I have just found a volume of "unofficial" samizdat stories and essays from the old regime (in translation, I only read English and French). In one, a boy is bringing home a pitcher of beer to his father. It is referred to as "12%" (Jiri Grusa, "Uncle Anton's Coat"). I have seen this descriptive before. In the United States, we label beers at a percentage of alcohol, i.e., a 5.2% Lager is a normal alcohol level, and anything over 7% is generally referred to as "strong ale", 10% or more can be "barley wines", etc. A 12% would be an enormously strong beer; I cannot believe this would be just an every day thirst quencher. What does that percentage mean? Have I missed something in translation? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated, I hate having loose ends in my reading.