The beer industry’s decision to include the ABV (alcohol by volume) on its products is a positive development, given the significant growth of high alcohol beers in the marketplace.

According to Mintel research, the number of beers launched in North America with an ABV of 6.5% or more rose by 319 percent between 2011 and 2014, and nearlyone in four (23 percent) beers launched globally in 2014 had an ABV of 6.5% or higher.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines define a standard drink – or a one drink-equivalent – as 12 ounces of regular beer (5% ABV), 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits (40% ABV), and 5 ounces of wine (12% ABV).  The Guidelines point out that each of these standard drinks contain the same amount of alcohol – 14 grams (0.6 fluid ounces) of pure alcohol.

The beer industry’s decision to include the ABV on all beer containers will help inform adult consumers that many beer brands sold today contain more than one standard drink.  There is no beverage of moderation, only the practice of moderation when consuming beer, wine or distilled spirits.