Director of commercial freedom policy at the R Street Institute. As any astute beer shopper can attest, alcohol retailers' shelves these days are loaded with a wide array of innovative craft brews. These beers are not just diverse in terms of style, but increasingly they are diverse because of their alcohol content. Several years ago, the alcohol levels in beer began rising as American drinkers became obsessed with high-octane brews. While this trend continues apace, there has also been a recent rise in lower-alcohol suds in taprooms as brewers experiment with new varieties.