Are We Ready for Lower-Alcohol Beers?

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Drink all this, and still bike home. Photo: courtesy jronaldlee

As the hangovers subside from Toronado's Barleywine Festival last weekend and its celebration of the notoriously high ABV beers, the answer may very well be yes. At least that's what Bay Area brewers are betting. Pete Slosberg, of the famed but now-discontinued Pete’s Wicked Ale and an early pioneer in local craft brewing, is teaming up with Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. to release a lineup of "Not yet world famous session beers”, clocking in around 3.75% ABV, under the name Mavericks. Newly founded FreeWheel Brewing Co. in Redwood City and San Francisco's Pine Street Brewery are also dedicated to crafting session beers, which refer to low-alcohol beers that can be enjoyed in quantities in a sitting without getting completely sloshed. While there's no universal agreement on the appropriate ABV levels for session beers, which can range from under 4% to 6.5%, the brewers do share a desire to remove the stigma that low-alcohol beers are watery or flavorless. [KQED]