Beers with higher ABV's have become more popular with craft beer fans across the country. The trend of big beers started with Sam Adams Triple Bock (and later Utopias), Rogue's Imperial Stout, and the founding of the DogFish Head Brewery which makes a wide variety of innovative beers. These "big beers" are unique because of their high ABV's (8-20% ABV as opposed to Budweiser's 4%), high price tag (approximately $15) and over the top flavor.
I love big beers. As far as I am concerned the continued experiments with beer are what makes the American Craft Beer Scene so unique. Brooklyn Local 1 is a great local example of this new trend. I understand that Jason Alstrom wants beer to carve it's own niche but I am confused on his quote. The last time I checked, the wine industry is all about tradition and noone in the wine industry is doing anything like these craft brewers.