FDA To Require Craft Beer To Have Nutritional Labeling

By Lauren R. Hartman, Product Development Editor

Dec 18, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration is taking interest in craft breweries by proposing new regulations that could cost beer makers to keep their brews on-tap. The regulations will require breweries to list nutritional information on their alcoholic beverages if they want to remain on the menu at big chain restaurants and brew pubs that have 20 or more locations. The proposal goes into effect by Dec. 1, 2016.

Reports indicate that craft brewers maintain they have no problem with full transparency, but the real issue comes down to cost. Small breweries would have to spend hundreds of dollars per beer to analyze the nutritional value of each type sold. Spending roughly at least $300 per brand, per year, or even $1,000 to perform an analysis and testing on their brews, officials say with testing and labeling expenses, it would eventually inhibit the little brewers from getting "crafty" with seasonal beers.

The regulations were supposed to kick-in December 1, 2015, but were extended until December 2016, giving the craft beer industry more time to get its labeling in order.

"We're not going to surprise anybody when that caloric count doesn't say zero. People generally know what they've signed up for," says Mike Lawinski, owner of Fate Brewing Co. in report this week from ABC Action News. “"People do count calories and watch what they intake, otherwise there wouldn't be a such thing as ultra-beers," adds Justin Tilotta with Twisted Pine Brewing Co.

"Craft brewers would love ingredients to be listed as well" says Lawinski. "Full disclosure of ingredients because that's really what separates us as ‘craft,’ and a lot of the bigger breweries are using GMO ingredients and high fructose ingredients.”
But the real issue of cost can't be ignored for small craft breweries, he adds.

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