Land a Pint, Lock in Flavor
Low gravity brewing has always been at the heart of our philosophy and business model. From the start, we have been rotating various beer styles and intentionally keeping most of them in the mid-3 to 5% alcohol by volume (abv) range. Many people have questioned this, as the trend with the ever-increasing choices available in craft beer has been to keep alcohol content quite high compared to your everyday light beer, many in the 6-8% abv range, and as high as into the teens (or even higher yet for some extreme examples).
So why do we do this? Some have questioned if we’re “talented” enough to brew beer with higher alcohol. Some have guessed that our jurisdiction had some kind of regulated mandate to keep the beer lower in alcohol. The unfortunate conclusion of many clientele is this: higher alcohol automatically = higher quality. Well, we’re trying to alter that misconception.
There are several reasons why we decided to brew most of our beers with lower alcohol content than most craft beers. One, as touched upon above, is that we want to prove that lower alcohol beers can indeed have just as much flavor, body, and depth of character as higher alcohol beers, at least for most styles. This philosophy seems prevalent in the United Kingdom, where full-flavored “session” beers, ranging from 2-4% abv, have been around for ages. We utilize several techniques in our brewing process in order to avoid the watery, bland flavors that the session-IPA craze gave the craft beer community a couple years back. We want to make beers that you can quaff like a light beer, but enjoy just as much as any other craft beer.
Another big reason is that craft beer has gotten away from the communal spirit of having a few beers with your buddies. Big, barrel-aged, huge abv beers are often delicious, and we love them as much as the next person, but when a taproom is wrought with 6-7+% abv beers, the possibility of having more than one or two pints begins to dwindle. In our eyes, being able to sit for a couple hours and commiserate with good company is an important part of American culture, and beer should merely complement that. A customer recently said, “The best beer is a beer you don’t talk about.” While we understand that the craft beer community is absolutely interested in discussing different features, tastes, aromas, and aesthetics of any given beer, we think it’s also important to sometimes remember…it’s just a beer. Enjoy it for what it is. It’s ok to throw back a couple pints rather than take vigorous notes over 1 oz tasters. With lower abv beers, you feel better doing so. Especially if it’s delicious.
So we’ve been open a year now. Some people love the concept, some people hate it. Some refuse to come in because of preconceived notions, which is a shame. Still, (very few) others have mocked us asking us what’s the point of low alcohol beers; we have a few choice words for them that will remain unsaid. That said, our business plan is a living document, and we do want to cater to a wide clientele; it also should be mentioned that there are certain styles where high abv is appropriate and not simply an American bastardization of a classic style. We do make a few higher alcohol beers (See? We’re talented!), but we always plan to have at least around four core brands true to our roots. We hope you’ll give low gravity beers a shot and become believers too!