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Ohio Removes Its Alcohol-By-Volume Limit This Week

photo of Patrick Boylan

Ohio's liquor stores and craft brewers are limited to beers with 12 percent alcohol-by-volume or less.  But that changes on Wednesday, when a new state law removes that cap.

In 2006, the limit was bumped from 6 to 12 percent, but brewers and vendors in the state have said for years that it’s still too low, citing successful out-of-state beers with much higher alcohol content.

In May, Gov. Kasich agreed and signed a bill removing that cap.

Patrick Boylan is Brewery Manager at Granite City in Beachwood, and he says the restaurant will likely start offering a wider selection of beers.

“We are looking to start a guest-tap program, so that’s going to open us up to a whole lot more options of other local Ohio beers that we can bring into the store and serve to our guests here. We’re hoping that by having other local beers in, it’s also going to bump up our own beer as well because we’ll have more people through the door tasting our stuff.

“I think it’s going to open a whole new world to what Ohio craft beer can do.  Less limitation just means more experimentation and better beer.”

Boylan says currently his in-house product tops out near 9 percent alcohol-by-volume, but Christmas Ales tend to sit higher. There are some beers on the market in the mid-40s.  But, he adds that the “right” level  is a matter of personal preference.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.