Since then, the state Alcohol Beverage Control Administration has approved for sale 54 beers with higher alcohol levels, from eight different breweries or distributors, according to ABCA beer administrator Cindy Clark.
Approved labels include such items as Harpoon Leviathan Imperial IPA, at 10.05 percent alcohol; Samuel Smith's Yorkshire Stingo Ale (8 percent); Trappistes Rochefort 10 Belgian Ale (11.3 percent); Rogue Double Dead Guy Ale (8.43 percent); Samuel Adams Imperial White (10.3 percent); Great Lakes Brewing Blackout Stout (9 percent); and Nosferatu Stock Ale (8 percent).
The new law, which the West Virginia Beer Wholesalers Association had tried to block, raises the allowable ABV level for beers sold in West Virginia from 6 percent to 12 percent. Of course, approval doesn't mean these beers will instantly show up on store shelves. It's up to distributors to carry the beers, and retailers to stock them. But that's good progress in three weeks, and hopefully the beers will start showing up this Fall.
So, to all you craft beer fans in West Virginia I say: Cheers!
I was alerted to the Charleston Gazette story by a Twitter post from our friends over at beernews.org.