Awkward ABV spot

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by mambossa, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (127) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    I just had a really odd observation today. And I’m entirely expecting to be the odd one out on my own experience.

    I bought some Columbus Brewing Insane Wanderer Vol. 1 IPA over the weekend. And it’s just marvelous and STUPIDLY drinkable. Yet for the 7.4% ABV, it proved quite dangerous.

    It was then I realized I never really go for beers within the >7 to < 8% range. I don’t think I’ve bought an IPA within that range in...shit, quite a while. It’s usually above or below.

    When I want a beer, either I want to have quite a few on the weekend or (if it’s been a long day at work) I want to have just one heavy hitter afterward. It’s an awkward range for me. That range can have a super crushable beer, but it’ll crush you right back if you’re not careful

    I also have been seeing so many IPAs trending on the 6% range or lower, and all others hitting 8% plus. There’s something about that 7% that seems like the blurring line between a reasonable “session” beer and a “one-hitter”.

    Why are my feels so strong??
  2. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,608) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    Certinly beers in the 7-8 Abv range are not session beers. For IPAs 7% is about right, Dipas around 8. I'm drinking Neshaminy Creek Shape of Hops, at 9.5 it's a big boy, maybe a bit too big.
  3. SammyJaxxxx

    SammyJaxxxx Poo-Bah (2,217) Feb 23, 2012 New Jersey
    Premium Trader

    Most of the time, if I get an IPA that is 9%+ it is not for me. Shape is an exception. I really like that beer when I can get it fresh.
    BeastOfTheNortheast, rozzom and nc41 like this.
  4. Mvsmvs92

    Mvsmvs92 Disciple (367) May 31, 2011 Ohio

    I find quite a few beers in that range,Rheingeist Truth or Jackie O's Who cooks for you but yes they will still kick your butt{in a good way}
    beergoot likes this.
  5. zid

    zid Champion (895) Feb 15, 2010 New York

    7.4% makes the feels so strong!!
  6. mambossa

    mambossa Initiate (127) Jun 30, 2015 Ohio

    Who cooks for you is like 5.5%. A true banger
    Mvsmvs92 likes this.
  7. Lahey

    Lahey Disciple (355) Nov 12, 2016 Michigan

    7-8% is an odd in between number strength wise, but I've had some damn good ipas in that range. It's the ones above 10% that I have a hard time with anymore. They just get too boozy and sweet for me.
  8. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,584) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Trader

    I have no problem with ABV unless I am at a bar and have to drive, then I am shopping <6 or if I am looking for something to drink by the pool, then I am in the 4 to 5 range. Anything else will come to the house and get drank after I walk the dog
    beergoot likes this.
  9. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (1,608) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina

    SOH, it an excellent beer and drinking it you'd never guess it was 9.5 Abv. I'm at the beach in the sun and that's where the 9.5 shows itself. But it's certinly not an overly sweet boozy mess, I don't care for those at all.
    BeastOfTheNortheast likes this.
  10. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,256) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Before the NEIPA craze, most standard IPAs I found in stores were in the 6%-7.5% range and that was most of them. DIPAs were made and could be found but they were not as widespread. Most everything under 6% was then a pale ale. NEIPAs pretty much reset the standards for IPAs with most ABVs <6% or >8% as more then norm with the 6-8% range historical standard being the rarity now.
  11. invertalon

    invertalon Devotee (426) Jan 27, 2009 Ohio

    I consider 7%+ DIPA territory for IPA's. So I tend to drink them as much as any imperial type beer, which isn't too often these days. I really dig the more sessionable stuff below 6% almost all the time now. Tend to only do higher ABV stuff anymore when we share with friends and such.
    SaltofOH, spelingchampeon and eppCOS like this.
  12. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Story of my life, I definitely enjoy living in this danger zone. I look at the brewer and BA when I pick a beer, the ABV is almost irrelevant to me. With the rise of Hazy IPAs flooding the market, it feels like 1 of every 2 beers I pick out is extremely dangerous. Cheers!
    spelingchampeon and LuckFreeZone like this.
  13. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,236) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    Deep space from Half Acre is a good beer, but you know that 9% is there. It's kinda boozy. Deep earth from Old Nation hides the booze well, and that ahit is crushable, dangerously crushable.
    WadeBridgman and eppCOS like this.
  14. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (830) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I think if you stop using the word "feels" that you'd be able to drink more than one 7% beer and not feel that they are dangerous or that you'd be crushed by them.

    Just a thought.
    WadeBridgman and matthewp like this.
  15. Celtics76

    Celtics76 Defender (656) Sep 5, 2011 Rhode Island

    The majority of IPAs I drink are in the 6.5-8% range. I find this range in most cases provides the most balance. Once you move past 8%, issues arise (too syrupy/boozy for example).

    Any IPAs under 5.5% are not for me. Hop water.
  16. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (122) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    I've given up on beers with high ABVs for health reasons, but I would agree that 7.4% is in an awkward zone, as you put it.
    NickSMpls likes this.
  17. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (830) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    But you still drink low and normal ABV beer?
    Lonestar9 likes this.
  18. Immortale25

    Immortale25 Poo-Bah (3,011) May 13, 2011 North Carolina

    7.5% used to be my sweet spot. Jai Alai for instance was a good go-to for me. Now that I'm a bit older, I've found that it gets me there too fast when having multiples in the 7%-7.5% range. I've now decided that 6.8% is right on for me. However, I'll probably drop down to 6.3% or something in a few years and continue the downward trend after it.
  19. syppr

    syppr Initiate (38) May 19, 2011 Florida

    The 7% was pretty much the range for the popular IPAs such as Two Hearted, Centennial, Torpedo, etc. What has changed is the new standard 16 oz cans which deliver 1/3 more beer, including alcohol, to the ol' body. More feels per serving.
  20. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (543) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    FWIW, I don't think it was the NEIPA craze that caused this, but it probably helped. I think there was a larger trend in the craft beer market towards more sessionable beers in general before the NEIPA grabbed the spotlight. Mainly I think of the big pre-NEIPA spike of "session" IPAs and pilsners/IPLs, whose ABV usually trended lower. Beers like Founders All Day IPA and Oscar Blues Pinner had already set the path for the low-ABV NEIPAs.
    cjgiant and drtth like this.
  21. eppCOS

    eppCOS Crusader (703) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    For Archer fans, and for the OP, you're talking about...

