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March 23, 2012

Where's the ABV?

UPDATE 3/26: A few people pointed out to me on twitter that Hoptimum actually does have the ABV listed. It's part of the block of text with the Government Warning and I missed it. But the point still stands for many other beers, I would say. It's only a minor annoyance when it's tough to find on the packaging.

I'm going to go on a brief rant here. I try not to post anything negative on this site, but this just baffles me. Why do some breweries not put the alcohol content on their labels? Is there some reason that I'm not aware of? It seems like a no brainer to me. In fact, I'd love to see all breweries putting ABV, IBUs and SRM on their bottles. Hell, even throw on what malts & hops were used. The more info the better.

Here's a great example of a brewery doing it right. ABV, gravity, ingredients all right there for you.
Cheers to Southern Tier.

This is the beer that sparked this post, Sierra Nevada's Hoptimum which was recently released in 12oz bottles (it had previously been out in bomber form). This is a pretty good beer for sure, but I spent a few minutes looking for an ABV (sometimes I'm convinced that I'm just not seeing it somehow) and came up empty. I had to go to Sierra's website to find out it is 10.4%. What gives?

Also on a related note, I think it would be greatly beneficial to put a date on every bottle as well. Especially something like Founders KBS, which I end up using a label maker to print dates for purposes of keeping track of vintages in my cellar.


  1. Absolutely agreed. It makes me crazy when I'm blogging and can't just look at the bottle for the information.

    That Southern Tier label is exellent - everything you want to know in one place. That's the way it should be!

  2. It's crazy how many breweries are guilty of this. Oh well.

  3. I prefer the ABV on all bottles though don't think it's a *huge* deal for your average beer ... but for a beer that clocks in at 10.4%? You've GOT to make sure that's on the bottle. Brewers are getting better and better at masking high alcohol content in beers, so it's not as if you can always tell how strong something is by the taste. Be fair to your consumers and let them know what they're getting into before pouring themselves a glass.

    Bottle dating is much more important to me. As far as I'm concerned, it's absolutely essential. My personal rule is that I no longer buy IPAs and other hopped-up beers if the bottle is not dated or if I don't know for sure the shop only just got them in. I've been burned too many times with bottled past their optimal drinking time; faded hops, dead aroma, bland taste. No date = no sale.


  4. Good call Eric, I'm with you. Yeah I don't mind if Sierra Pale Ale doesn't have the ABV so much. But I definitely bought Hoptimum thinking it was in the 6-7% range. I forgot totally that it was that high.

  5. No ABV stats on a bottle drives me nuts! And it's good know I'm about to drink a 10-percenter beforehand. Cheers!

  6. Exactly. Good thing I didn't open and chug it before doing some googling.

  7. Agreed. Abv should be on every bottle and plain to's as easy as abv! :)