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ABV listed on the bottle/can. Yay/Nay?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Chrixsus, Jul 25, 2013.


Should the ABV of a beer be required to be listed on the bottle/can by law?

  1. Yes

    291 vote(s)
  2. No

    29 vote(s)
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  1. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Aspirant (290) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    I appreciate it when a brewery includes the ABV on their bottles and cans. The ones that don't piss me off.

    What if I don't want to indulge in an 8% or higher brew so I'm only buzzed and not trashed for my 5 yr. old daughter's birthday party? What if I'm mislead by the crazy beer name and flashy design and when what I want is a huge beer that will wipe the floor with me what I get is half that?

    I don't go cliff diving at night and I don't trust brews with no darn ABV! :angry:
    sajaffe1 and RyanCave like this.
  2. Ivegotmule

    Ivegotmule Initiate (0) Nov 7, 2012 North Carolina

    100% yes. A 6pack of Oarsman is way different than a 6 of Hopslam. Safety first.
  3. utopiajane

    utopiajane Poo-Bah (2,388) Jun 11, 2013 New York

    Yay. You don't want to stand up only to have the floor hit you in the face.
  4. teal

    teal Initiate (75) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    I voted no only because "doesn't matter to me" wasn't available.

    It's rare that I'm prospecting a beer completely blind where I've not checked it out to see the style, how it fares to style, ABV etc off a web site - be it the brewery's or BA.

    Pretty much my one and only concern with a beer is taste - the ABV (and its side effects) are far enough down the list that having it on the can or not doesn't affect my decision making and thus I'm neither hot nor cold about having to have it labeled on the can/bottle.
    kemoarps, wonothesane42 and mythaeus like this.
  5. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Aspirant (290) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    A valid point for BA's...however, I'm referring to "The Masses" who don't do their homework.
  6. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (1,958) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I like seeing the ABV on a beer, but to enact a new law? That leaves me worried about more government meddling -- not to mention the taxes they'll try to add in order to make this a "law."
    PeterJ, Bones10, DemoniChris and 19 others like this.
  7. teal

    teal Initiate (75) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    I wouldn't trust the masses to bother to read the ABV and understand it or how it affects them either.

    When's the last time you actually saw anyone READ a label that was a casual or non BA drinker?
  8. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    I voted no because the last thing we need is another law.
  9. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Sure. I prefer my IPAs in the 6%-7% range and my imperial stouts around 11%.
    I also like to know that the cheeseburger I'm about to order has 1,100 calories.
    raffels, beertunes and utopiajane like this.
  10. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Aspirant (290) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    It's not that different, if at all, from the proof or ABV being required to be listed on bottles of hard liquor. Of course, the decision of whether or not breweries have to list this info on their brews is up to the individual states they reside in.
  11. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Poo-Bah (1,760) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    Try a Kuhnhenn DRIPA and tell me you don't think ABV should be required.
    Chrixsus likes this.
  12. ChestSplitter

    ChestSplitter Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2011 Mississippi

    Yes, and it should also be required on the menus/beer lists at bars. A 16oz pour of Brother Thelonius has a hell of a lot more alcohol than a pint of Miller Lite. Buyers should have that info.
    draheim and Chrixsus like this.
  13. Genuine

    Genuine Devotee (463) May 7, 2009 Connecticut

  14. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    There's no moral justification for using violence and coercion aka "the law" to find out the abv of a beer.
    beveritt likes this.
  15. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    If we have laws determining that a certain level of alcohol is acceptable to have in our bloodstream and still drive a vehicle, then hell yes we are entitled by law to know how much of a given beer we can drink and keep ourselves under that level.
    kemoarps, JohnnyMc, mmmbirra and 3 others like this.
  16. Chrixsus

    Chrixsus Aspirant (290) Dec 13, 2011 Illinois

    Have to disagree that violence and coercion equals what laws in this country stand for. Without laws we would have chaos...and U.S. laws are much, much, much better than most countries. The people have the power to change the laws that suck here...can't say that for most other places.

