What is Malt Liquor?
Malt liquor refers to a beverage made with malted barley that has higher alcohol content than common or traditional beers. Some define it as any beverage with at least 5% or more alcohol content. It is sometimes called ale lager when the alcohol content is above 5% and up to about 12%. But there are also beers available today that are said to contain high alcohol content and are labeled as malt liquors. This confuses many people in classifying what malt liquor truly is. Some classify malt liquors as beers with added sugar or corn to increase the alcohol content. In terms of brewing, malt liquors are said to be made with the intention of increasing the alcohol content only. Traditional beers on the other hand are brewed for taste and quality.
Back in the 1690s, malt liquor referred to beverages that were made through fermentation instead of brewing. In the US, the first brands of malt liquor were sold to the public in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Today, malt liquor has gained the reputation of being the choice for the poor, unemployed, and homeless people. Many of its marketing campaigns target the black and hip-hop communities with popular artists as endorsers. Usually malt liquor is sold in bigger bottles than traditional beers. Common beers are usually available in 12 oz. bottles, while malt liquors are usually packaged in 40 oz bottles. They are also priced lower than most beers, which explain its popularity among the homeless and unemployed.
But for those with discriminating tastes, malt liquor is said to be less bitter than beer because of the added sugar or corn. Traditional beers are also said to have a smoother and milder flavor than malt liquors owing to the different manufacturing processes involved. This makes people think that beer is of a higher quality than most malt liquors.