On Wednesday, boozier brews will be officially legal in the state of Ohio.
An amendment to House Bill 37, passed in May, eliminated the state’s 12% ABV cap on beer. It goes into action this week on August 31.
Some local breweries already have plans in the works for some heftier, soon-completely-legal brews.
Zaftig Brewing will be releasing a new Russian imperial stout, clocking in at 16% ABV, called Ol’ Harvey. The new brew in town will be released in Zaftig’s tap room during their bottle release of BamBaLam Breakfast Stout on Sept. 4. Ol’ Harvey will be available in 5 oz. snifters only, until the limited edition batch is gone.
Jim Gokenbach of Zaftig said they will also be re-releasing Too Cans, an Imperial IPA, now at about 14% ABV, in the next month. It will be their first above 12% brew to be bottled.
Pigskin Brewing Company is also planning to release a Russian imperial stout this winter, aptly called Winter Breeze. It’s expected to come in around 13% ABV.
Four String Brewing is also in the planning stages of a 12%+ ABV beer. Release date and specifics are yet to be determined, but Larry Horwitz of Four String says they’re excited about the prospects.
“We are super excited to be able to legally brew beers that customers have been asking for with HUGE flavor,” he said.
While huge flavor is always be a bonus to customers, this new change could also cause growing pains for breweries.
“Our 24 year old brewery is being pushed harder than it ever has, so we can’t tie up a tank for the length of time it would take to do a high ABV beer justice,” said Angelo V. Signorino, brewmaster at Barley’s Brewing.
They are hoping to do a hefty brew in the winter, however, once the barrels currently housing the popular Bourbon Meyer Buckeye Stout are free.
“I am greatly looking forward to seeing what other breweries release,” Signorino said, a sentiment echoed by other fellow brewers and beer fans.