Friday, July 24, 2009

American Labels

Ok my readers in the States, I need some information. Why oh why are there no ingredients listed on bottles of beer?

Perhaps I am just a sad git who likes to know what hops and malt and other stuff go into my beer, so why aren't the labels telling me?

I have it down to a few possibilities:
  1. brewers don't want to admit the ingredients (highly unlikely I think)
  2. the government forbids it (which makes me ask, if so why?)
  3. lack of interest on the part of the consumer (here assuming not everyone is sad like me)
Any pointers gratefully received.


  1. I found this...

    I'm guessing that it's not required so most brewers don't do it. Some probably don't want to reveal their ingredients because they don't want the beer to be copied, while others probably don't want people to realize all the extra garbage they're putting into their beers.

    I honestly had never thought about it much, but it would be really nice to compare.

  2. Yeah, I think it is mainly a case of it not being required. Wouldn't be surprised at all if the macro brewers are the ones keeping it that way. Seems like I read that there has been legislation to change this, but it hasn't gone anywhere. Some craft brewers list their ingredients.

    I am for it. With as much beer as we consumer, it would be nice to know what's in it.

  3. I doubt it is brewers trying to keep secrets as most of them list all the hops and malts used on their website.
    Maybe because most US beer comes in 330ml(12fl oz) bottles with smaller labelling capacity than 500 ml bottles?

    I think the reason is a little simpler though, look on the back of a bottle and you will usually (probably always) see a few bits of info on all bottles. A government warning, a large barcode (needed for scanning and refunds) and a list of states you can get refunds for the bottle.
    This leaves little space left for a list of ingredients.


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