There's been a lot of chatter lately about state legislation on the table that would raise the legal ABV limit for Ohio brewers from 12% to 21%. It led us to wonder what doors that opens for craft beer artisans. So we reached out to our friend and brewmaster, Paul Fryman of JAFB - Wooster Brewery to get his take on it. Here's what he had to say about it:
RAIL: How do you, as a brewer, feel about the legislation? What possibilities does it open up for you?
FRYMAN: I think the proposed legislation makes sense. Lifting the ABV limit will allow brewers to become even more creative by allowing a wide range of additional and new styles. Not to mention that some brewers get awfully close to the current 12% limit. If they were to have a batch go over the limit, that could be a pretty costly mistake.
RAIL: What types of beers would you be able to brew that you can't with a 12% ABV?
FRYMAN: Wood or barrel aging in the beer industry is quickly becoming widely popular. Many of the styles that are best-suited for barrel aging are of high ABV, greater than 12%, so this is a major positive.
RAIL: How will it affect the craft beer industry as a whole?
FRYMAN: BEER TOURISM!!! Craft beer is becoming widely popular and attracts people from all over when something special is made. American craft beer is...a great example of Capitalism. These higher ABV beers cost more in every aspect of the beer itself---ingredients and time. This will obviously be passed on to the consumer, so I don't see a good argument against the legislation where some might say it will lead to excessive drinking, etc... I don't see someone grabbing a case of beer at 22 bucks a beer to get smashed. These are delicate beers that are crafted in that manner. They are mostly to be shared and sipped.
To show your support for the bill, go to: http://www.ohiocraftbeer.com/news/hb391.cfm