Ohio legislator wants to allow stronger beer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Legislation in the Ohio House would allow Ohio beers to hike up their alcohol
The Columbus Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1i9d1lC ) that House Bill 391 would
increase the maximum percentage from 12 to
21 percent for beers produced and sold in the state. Democratic Rep. Dan
Ramos of Lorain has been promoting the measure, saying Ohio brewers
need to be able to use the higher alcohol content to compete with beer
in other states. The higher-alcohol beer couldn’t have caffeine or other
stimulants in it.
"It’s about leveling the playing fields with
other states," said Ramos, who has bipartisan support from 20
co-sponsors for his latest effort to allowing punching up Ohio beers. "A
lot of breweries in Ohio find themselves at a competitive
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine says he hopes
legislators will look at how raising the alcohol percentage could impact
drunk driving.
"I would like to see what other states have done and what their experience has been," DeWine
Seidel, executive director of the Drug Free Action Alliance, thinks the
proposed change is a bad idea. She said people could wind up imbibing
more alcohol than they realize, "thinking they are only drinking one
drink when really it’s the equivalent of two or three (current) beers."
Ohio’s craft brewing business is growing, becoming among the largest in the nation.
Gatza, director of the National Brewers Association, said beer sold
with 12 percent alcohol or higher makes up some 2 percent of the
craft-beer market, but is found in some of the finest beers made. He
said such beers are usually consumed a little at a time.
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