Your ideal ABV in a beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by Shanex, Jun 16, 2022.


What’s your preferred ABV?

  1. Low! Anything under 3%

    3 vote(s)
  2. Medium, from 3-6%

    78 vote(s)
  3. Bit higher, 6-9%

    65 vote(s)
  4. I like my beer strong; 10% more.

    12 vote(s)
  1. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,778) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Society Trader

    Good day advocates.

    A question that may come as very broad, simple but (hopefully) not dumb that most everybody might be inclined to reply to in a few words or in a lengthier response.

    What’s your preferred ABV in a beer? I know too well this very much depend on your style of choice, the season and weather and so forth.

    Right now Western Europe is experiencing a heatwave and reading some posts here and there it seems like North America is also enduring hot temps.

    Question include a poll which I narrowed down to four options and choices.

    Personally, I love anything from 6 to 9% ABV which is already allowing me a very wide range of style and breweries. Pale ale, IPAs, Belgian abbey, porters or even some Belgian triple.

    Also love a good stronger stouts but right now in the heat of this evening and lacking one, I think a perfect summer evening drink would be Pilsner Urquell.

    Cheers and thanks for voting/participating in this thread.
  2. Ffenski

    Ffenski Devotee (430) Apr 24, 2008 Ohio

    It will be 94° while enjoying a Steely Dan show tonight- a crisp, clean, cold, straw-colored lager at 5 something % ABV will be fantastic.
    russpowell, Amendm, DrOfGolf and 7 others like this.
  3. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (10,128) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    Personally I like something in the 4% range as I find them to be very easy to drink and not as filling but I’m not a young buck (not too old either, just middle aged).

    I tend to prefer the lower ABV because I can have a couple without being too impaired or having a hangover the next day.

    Don’t get me wrong, I drink beers of all different ABVs but that is the sweet spot for me.
    Rug, eppCOS, russpowell and 15 others like this.
  4. beer_beer

    beer_beer Defender (620) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    Good thread, you know my answer. Things have lead to that I only drink low abv, what's more, 0.5% max. Kind of an arbitrary limit, but consensus is that represents no alcohol, and the market is evolving. Many styles are offered as NA, waiting for more though.
    Rug, eppCOS, russpowell and 11 others like this.
  5. kp7

    kp7 Initiate (100) Feb 8, 2021 Massachusetts

    I'm a big fan of the 3-6% range. Huge variety of styles to keep the palate happy and lower abv to keep the liver healthy(ier).
    eppCOS, russpowell, Amendm and 10 others like this.
  6. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Savant (928) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia

    Put me in the 4.5% and under range. I particularly like the sub 4%, but like some others, I'm starting to show my age a bit.
    eppCOS, russpowell, Amendm and 9 others like this.
  7. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,444) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I love double IPAs, so there's that. Cheers!

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,424) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    I love barrel-aged Imperial Stouts and English Barleywines, so there's that. Cheers! :grin:
    eppCOS, russpowell, Amendm and 10 others like this.
  9. beergoot

    beergoot Poo-Bah (8,378) Oct 11, 2010 Colorado
    Society Trader

    ...should have included "All of the above"...:sunglasses:

    ...on a somewhat more serious note, lower ABV beers hit the spot, especially when 'mass consumption' through the day is expected to occur, I try to moderate my beers as such...there are some tasty sub-4 % ABV beers out there, too, that certainly are a joy to indulge in after a 10%+ behemoth...

    ...yet, typically, my beers weigh more toward the 'a bit higher' or 'strong' which case, I'll try (yet usually fail) to moderate my intake...but of late, my total beer consumption is about 3 or 4 beers a day, so I don't find higher ABV beers that much of an issue any more...that, and consuming a lot of ice water through the day probably mitigates things somewhat...
    eppCOS, russpowell, Amendm and 11 others like this.
  10. ATL6245

    ATL6245 Savant (928) Aug 16, 2018 Georgia

    Shocking! :slight_smile:
    russpowell, Amendm, DrOfGolf and 4 others like this.
  11. Runnerhiker

    Runnerhiker Initiate (52) Jun 4, 2019 North Carolina

    Most of what I drink is in the 4-6% range as my favorite styles are session style brown ales, lagers of all sorts and nitro stouts.
  12. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (5,352) Sep 3, 2007 Texas

    3-10% ABV...oh wait.