    Listing the ABV on the bottle is about protecting the consumer and others. I would hate to see someone walk in to a bar, unknowingly order one 10% ABV RIS that hides its booze well, drive home, get pulled over, and get a DUI. Or kill/injure themselves or someone else.
    kemoarps, CORKSCREWFISH and inchrisin like this.
  17. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    Sure, if you want to cite bad laws as justification for more bad laws then i suppose you are right.
    Robyn and beveritt like this.
  18. teal

    teal Initiate (75) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    I'd buy this if I ever met anyone who

    1. Could tell me their BAL with any degree of accuracy without a breathalyzer
    2. Actually used a breathalyzer before driving to make sure they're ok

    IOW - unless you're testing before you drive - you have NO IDEA what your BAL is - ABV on the bottle/can or not.
  19. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    That's an entirely different discussion, but I don't think you'll find a lot of people who would agree that anyone should be permitted to drive a car, no matter how drunk they are.
  20. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    This might be true. But I can tell you that my BAL after drinking a pint of 10% beer is likely to be about twice what it would be after drinking a pint of 5% beer.
    kemoarps and Chrixsus like this.
  21. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    If a brewery refused to comply, the BATFE would absolutely use violence and coercion against them. I would hate to see that poor fool get a dui too. I'm not promoting chaos, I jst believe there are other ways to deal with these issues besides getting 50% +1 to agree with you and then using guys with guns and matching costumes to "persuade" the rest.
    mntlover likes this.
  22. regularjohn

    regularjohn Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2013 New Jersey

    i got a 64oz growler of that recently, holy delicious. need moreeeeeeeeeee :grinning:
    KS1297 likes this.
  23. beveritt

    beveritt Initiate (0) Apr 6, 2006 Ohio

    I would like to see ABV on labels, but agree with the previously mentioned sentiment that the last thing we need is a new law.
    steveh and KS1297 like this.
  24. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Besides, isn't this already legally required? I can't think of the last bottle or can of beer I've had that didn't list this info. It's listed for beer on tap as well. I have to believe this isn't because everyone just mutually agreed to do it.
    kemoarps likes this.
  25. teal

    teal Initiate (75) May 3, 2012 Wisconsin

    Doesn't really matter though does it?

    Unless you test your BAL before driving - you don't know if you're over the limit. You might feel different after drinking 2 10% beers than you would drinking 3 5% beers but you don't KNOW that you're not over the limit on those 5% pints.

    I'm sure you "know" that a 10% beer is more likely to put you over the limit than a 5% but that doesn't change the fact that you're still determining your fitness behind the wheel by "feel" and not tested data.

    In the end - ABV on the can/bottle doesn't really give you any definitive answer on your fitness to drive/operate machinery/take care of infants.

    I'm just saying that the idea of ABV on a can/bottle's label somehow would keep people off the road because then they'd know they're not supposed to be driving is a reach.
  26. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    No kidding, that law that says I can't make a 3 year old kid work in a factory is bogus!
  27. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    3-year-olds are notoriously unproductive anyway.
    kemoarps, LaneMeyer, beerinNV and 3 others like this.
  28. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Yes.. I can't understand why someone wouldn't want this. ABV helps you better infer how many you can drink without being past your limit and how many calories you're consuming. It's two digits buried on a out-of-the-way portion of the bottle, why wouldn't anyone want this?
    Chrixsus and utopiajane like this.
  29. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    They run circle around those 18-month-olds though. Don't get me started on how I can't work those kids in my factories either....
    kemoarps likes this.
  30. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I do not by any of the arguments that people need to know the abv of their beer so they know how much to drink. I am sorry, we are adults and we all know when we are getting buzzed. If you must take up this argument, please include mixed drinks at the bar. No one know exactly how much alcohol is in their Old Fashioned or Manhattan but they are still expected to be responsible and know how much is too much.

