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Old 01-30-2004, 01:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Beer might not have as much alcohol as you think

It's an old link I stumbled upon... while I was looking up uh... studying...

Quote:
It smells like beer. It tastes like beer. But is it the same stuff you buy at the store? Not always. That five dollar cup of brew that you buy at a ballgame or a concert may actually have less alcohol in it. I-Team reporter Jon Baird has traveled from stadium to stadium and he'll tell you what's flowing from the taps.


Our first stop was the new Pac Bell Park in San Francisco.



Oh it's beer alright. According to state officials if the alcohol level is over one half percent, it is considered beer.

But when we tested different beers at different places we found some just didn't have the same kick.

Our first stop was the sparkling new Pac Bell Park in San Francisco. The place with the boats in the outfield and a good place to kick feet your feet up soak up the sun and quaff down a cold one.

We ordered up a small bud and then dumped some of it into a little jar. Then we crammed the jar into our dodger blue ice chest and headed for Arco Arena.

We ordered a bud there too. Then sneaked into a rest room to pour our sample into another jar.

We grabbed some Miller Genuine Draft at the amphitheater and more beer samples at Raley Field. And we made beer pit stops in Modesto, Stockton, Oakland and the state fair.

Then we had the beer tested by a laboratory for alcohol content. What did we find? We already knew that Budweiser in the store is listed as five-percent alcohol. We even tested a bottle to be sure. And yet when we bought Budweiser at Pac Bell Park and the coliseum, guess what. The brew was only four-percent alcohol.



We ordered up a small bud and then dumped some of it into a little jar.



As for Miller Genuine Draft, samples we took at Raley Field and the amphitheater all registered 3.87 percent. A can of MGD itself was at four and a half percent.

At Raley Field the concession manager said there's a very good reason for the lower alcohol beer.

Concession Manager:"It provides our consumer a safer way to drink. They can still drink what they normally feel they can and still be able to not feel the effects quite as strong.

He points out that fans can buy other beers at Raley. Some full strength beers.

And during our travels we found full strength Budweiser at Arco Arena and at baseball parks in Stockton and Modesto. The two beers we sampled at the fair were also full strength.

But state officials say lower-strength beer is actually pretty common. The reason is sports venues don't want people to get overly intoxicated. They want people to come enjoy the game and not get drunk and get rowdy.

And no the beer companies don't have to tell you that the beer is lower in alcohol. But is there really a difference? Another lab figured that with five-percent beer it would take a little over two and a half 12 ounce servings to become legally intoxicated. But with four-percent beer it would take about 3 and a third servings.



Samples of Miller Genuine Draft we took at Raley Field and the amphitheater all registered 3.87 percent.



A doctor at UC Davis who studies the effects of alcohol thinks the lower levels may actually lead to higher beer sales.

Dr.: "If they can't get a buzz then they'll drink more.

Still, when we told some fans at about the lower alcohol beer they seemed surprised, but that's it.

What do the brewers say about this? Anheuser Busch told us, "in California, four-percent beer has become the concessions industry standard for beer sold at major entertainment and sports venues."

And Miller said retailers are offered the option of buying four-percent beer or five-percent beer and the decision is up to the concessionaire.




We should make clear that we only tested a few of the many beers available. The microbrews we tested came back as full strength in the five percent range.
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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People in Colorado can attest to the difference in beer.

It's simple. There's 3.2 beer which was allowed for 18 years to purchase at some time which meant that the beer would be UP TO MAXIMUM 3.2% alcohol but would be around 1%.

There's regular beer 21 and over and that's supposed to be UP TO MAXIMUM 5% but it usually hangs around 3.5%
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Its callled propaganda.

They say they are looking out for the consumers safety, but I say they are looking for the consumer to buy more.

Point blank. Wham!!
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m.../article.jhtml

Quote:
Utah: land of 3.2 percent beer, and sometimes even less.

Modern Brewery Age, Jan 12, 1998



Associated Press - To beer aficionados, it's bad enough that the punch of beet sold in Salt Lake City is limited by Utah law to just 3.2 percent alcohol. But the truth is, brewers are so afraid of violating the state's alcohol content law that they routinely make beer even weaker than that.

Most beer sold in Utah comes in well below the legal limit, sometimes just 2.8 percent, beer industry experts say.

"All the beers will come in under 3.2 percent just to make sure they're not pushing the envelope," says Mike Brennan, general manager of General Distributing Co., which handles Anheuser Busch beverages in Utah.

"Everybody tries to safeguard that," he said. "Budweiser ships to Utah under 3.2 percent just to make sure we don't have any problems with the state."

Budweiser loses 40 minutes of production time - about 200,000 cans or 160,000 bottles of beer - every time it makes 3.2 beer. The factory has to change equipment back and forth to make the weaker brew for Utah, and then higher-alcohol beer for most other states.

Joe Fuentes, spokesman for Coors Brewing Co. in Golden, Colo., maintains the alcohol content of his company's 3.2 percent beer is pretty consistent.

