Beer Institute reveals new ingredient labeling plan

Consumers who like to know what sorts of ingredients they’re putting in their bodies when they eat and drink have been frustrated for years by brewers who don’t want to reveal that sort of information.

That may change because of new, voluntary labeling from the Beer Institute announced today. Brewers participating in the “Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative” will provide beer buyers with information now absent from the majority of beer bottles and cans: such things as calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, and beer serving size, as well as a date of production or “freshness” date.

It will retain the alcohol by volume percentage listing, which most beers currently divulge.

Brewers will be able to adhere to the new, voluntary labeling in detail, or tell customers to go to a particular website or scan a bar code to ascertain their ingredients lists.

In its announcement, the Beer Institute also said, “Member companies, including industry leaders such as Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, HeinekenUSA, Constellation Brands Beer Division, North American Breweries, and Craft Brew Alliance, have agreed to follow these standards. These companies together produce more than 81% of the volume of beer sold in the U.S. … Consumers are increasingly interested in knowing more about the products they purchase. According to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Nielsen, 72% of beer drinkers think it’s important to read nutritional labels when buying food and beverages.”

The Beer Institute, founded in 1862 as the U.S. Brewers Association, is a national trade association for the American brewing industry, representing both large and small brewers, as well as importers and industry suppliers.

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