What ABV do you consider a beer to be "strong"?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Smithrob9999, Mar 28, 2014.

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  1. Smithrob9999

    Smithrob9999 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2011 Texas

    When I first got into craft beer I remember thinking a 6% beer was pretty strong because it was quite a bit above the normal light beers people were drinking at the time. Then as time went on a 7% IPA or Dubbel felt like it was just trashing my palate. Even my first over 10% Imperial Stout was a huge turning point.

    I feel like now after Mephistopheles, BCBS, 120 minute, etc I almost consider a Stone Enjoy By a refreshing beer and Sculpin is damn near a light beer.

    Is anything over 5% still considered a strong beer, it's seems like maybe the bar should be raised to at least 7-8%. What do you guys think.
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  2. Pahn

    Pahn Initiate (0) Dec 2, 2009 New York

    above 6% is strong for me.
  3. StuartCarter

    StuartCarter Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2006 Alabama

    above 8% is my personal dividing line for "high ABV". "Strong" is a bit more subjective :wink:
  4. Donco

    Donco Devotee (486) Aug 12, 2013 Pennsylvania

  5. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Initiate (0) Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    Probably 8% and up, but then again you could define strong in terms of flavor of alcohol in the beer rather than the number on the bottle.
  6. JuicesFlowing

    JuicesFlowing Initiate (0) Jul 5, 2009 Kansas

    Depends where my tolerance level is. Pretty much agree with the OP though. I used to not like beers above 7% but now I tend to enjoy sipping on high ABV beers. I generally consider 7% or higher as "strong" ... In general.
  7. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Poo-Bah (1,917) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    Anything over 5% for me.

    Just because craft brewers on average are brewing stronger beers these days doesn't mean my ability to process alcohol has risen as well. If a beer is 5.5% abv, I'm not going to have a six pack of that particular brew. Unless I'm at Oktoberfest of course, then all bets are off.
  8. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,989) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    I still think of 'Doppelbock Range', or around 7% abv, as where the high gravity territory begins.
  9. MassiveBeerReviews

    MassiveBeerReviews Initiate (120) Apr 12, 2012 New Jersey

    12% and up for me.

    That being said I wish there some kind of magic to make my 6-8% beers tasted like my 10-16% beers!

    Always a battle between taste and abv for me.
    puboflyons likes this.
  10. ParkbrauFan

    ParkbrauFan Initiate (0) Feb 8, 2014 Iowa

    I agree with Donco anything 12+
    Donco likes this.
  11. Ranbot

    Ranbot Defender (668) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    8% or higher.
    jrnyc, nc41, doppletheGOAT and 2 others like this.
  12. Flibber

    Flibber Initiate (0) Jul 27, 2013 England

    It's hard to say. For cask beer anything 5% and above is strong, but that's just normal for a German lager isn't it? And nothing at all for a Belgian beer.
  13. SaCkErZ9

    SaCkErZ9 Poo-Bah (2,620) Feb 27, 2005 South Carolina
    Society Trader

    I draw the line at about 8%.
  14. herrburgess

    herrburgess Meyvn (1,161) Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina

  15. luisfrancisco

    luisfrancisco Initiate (173) Dec 1, 2009 Mexico

    I would agree on the 7-8%. I think it also depends on FG of the beer. My senses are not calibrated like a professional instrument, so the aftertaste sensation also counts. A dry beer seems more quaffable. I could say a 7% dry IPA does not go down as heavy, but might consider a 7% dubbel somewhat strong.
    JayORear likes this.
  16. jj139

    jj139 Initiate (0) Nov 25, 2013 California

    Generally 7%
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  17. HugeBulge

    HugeBulge Initiate (0) Dec 31, 2012 New York

    It all depends on the style .9% for an IPA and above 15% for a stout
  18. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (8,548) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

    My personal take is 8.0% ABV or higher.
    jrnyc likes this.
  19. gatornation

    gatornation Poo-Bah (11,464) Apr 18, 2007 Minnesota
    Society Trader

  20. KYGunner

    KYGunner Initiate (0) Sep 16, 2012 Kentucky

    This is a good discussion point...8 percent seems to be the dividing line for when beer qualifies to be aged so I would justify 8 as strong.
  21. StLeasy

    StLeasy Initiate (0) Sep 8, 2013 Illinois

    You might eventually feel like most/all IIPAs are pretty refreshing.

