Raising the alcohol limit in NC stalled

Perhaps I spoke too soon? The bill to raise the limit of alcohol in beer in North Carolina has been stalled in the Senate. There’s a couple of good articles on it here and here. Apparently the Senator stalling the bill is worried about "underage drinking." Riiiight.

But on the Senate floor, opponents said stronger beers would enhance underage drinking and drunken driving.

"It doesn’t make sense to me that we should try to perpetrate this on our children," said Sen. John Kerr, a Goldsboro Democrat. He likened the stronger beer to "drinking straight vodka." Vodka typically has 30 percent to 60 percent alcohol.

Kerr eventually forced the bill to be withdrawn from the calendar by asking for a fiscal note, a written explanation of how this change in law would affect state finances. He also asked that the bill be referred for further consideration by the Finance Committee, of which he is one of the co-chairmen.

Sen. Tony Rand, a Fayetteville Democrat and the Senate majority leader, argued for the bill Thursday and said he was confident it would be heard before the end of the summer.

And the second article does a good job refuting these arguments:

"If you can have a high flavor beer, you’ll drink fewer of them and don’t get all the calories," said Sonny Chahal, 25, an East Carolina University student who was hanging out at Christy’s Euro Pub Wednesday evening….

The cost of higher alcohol beers makes that scenario unlikely, said T.L. Adkisson, brewmaster at Ham’s Restaurant and Brewhouse in Greenville.

"There is no way that a college kid that likes to pound 20 Miller Lites is going to drink any of this stuff," said Adkisson, who won a bronze award for his Charlie’s Barley, an amber ale, at the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver, Colo. last year. "They won’t like the taste and it will cost too much."

The majority of higher alcohol beers are made in small batches by microbreweies.

Most use twice the grain and take much longer to age, making it expensive to produce, he said.

A six-pack of some higher alcohol beers can cost $11 or more where the average mass market beer six-pack costs between $4 to $8.

"The people drinking this product, it’s not made for quick consumption, they are too full-bodied, too hoppy, there’s too much flavor," Adkisson said.

And so it goes.