Breweries Insist on More Details on Labels

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( — July 14, 2016) —The Beer Institute announced on Wednesday that its member companies have agreed to show more details on their labels, packaging and websites including ingredients, calorie count, carbohydrate, protein, fat and alcohol content.

The Institute is encouraging participating brewers and importers to achieve compliance across their product lines by the end of 2020.

They require brewers to also write the date the beer is made, and to make all this information available to be searched online, on their websites, or to add a qr code that can be scanned with a smartphone for more information. All of this will help beer drinkers find details not only about the grain and hops that went into their drink, but much more.

Michael Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, said that brewers are allowed to artificially color, flavor, sweeten, and preserve their products, as well as use foam enhancers, but if the industry takes pride in its ingredients it should list them on labels and not simply on the web.

The Beer Institute members, which includes Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors and Heineken USA, produce more than 80 percent of the volume of beer sold in the United States,and have already accepted these new standards. But, this may prove to be difficult for small, independent breweries, The Daily Mail reports.

The United States Brewers’ Association, a trade association of craft brewers, says that they also supports more complete labels, but believe that it can be difficult for a micro-brewery, which makes less money, and sells a smaller quantity of beer, and uses more seasonal products whose ingredients are different.

It would mean that they would have to invest more money to make a larger range of their beers, and their already modest profit will be even lower.

The Beer Institute says that they are working on a separate plan with the US Food and Drug Administration, and Department of Agriculture on ranking according to the type of beer, not according to the manufacturer.