# How are proof, percentage, and point related? (alcohol)

So here in Oklahoma, if you want 6 point beer I’ve been told you have to go to Texas. Bailey’s Irish Cream says it is 17 (I think that’s right) percent. And then you’ve got these crazy lab people up at college that enjoy drinking the lab alcohol because it’s 200 proof.

How are these all related?

Never heard of “point” being used in the measure of alcohol. Proof is simply 0.5% per number so 200 proof is 100% alcohol. Merriam-Webster does not list “point” as a measurment unit for alcohol. I know there is a brand of beer called Point though and I kinda like it.

I think “point” is just slang for “percent.” Does Oklahoma have a 3.2 law about beer?

A related point (heh, heh) is that not everybody measures alcohol content in the same way, and saying something is “3.2% alcohol” can be misleading and confusing. In the US, the alcohol content in beer is generally listed by weight, while the rest of the world measures alcohol content in beer by volume. (Everyone measures the alcohol content in wine and spirits by volume.) A 3.2% Alcohol By Weight (ABW) beer is approximately 4.0% Alcohol By Volume (ABV).

Due to this, comparing the alcohol content of US and import beers may lead to an incorrect conclusion. Some light searching can lead to lists that compare various beers using the same metric, such as this one.

Regarding those crazy college kids in the lab, that’s the only place it’s feasible to get 200 proof alcohol. If such alcohol is exposed to the air in an open container, it will absorb water until it stabilizes at 190 proof. Of course, if you’re drinking that, it’s nigh impossible to realize that it’s only 95% alcohol, and you may as well just buy a bottle of Everclear (190 proof) and bypass the entire hassle of sneaking into the chem lab, getting trashed, and having your friend put your hand in a bucket of warm oleum.

If by “6 point beer”, you mean beer with alcohol content in excess of 3.2% by volume, I have no problem getting such beer at any liquor store in Oklahoma (personally, I recommend Byron’s at NW23rd and Broadway in OKC). Now if you want Budweiser, Coors, or Miller beer with higher alcohol content, you will have to leave the state. The major brewers don’t sell anything but >3.2% beer in Oklahoma. But you don’t have to go to Texas. Kansas also has no 3.2% law, AFAIK, but Arkansas and Missouri do. But if someone tries to tell you Bud has 6% alcohol content in Texas, they’re full of shit. Bud is normally 5% by weight which equates to about 4% by volume. So four Texas Buds equals five Oklahoma Buds. Big deal.

So, hie theeself down to your local liquor store and obtain a six-pack or two of your favorite malty beverage. You’ll save gas. And you won’t have to settle for Budweiser. I recommend Samuel Adams, myself, particularly the Winter Lager when you can get it.