm Zealot (585) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island
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    I can see why you trade.
     
  32. woodchipper

    woodchipper Meyvn (1,105) Oct 25, 2005 Connecticut
    Society

    OP- Good question, as the recipe and beer experience probably changes with a 25% bump in ABV. But I'm pretty sure the answer is no, that does not deserve a new BA entry. Waiting for a moderator or a Bro to chime in.
    And for all you people living in or surrounded by beer deserts, hopefully there are other things in your area contributing to your quality of life.
     
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  33. HorseheadsHophead

    HorseheadsHophead Poo-Bah (1,731) Sep 15, 2014 New York

    Ugh. Utah's beer laws suck. I'm sorry you live there.

    But my serious answer to your question is, I don't think the beers require a new entry for a slightly higher tweaked abv. Just report what beer you would like to have upgraded with the new abv.
     
    #33 HorseheadsHophead, Aug 27, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
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  34. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (8,339) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    If the brewery is not changing the name (think Stone Pale Ale 2.0 / Stone Ruination 2.0), then it probably should remain as a single beer entry and you can submit a change to have the ABV corrected to the new value.
     
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  35. Spaten454

    Spaten454 Disciple (367) Aug 23, 2012 Texas
    Trader

    This was Oklahoma ten years ago. I don't know if their alcohol laws have changed since then, but at the time you couldn't even buy cold imported beer from a store.
     
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  36. Spaten454

    Spaten454 Disciple (367) Aug 23, 2012 Texas
    Trader

    New Orleans has the opposite of the dram shop law. It protects the bartender and establishment from what drunks might do when they leave the place.
     
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  37. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,837) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    Solid but I would also suggest adding notes of the beers' previous abv so that people who have rated them before don't think that they screwed up.
     
  38. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (8,339) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    Always a valid option.
     
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  39. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (6,837) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Society Trader

    I was thinking both.
     
  40. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (2,745) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    If one beer would do it, then with all the other things I've done/consumed/said I am long past gone. :fire:
     
    #40 bbtkd, Aug 29, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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