    Real answer, whatever is appropriate for the style. I don't want an English Bitter more than 4.5%, but I don't want a Belgian Strong Dark or Quad less than 9%.
  13. dcotom

    dcotom Poo-Bah (2,901) Aug 4, 2014 Iowa
    Society Trader

    My favorites are mostly > 10%, although I try to limit my serving sizes to 4-5 ounces. There's just something warm and comforting about a toasty and chocolatey imperial stout that makes me not want to stop. (Which is what led to me once putting away a bomber of Imperial Biscotti Break Natale - Pretty Please With A Cherry On Top in one sitting. Lesson learned.)
    dbl_delta, russpowell, Amendm and 6 others like this.
  14. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (2,050) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
    Society Trader

    6 to 9. 16 oz cans preferred.
  15. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,444) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    I'll add this. Lower abv beers lack the nuance, aroma & taste that a higher abv can provide. I don't care what any of these breweries print on a package, the brewers themselves will tell you as much behind closed doors. I've been in that room. Haha.
  16. Shanex

    Shanex Poo-Bah (1,778) Dec 10, 2015 France
    Society Trader

    To my regret, I agree with you especially the bolded part but didn’t want to stand alone and be literally lynched by others.

    It’s true though. I am a fierce believer of to each his own or drink whatever you like but under 3% ABV beers and N/A one didn’t and never made it for me.

    As a counterweight, the very strong industrial crappy European lager can go to the recycle bin as well. Just because they make them above 10% doesn’t mean I’m going to enjoy the nasty hangover the following day, nor their artificial taste.

    Cheers to… whatever you like. :wink:

    WCKDVBZ Meyvn (1,424) May 9, 2014 South Carolina

    Do tell us more, sir! :laughing:
    Amendm, DrOfGolf, Jaycase and 5 others like this.
  18. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (3,537) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    I'm not into drinking beer for the alcohol 'high' effect, but I'm in it for enough alcohol to provide the quality beer taste. I've been trying to drink every other beer as a NA beer, so I know the flavor is affected by reduced alcohol, and even up to around 4.5% the flavor is sub-standard to me. I voted for the 6-9 percent choice, but 5-8 percent would be more exact to my liking.
    Rug, rocdoc1, russpowell and 11 others like this.
  19. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,779) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado

    I'm all for the "standard" 4.5 - 5.5% ABV range. The styles I like most fall into that range. Most have stronger (but similar) bretheren and I prefer the taste of the milder ones. If anything, to me stronger beers lack nuance and instead hit you over the head with certain super-potent flavors. There are exceptions, but give me table strength in 8 out of 10 instances.
  20. SILVER

    SILVER Initiate (194) Jan 3, 2007 Florida

    I could not cast a vote because my option was not there.
    The thing is, it depends on the occasion, my mood, time of the day and/or the condition of my palate at the given time.
    Need I mention, the music on WWOZ at the time.
    lastmango, russpowell, Amendm and 5 others like this.
  21. sharpski

    sharpski Meyvn (1,243) Oct 11, 2010 Oregon
    Society Trader

    5-7% for most stuff, but sometimes only a 3% berlinerweisse or a 12% BA stout will fix my craving.
    Rug, russpowell, Amendm and 10 others like this.
  22. DrStiffington

    DrStiffington Poo-Bah (1,784) Oct 27, 2010 New Jersey

    For summer, I picked 3-6 because I enjoy those lagers even more in the hot weather. But I drink beer of all ABVs and do like those big barrel aged stouts and barleywines.
  23. budsNpils

    budsNpils Initiate (151) Aug 6, 2021 Texas

    I usually prefer 6-9% beers. I buy more beers in that range.

    If I drink lagers i like em at 5% or around that. I do tend to drink/crave more of them when it gets hotter out.

    If it's a good beer I really don't care about the abv I'll drink it.
  24. dbrauneis

    dbrauneis Poo-Bah (10,128) Dec 8, 2007 North Carolina
    Moderator Society Trader

    I don’t completely disagree with this statement but I do not completely agree with it either - I would have to caveat it with a “depending on the style” or maybe ABV levels below a certain point (somewhat style dependent).