"We're not talking a deviation of much at all," he said. "We don't wait until it hits the bottle before we test it."

Coors only puts a 3.2 percent beer label on beer that is 3.2 percent, Fuentes said. "We brew everything to specifications."

However, William Christoffersen, president of the Utah Beer Wholesalers Association, also said beer sold in the state typically is weaker than advertised.

Indeed, even beer sold in Utah liquor stores, which allow higher alcohol content, is only 3.4 percent on average.

About 90 percent of low-calorie light beer, he added, is about 3 percent alcohol content by volume or less.

When it comes to alcohol content in beer, only Oklahoma has laws as restrictive as those in Utah. In Oklahoma, beer with more than 3.2 percent alcohol can be purchased only at state-owned liquor stores and private clubs.

In predominantly Mormon Utah, the law reflects the church's opposition to alcohol.

Utah consumes the least amount of beer of any state in the nation, according to the Beer Institute Almanac. On a per capita basis, Utah drinkers consume 13 gallons a year. By comparison, people in Nevada - which has the highest rate of consumption - drain 35 gallons a year.

Grocery stores in Kansas and Colorado may not sell beer with more than 3.2 percent alcohol, but micro-breweries can.

Utah producers such as Salt Lake City's Wasatch Brewery, which makes a 5.5 percent beer that it sells only in state liquor stores, clubs and restaurants, are similarly careful when they make 3.2 beer.

"Anyone would be just about crazy not to give themselves some leeway," says brewer Dave McKean. Wasatch's 3.2 beers, he says, come in "right around 3 percent, give or take 0.2 percent."

Kenneth Wynn, director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Department, says all types of beer are randomly pulled off store shelves and shipped to a state lab for testing.



"Certain beer manufacturers routinely come in under" the 3.2 legal limit, he said.

Only twice in the past year has the state found bottles of beer above the limit, Wynn said. And in both instances they were the result of out-of-state manufacturers - one of them Budweiser - shipping the wrong beer to Utah.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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... Which is why those of us who grew up in Salt Lake City made regular pilgrimages to Wyoming for real beer.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Man, I need a beer!
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Being in Oklahoma, I do have to trek to the "state owned" liquor store.
They are privately owned, by the way.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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How can a state owned liquor store be privatley owned?
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by absence_of_color
How can a state owned liquor store be privatley owned?
states restrict the stores that can operate and sell alcohol, they don't need to be in the business of selling alcohol but can push it off to private companies to manage.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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it fucking costs too much anyway, sneak some of your real beer in and drink that!
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cynthetiq
states restrict the stores that can operate and sell alcohol, they don't need to be in the business of selling alcohol but can push it off to private companies to manage.
So in other words, as long as they send in that money that belongs to the government, whoever can run it whatever way they choose?
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by absence_of_color
So in other words, as long as they send in that money that belongs to the government, whoever can run it whatever way they choose?
no they have to abide by the rules that are handed down by the state controls.
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Did someone say "beer"?
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:55 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Old 01-30-2004, 03:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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It's all about the money. Like "absence_of_color" said they are just looking for the customers to buy more.
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Old 01-30-2004, 04:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by absence_of_color
How can a state owned liquor store be privatley owned?
they're just licensed by the state to sell liquor, and i'm sure they get a chuck of your profits for getting the license....it's almost like opening a McDicks. you get the name, they get your money. we have state-licensed booze (thank buddha beer is still free-range) and it sucks....they're never open past 10 and you'll be lucky to find one open past 8. totally ridiculous, if you ask me...but then again, i'm an alcoholic :/
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Old 01-30-2004, 07:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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That doesn't happen in Wisconsin....
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Old 01-30-2004, 08:02 PM   #18 (permalink)
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That's a real bummer, not only does it contain less alchohol but also costs twice or three times as much as from the grocery store, granted it makes sense on behalf of the park owners but it's giving the shaft to people that want to go out and have a good time and share a few brews with their friends.
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Old 02-01-2004, 07:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Whats the point of limiting the alcohol content in beer? People will just drink more.
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Old 02-01-2004, 08:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Mmmmmm...beeeeeeer.
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Old 02-03-2004, 01:57 PM   #21 (permalink)
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WOW!!! A news flash! Stadiums selling watered down beer?? I am truly shocked!!! I never thought I'd see the day!
</sarcasm>

Seriously,though...of course the alcohol content is lower. Thousands of people drinking heavily in one place? PLEASE give them lower alcohol content beer!!
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Old 02-03-2004, 02:40 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by aarchaon
Whats the point of limiting the alcohol content in beer? People will just drink more.
when the money runs out you stop drinking beer.
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Old 02-03-2004, 08:10 PM   #23 (permalink)
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They didn't need all those fancy machines. I could have tested all those beers for alcohol content personally ;D

Seriously though, I'm not surprised at the watered down beer. Their reasoning makes sense and I doubt people would buy more beers to compensate for their lack of buzz.
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