    IMO, it's just an easy-drinking style. Many times, they seem just as easy, if not easier, to drink than many beers with 3-4% lower ABV. IIPA's tend to not be very prickly, the sweetness of the malt cancels out most of the bitterness, and a heavy dry-hop makes for a very bright and quickly-disappearing beer. No doubt the higher ABV helps with the more-ishness.

    I consider ~7%+ strong.
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  22. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    It's between 6 & 7 .
  23. PA-hunter

    PA-hunter Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2013 Pennsylvania

    I thought 6% was high when I first started with crafts, but I still classify 7% as my own dividing line when calling something "strong" in regard to it's posted abv.
  24. SierraJosh

    SierraJosh Initiate (0) Aug 13, 2013 California

    Double digits, it's a mental thing for me.
  25. gcamparone

    gcamparone Poo-Bah (2,017) Dec 6, 2011 Rhode Island
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  26. OPJohn

    OPJohn Initiate (0) Oct 5, 2013 Florida

    Not to be nitpicky but the term Strong can mean so many things regarding beer. OP, I think you're referring to alcohol level in your beers. Generally, I prefer mine in the 5-8% range if i'm consuming more than one.
  27. JackXCI

    JackXCI Initiate (0) Mar 7, 2013 North Carolina

    Double digit for me
  28. TravisSaps

    TravisSaps Initiate (112) Feb 3, 2007 Tennessee

    6.3% for me because that is what Tennessee lawmakers tell me it should be.
  29. MarshallBirdhouse

    MarshallBirdhouse Devotee (407) Feb 19, 2013 Kentucky

    I can drink barrel strength bourbon neat. Alcohol burn isn't a problem for me. I guess it forces me to drink less.
  30. marleyr

    marleyr Initiate (0) Feb 25, 2014 South Carolina

    8% and above
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  31. racer2k

    racer2k Devotee (421) May 21, 2004 Massachusetts

    I feel like 8% is the point in which the ABV is getting high. Though drinking Heady Topper for thei first time you would never know that it had 8% abv on board given the smooth hoppy flavor in the can...There are so many main stream beers between 6.5-7.5% which seems to be the new average on the craft scene
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  32. mcrago

    mcrago Initiate (0) Oct 6, 2012 Indiana

    I think another question to ask is how many beers do you typically drink. I think some people may go for lower ABV beers because they want to drink a 6-pack. Personally, I think 12% or higher is strong, but I can also easily enjoy 1 or two beers and call it a day...
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  33. ToddSoonerFan

    ToddSoonerFan Disciple (316) Aug 23, 2013 Iowa

    I'd. Have to say 7%. Seems to be the Mendoza line for APA to IPA/DIPA
  34. jefffalcone

    jefffalcone Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2013 Massachusetts

    Yup. totally agree. Enjoy by is easy drinking, but it's still 9.4%, and that 9.4% will hit you just as hard as some boozy unbalanced thing that comes in at 9.4%. How strong it tastes, or how easy it goes down shouldn't enter into this conversation.

    I would also agree that if you're talking about craft today, around 7% is definitely above average ABV.

    I also agree with the op's point. Craft beer is mostly fairly strong. 6% seems to be the average, which ten years ago would have been considered strong.

    I warn people who aren't beer geeks if I give them anything 8% or higher. 7% is probably stronger than they are used to, but everyone expects the fancy beer to be a little strong.
    Ozzylizard, StLeasy and TongoRad like this.
  35. jefffalcone

    jefffalcone Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2013 Massachusetts

    I love you for mentioning the mendoza line. Opening day is just around the corner
  36. jefffalcone

    jefffalcone Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2013 Massachusetts

    Is this heaven?
    No it's Iowa
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  37. jefffalcone

    jefffalcone Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2013 Massachusetts

    What is a realistic person doing here? I thought we were all ridiculous jerks
    Jerkheart, doowhat and zid like this.
  38. Yellolab2010

    Yellolab2010 Initiate (0) Jan 25, 2014 Pennsylvania

    9% or higher is getting into that strong range which I am continually changing to the up side as I go, I'll say 10% now since this took me 20 seconds to type!
    Ozzylizard likes this.
  39. 57md

    57md Poo-Bah (3,413) Aug 22, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Pretty much anything thrown out by us in this thread is hyper-subjective. That said, 8% or above fits the definition of strong in my book.
    Aestro likes this.
  40. ChristopherShain

    ChristopherShain Initiate (0) Feb 9, 2014 Michigan

    The one that lays me to rest.
    Pahn, dianimal, doowhat and 3 others like this.
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