because 5% ABV is a "strong" beer?
As a yank, on my first trip to the UK I was quite excited to try a few English brews that'd been so harped on about. In the pubs I visited, the tap labels would include the ABV - very informative. After three or four pubs, the strongest drink I'd seen on tap? Budweiser, at 5%. Typical ABV's ranged from 3% - 4.5% (higher end for stronger ciders). Talk about disappointment.
A typical decent beer in the US usually has about 5-8% ABV. The < 5% range is dominated by dinner-in-a-bottle porters and Sam Adams Lager. Budweiser, with Miller and Coors, are the crappy beers we export - American mass marketing at its finest. Most of our good beers are seldom exported out of the state, even more rarely out of the general region. The best I've had came from Washington and Oregon, but have had some good brews in various parts of New England as well. I'm not so well-traveled as to be able to speak much for other states.
If you can recommend me to some decent, common beers at greater than the piddling 5% ABV of the piss we export, I'm all ears - I'm likely to end up in Southampton again in the not-too-distant future. (I'm partial to ales, particularly IPAs, but will try anything once.)