    I can find plenty of nuance, aroma, and taste in English Milds + Farmhouse Table Beers without needing them to have a high ABV. There are many great IPAs in the 6-7% range that don’t need to be approaching double digit ABVs to have plenty of taste/aroma/nuance.
  25. TheIPAHunter

    TheIPAHunter Poo-Bah (3,444) Aug 12, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Who said anything about double digit abvs? I'm for the third tier vote, which just happens to align with most of the single & double IPAs that I drink. Cheers.
  26. BigIronH

    BigIronH Meyvn (1,440) Oct 31, 2019 Michigan
    Society Trader

    I chose 6-9%, not because I actively seek out beers in this range but because it seems like most of what I drink falls in this range. With that being said, it all depends on the style which depends on the day. I don’t tend to drink stouts below 10%. I haven’t found myself drinking many lagers over 5%. Many of the IPA’s and sours I buy are somewhere in between. Overall, if it looks good I’ll drink it regardless of ABV. Cheers.
  27. dcgunman

    dcgunman Meyvn (1,312) Jul 1, 2009 California
    Society Trader

  28. rgb03

    rgb03 Initiate (107) Oct 16, 2013 Pennsylvania

    Voted 6 to 9.
    But most of the brews I enjoy are in the 7 to 8 range
    Bitterbill, DrOfGolf and budsNpils like this.
  29. hopsputin

    hopsputin Poo-Bah (2,661) Apr 1, 2012 New Jersey

    Good question! I think it really depends on my mood. I think my two sweetspots are 3-5 or 7-9.

    edit: F 6%!, haha :stuck_out_tongue:

    I have no objection to go higher though :wink:
    #29 hopsputin, Jun 17, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  30. timobkg

    timobkg Aspirant (283) Aug 24, 2006 New Jersey

    Most of the beer I drink falls in the 6-9% range.

    My preferred ABV range? 0-11%. Above 11% they tend to get too boozy.

    I honestly don't care what the ABV of a beer is so long as the beer tastes good. I usually don't even look at ABV when I shop. The styles I like tend to be high in ABV, but given equivalent flavor I'll take lower alcohol content.
  31. Resistance88

    Resistance88 Disciple (384) Apr 9, 2015 California

    12% is my sweet spot. I find myself passing on Rasputin becuase 9% is too low so i get Speedway:joy:
  32. zeff80

    zeff80 Poo-Bah (14,817) Feb 6, 2006 Missouri

    I checked 6-9% whilst drinking a 4.5% Czech Pils. So I'm a hypocrite, I guess?
    Rug, russpowell, Bitterbill and 6 others like this.
  33. AWA

    AWA Defender (619) Jul 22, 2014 California

    Word, brother.
    Shanex likes this.
  34. AWA

    AWA Defender (619) Jul 22, 2014 California

    In the summer, I gravitate towards double IPA's, and in the winter my beer fridge always seems to be filled with imperial stouts. Don't get me wrong, I have no issues with lower abv lagers. Everyone needs a yard work beer. But when I actually have time to enjoy a beer for it's own sake, I rarely find myself drinking anything much lower than 7%. And lately, I seem to be finding alot of nice summer IPAs clocking in over 10%.
  35. Beersnake1

    Beersnake1 Poo-Bah (3,441) Aug 17, 2013 California
    Society Trader

    Depends on the style. Stouts and barleywines - definitely above 10%. Lambic - doesn't matter. German beers - doesn't matter. Belgian dark ales - above 8%.
  36. NeroFiddled

    NeroFiddled Poo-Bah (13,268) Jul 8, 2002 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    My philosophy is that every beer has its time and place. That time and place might be on a private jet on your way to seal a business deal overseas or it might be on a life raft after that plane has crashed in shark infested waters! I don't plan things out but I will say that the amount of alcohol I'm looking for varies greatly depending on the time and day. With that said I run the gamut and I cannot choose a preferred ABV other than to say that I very rarely drink anything under 3%.
    #36 NeroFiddled, Jun 17, 2022
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  37. ZebulonXZogg

    ZebulonXZogg Meyvn (1,004) May 5, 2015 Illinois

    I like great big Barleywines, Impy stouts and 2XIPA's, but my go to is Centennial, so I marked 6-9%
  38. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,779) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    Oh, that is complete, total, utter bullshit.
    Rug, rocdoc1 and BruChef like this.
  39. BBThunderbolt

    BBThunderbolt Poo-Bah (9,779) Sep 24, 2007 Kiribati
    Society Trader

    For me, the 4.5-6.0 range is is my sweet spot. I loves me my 12+% Barleywines. I worship Tripels (my favorite style). But for example today, while chilling in the beer garden at a local brewery, listening to music, I drank several Lagers ranging from 3.5-5.0%. Several Pales in the 4.5-6.0 range, and a couple WCIPAs in the 6.5-7.0 range. I was not bored by any of them., and, they all fit their spot in the lineup.

    I talked with a bunch of friends, and the various situations called for different approaches. This is what makes beer so great; there's a beer for every situation. Pick one that fits your mood and situation.
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  40. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (135) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey