Alcohol cap on beer lifted in Ohio, local breweries rejoice

Alcohol cap on beer lifted in Ohio, local breweries rejoice

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ohio Governor John Kasich signed a bill this week removing the restriction on the amount of alcohol in beer! It's news that has Toledo breweries buzzing.

The ceiling has been lifted, the new Ohio law says there are no more alcohol percentage caps on beer, which means chaos will ensue.

"I could go for that argument if we didn't sell liquor, if we didn't sell wine in the state, those things are both higher ABV than beer are," said Tom Schaeffer, Black Cloister.

ABV, that's Alcohol By Volume. Your average domestic beer is around five percent. The old cap, 12 percent, is now gone. But as percentage goes up, so does price.

"When you produce a beer that is that high in ABV, it's going to be a pricey beer because it takes a whole lot more ingredients to make that beer," said Schaeffer.

So, maybe there won't be any chaos, and it probably won't result in a huge impact on the craft beer market either. So, where's the benefit?

"Brewers love to be creative," said Schaeffer.

"You don't have to worry about limits and restrictions anymore, that's really nice," said Shannon Fink, head-brewer at the Black Cloister.

Ohio has a strong craft beer market. The change in law has opened up creativity to allow the state to stay competitive.

"A beer is no longer just your American domestic lager, it's more complex than that," said Schaeffer.

"We don't have any (beers) of that nature because we weren't allowed to brew them before, but I'm on it," said Fink.

It takes time, it's not cheap, and it's made to be enjoyed slowly.

"It's like a fine wine," said Fink.

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