It is true— in the United States Beefeater Gin has dialed down the ABV. Formerly Beefeater Gin was bottled at 94 proof or 47% ABV. It has been since turned down to 88 proof or 44% ABV. In either case, it is still higher ABV than in the U.K., for example where it is bottled at 40%.
The intention of the ABV change is to provide a more consistent brand experience globally for our consumers. Our Beefeater London Dry Gin at an ABV of 44% recently won a Gold medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2020.— Beefeater Gin US (@BeefeaterGin_US) November 17, 2020
The recent change brings Beefeater’s flagship gin more in line with the other major gin brands at lower ABV’s; however, it does represent a shift for the esteemed brand who for a long time was a relatively “premium” offering at its price point. This combination of facets led to Beefeater Gin being a well pour of choice at high end cocktail bars. With the change in proof, it will be interesting to see if it maintains its lead in those spaces.
While there was no formal press announcement of the change, people across the states had begun to see the lower ABV Beefeater first begin appearing over the summer. At least, that’s when I first began seeing questions about it on this site.
On Twitter, the decision was explained as follows:
The intention of the ABV change is to provide a more consistent brand experience globally for our consumers. Our Beefeater London Dry Gin at an ABV of 44% recently won a Gold medal at The San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2020.BeefeaterGin_US on Twitter, 11/17/2020
It remains to be seen if this means that other markets will see their shelf ABV jump to 44% to match the United States experience.