    Also, to @SFACRKnight -just had Deep Space last night @10% and didn't get any booze off it. Ridiculously smooth. Dangerous... but it was only 2 weeks old..
  22. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (122) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    Yes, but the health issue (herniated disc/sciatica) is not really affected by alcohol, but rather it prevents me from being active...thus a need to reduce my calories and volume to offset the likelihood of gaining weight.

    Get this...I've been drinking Miller Lite...and get this, I actually find it to be enjoyable if ice cold.
  23. matthewp

    matthewp Initiate (156) Feb 27, 2015 Massachusetts

    Personally I find the 8%-9%ish range kind of dangerous. Especially for IPA's. At 10% plus I'm usually pretty careful and slow in drinking them, they also tend to be non IPA's as well. When you have a few high ABV IPA's on the other hand they go down a bit too quickly. I've learned to not break out the high ABV IPA's at family gatherings....
  24. Ahonky

    Ahonky Initiate (122) Feb 13, 2018 New York

    You're a wise man. I too learned this long ago after a rather disastrous Christmas Eve,
  25. spelingchampeon

    spelingchampeon Zealot (529) Feb 21, 2016 Delaware
    Premium Trader

    If I'm only drinking 2-3 brews, I like the 7 to 7.5% range. Jai Alai and Centennial are great 12oz beers for this. Singlecut has thrown me for a loop a couple of times, but only because those 16oz cans catch me off guard. I had a Modern Times - Citadel (7.5%) bomber the other night that I finished up my night with, and when I was done that, I was DONE!
    Troutbeerbum likes this.
  26. EnronCFO

    EnronCFO Devotee (492) Mar 29, 2007 Massachusetts

    My kingdom for reliably fresh hoppy beers in the 5-6% range.
    SaltofOH likes this.
  27. mkh012

    mkh012 Zealot (540) May 7, 2015 New Jersey

    6-7.5% is where I prefer my hoppy beers, for the most part.
  28. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (830) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    I love a good shunning at a family gathering. Nothing makes an afternoon or evening more fulfilling than dirty looks from relatives about whose thoughts I couldn't care less.
  29. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (226) Jun 4, 2005 California

    I can't say any particular ABV is awkward, like style just depends on my mood.
    Ranbot likes this.
  30. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,256) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Agree. Enough body to be a little chewy, but not boozy/thick and sticky nor the other extreme of session IPA "hop water".
    mkh012 likes this.
  31. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    Hate to break from the group, but if you consider 7% a DIPA by default that's just ridiculous. In that case just make every IPA a DIPA and reserve IPA for sessions. FOH! For me most DIPA's are 8% plus, with only a few true DIPAs in the 7's.
    spelingchampeon and papposilenus like this.
  32. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Initiate (161) Aug 2, 2017 New Jersey

    I've learned the opposite, my family doesn't have the stomach for them so nobody takes my beers! Cheers!
  33. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (2,256) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland

    Agree, I don't think it was NEIPAs specifically, just the timeline when brewers started to navigate towards the extremes vs. the median ABV. Most of the classic American IPAs and even West Coast IPAs that were widely distributed and regional are between 6-8%.
    Ranbot likes this.
  34. Ranbot

    Ranbot Zealot (543) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Once upon a time there was a lighter IPA-like beer style that was simply called a pale ale too. :wink: :grin:
  35. M-Fox24

    M-Fox24 Crusader (782) Mar 17, 2013 New Jersey

    Most Tree House DIPA fall < 8%
  36. EvenMoreJesus

    EvenMoreJesus Champion (830) Jun 8, 2017 Pennsylvania
    Premium Trader

    Those pale ales don't sell as well as IPAs, you know.
    Ranbot and GGBS like this.
  37. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Meyvn (1,236) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado

    deep space isn't a huge boozy mess, however deep earth is of a similar ABV, and it's less obvious. Both are great beers in their own right, but in comparison to each other the booze is more prominent in deep space.
    eppCOS likes this.
  38. Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse

    Ten_SeventySix_Brewhouse Initiate (128) Jul 20, 2016 Arizona

    Yep, I've been saying for a while: I like single IPAs (<~7%) and TIPAs (>~10%), but I almost never buy DIPAs anymore. That 7-10% range can be too easy-drinking to have just one, but too strong to have more than one. At least the 10+ percenters feel like sippers. Some may disagree with my style definitions (or the very existence of a "triple IPA"), but there is my logic, nonetheless.
  39. Dan411

    Dan411 Initiate (88) Mar 20, 2017 Missouri

    I get what your saying OP with this awkward ABV range. In my experience, the only time beers in that range become awkward is if they don't drink like the bigger beers that they are. When, for instance, that 7.5% goes down like a 5%. When in doubt, balance it out during a session, and respect the ABV.
  40. GGBS

    GGBS Initiate (34) Jul 5, 2018 California

    Ive always considered 8% as the minimum ABV for a DIPA. IPAs clocking in over 7.5% would just be considered strong IPAs.

    Agree there's been an awesome uptick in hop forward, super flavorful, lower abv ales in the last few years but don't really think there has been a decreased in 7-8% abv brews either.

    papposilenus likes this.