Anyway, a session beer at 4.9% ABV?! There's no way you could pass off rocket fuel like that as a session beer in a British pub.It's true, we have vastly different standards. To find a beer with an alcohol percentage beginning with the number four is a trick. I haven't done a study, but I'd say 90% of the beer brewed on the West Coast is 5% or higher. At a minimum. Personally, I'd love a selection of tasty session ales with ABVs starting with threes and fours. Unfortunately, breweries don't seem to be able to stay in business selling them to me (and, of course, Ted Sobel). So we go with the flow and call our bruisers "sessions."
A second example of this--a more pointed example--comes from Brighton, England via Alan McLeod.
Brighton council bans super strength beer to combat street drinkingThe idea is to curb the knife fights, brawls, and general mayhem caused by these super-strength beers. And not a minute too soon, I say! What are are these diabolical brews, these menaces threatening to rend this Southern English city to pieces? Oh, you know, beers with more than 6% alcohol. Hide the children!
Super strength beer will be banned from an off-licence as part of an ongoing campaign against street drinking.