Very important considerations when thinking about drinking beer. Now consider us craft beer lovers who often drink IPAs. One of my favorites is Two Hearted from Bell’s brewery. It has an ABV of 7%.
Maybe that extra 2% over a traditional full flavored beer doesn’t seem like much, but the actual effect of drinking multiple Two Hearted pints adds up fast. You might almost say sneaks up fast.
IPAs (India pale ale)are traditionally very high in both hops and alcohol, which acted as preservatives on the long sailship journeys to India. Hence the name and the strength.
Today though, most good craft breweries like Bell’s also produce session, sessionable, or all day IPAs. These varieties try to use recipes that duplicate the desirable hoppiness and strong taste with less alcohol.
For example Bell’s Juicy Session IPA is very satisfying, with all the powerful citrus notes and distinct taste of different varietal hops, but with half the alcohol at only 3.5%.
Note that some session ales are stronger than that, but they’re never even close to 7%. But also note that some IPAs are even stronger than 7%.
As you note, alcohol percentage in beer is very important. Craft beer lovers have more reason than most to pay particular attention to those percentages.