South Carolina popped the cap in 2007 when the state legislature lifted the ban on high-gravity (high-alcohol) beers. And the market responded eagerly. Charleston today is awash in gold-rimmed goblets of high-octane Trappist ales, German bocks, and local craft brews with alcohol contents as high as 17 percent (by volume). The high-gravity distributors are putting some serious marketing muscle behind their products, and brands like Chimay, Dogfish Head, and Fat Tire have blitzed local bars and restaurants and even neighborhood watering holes. Does anyone remember when Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was the town’s hottest pour? How 2008. High-gravity beer is here to stay, at least until the next new thing comes along.
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