Mickey's is a lager style beer which is part of the SABMiller brewing group and is brewed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mickey's is most well-known for its green wide-mouthed bottles and is presently an official sponsor of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Mickey's labels itself a "malt liquor," and the reasons for this have as much to do with marketing the beer as they do with the convolutions of American law regarding alcohol.
The commonly held belief is that any beer containing more than 5% (ABV) cannot call itself as a beer and must instead be labeled a "malt liquor." This is simply not true. In nearly every instance, the "malt liquor" appellation is completely voluntary. While some states have restrictions in regards to the use of the word "beer" on labels, the laws that require the "malt liquor" label are obscure and vague and basically non-applicable.
Beers that call themselves malt liquor are characterized by the use of dextrose which allows the yeast to ferment at a higher level of alcohol. So, as a rule of thumb, malt liquor contains more alcohol. But that is not always the case. Mickey's for example contains only 5.6% (ABV). While that is very strong for a lager, it is not significantly stronger than many ales, porters, or stouts. (Most malt liquors are 6% - 9%)
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