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A year ago, when South Carolina opened its doors to beers with more than 6 percent alcohol, or high-gravity beers, it was a big deal. But The Post and Courier reports that the initial surge of popularity might have leveled off a bit:
Curiosity about those new brews — dubbed "high gravity" by the industry — drove a surge of strong sales that continued well into August.
Hard numbers are scarce or closely guarded, but people in the beer industry here describe a high-gravity market that has leveled off into a respectable niche after an initial burst of popularity.
But that doesn't mean that local brewers are suffering. COAST Brewing Co. offers six organic beer varieties, five of which are high gravity. According to The Post and Courier: "Today, COAST Brewery runs three fermenters at full capacity, refuses to compromise on quality, provides beer only by the keg and sells everything it makes. Demand so exceeds supply that additional bars and restaurants that ask for COAST beer must go on a waiting list."