Now that’s it’s been a year since the cap on the alcohol content for beer was lifted in South Carolina, we can look back and see what the effect has been on the overall beer climate in the state. Check out this article from the Post and Courier:
The conclusion from the article is not surprising. When the cap was lifted, high gravity beer sales immediately took off and rose for a few months as more and more new beers made their way into the market. Many people were rushing out to try these new beers that they had never been able to try before. As time has past, they have found that the immediate increase in high gravity sales has leveled off, and it has reached more of a niche status.
When you think about it, that’s probably where high gravity beers should be, and the market will dictate that. Once people get over the newness of it, the novelty will wear off and many will go back to the cheaper beers that they are used to. High gravity beers are too intense in their taste and potency to ever be accepted by the masses. But that’s what makes them so good to those who enjoy them. It’s like spicy food. They may not necessarily prefer it, but anyone can eat mild food. Not everyone can handle spicy food.
In my opinion, I would predict that high gravity and craft beer sales in South Carolina will continue to climb slowly but surely over the years. It’s still very early in the game and we started at ground zero. As people get more educated and acclimated to these different beers, I think more and more people will be converted and will the demand for these beers will increase. That’s why it’s my quest to continue to educate and promote these beers. They are just too good not to spread the love!