    I am all for the inclusion if the brewery chooses but further mandates, regulations and government involvement does not benefit anyone.
    lpotter likes this.
  31. KS1297

    KS1297 Initiate (0) Apr 14, 2013 Wisconsin

    Hence no need for such a law. If an employer finds more economic value in a three year old than all of the unemployed adults out there, it's going to take a hell of a lot more than a child labor law to prevent society from collapsing at that point.
    beveritt likes this.
  32. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    Well I for one have deliberately avoided buying a certain beer specifically because I saw its ABV listed on the menu/beer list and I knew I would have to be driving within X amount of time. Maybe I didn't know that it would put me over the limit, but I knew that it increased the chances of getting me more buzzed than I wanted to be under the circumstances.

    I understand (vaguely) the knee-jerk reaction against more laws and regulations, but I guess I don't see why people are opposed to having more information at their disposal to make responsible decisions.
  33. draheim

    draheim Poo-Bah (2,408) Sep 18, 2010 Washington
    Beer Trader

    You're right. Pure, unfettered market forces are really all we need. There really isn't any evidence out there to contradict that.
  34. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    Yeah... if they don't do their homework, that's a good reason to put as much info as possible on the label.

    Just looked at all four beers from Victory mixed 12. Pils and PA don't list ABV. Hop Devil (6.7%) and Golden Monkey (9.5%) do. This is just weird to me. And the two listings are in very different places. And I had a few other beers recently that don't put it on the label or put it in all sorts of places. Contrast that with some odd-looking Lithuanian brand (they make Lobster Beer and Werewolf). When I saw it in the store, all the bottles had neck-hangers on them, advertising their ABV--8.2%, 9.6% and 12%. The English on the labels was pretty sloppy, so perhaps it was some cultural thing that high-ABV was a marketing point (kind of like Colt-45 and other 1970s "malt liquors").

    So let me modify the OP question--should all beer labels list ABV or just ones over "sessionable" range?
  35. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I am not against more information at all. Any information, used responsibly, is a great thing. What I am opposed to are those who throw out the need for mandates and regulations without thinking about what is involved with them. I am all for mandates and regulations that are necessary to protect but those that are put in place merely for convenience are always going to be questioned by me.
    KS1297 likes this.
  36. UCLABrewN84

    UCLABrewN84 Poo-Bah (12,199) Mar 18, 2010 California

    Calories? No. ABV? I lean towards yes. It's literally a few extra characters on the label, and I really can't think of any valid arguements as to why the ABV shouldn't be listed.
    ThePaintedGrey, Chrixsus and draheim like this.
  37. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Sure, people know when they are getting buzzed and should stop when they have had too much, I agree. But it's still nice to know what you're getting into. I'd hate to grab six pack of something that I planned on sessioning during a cookout only to find I am hammered after two beers. I would have to stop at that point and I'd be bummed, because I was hoping to enjoy several brews throughout the course of the day.

    Also, I believe alcohol content is listed on liquor bottles, so one could inquire what the ABV of their mixed drink was, if they wanted to (although the bar tender would have to probably do some quick math if there were multiples liquors mixed together. Nevertheless, the option is still there).
    draheim likes this.
  38. kzoobrew

    kzoobrew Initiate (0) May 8, 2006 Michigan

    I agree with much of what you say. I agree that it is nice to have the information but when we are talking mandates and regulations we should be talking about things that are a little more than a convenience.

    Liquor does list ABV on the bottle, and someone could certainly ask if they were concerned. Along the same lines a consumer consumer could, and should, do their due diligence to find the information regarding ABV on beer when it is unknown as well.
  39. mmmbirra

    mmmbirra Aspirant (206) Apr 19, 2009 Italy

    I, for one, like having that information. It's certainly a piece of information every brewery already has. Just stamp it on the label and be done with it.
    Chrixsus and draheim like this.
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