Barley Mowat 

Some light reading to go with your Friday pint

with 3 comments

Two bits of beer news came up this week that I thought I’d pass along.

First up here is a good summary of the concept of floor rates for beer. Didn’t know that the government requires that beer bought at retail or in restaurants have a minimum price? Well, you do now. If it weren’t for the minimum price, we’d all be raving alcoholics don’tcha know?

Second, here is a proposal to label beer’s ingredients. Not for nutrition reasons, but to help people who have allergies to barley or wheat avoid allergic reactions. Nevermind that people with freaking Celiac’s disease tend to be careful about what they put in their bodies (“What? Beer has BARLEY in it!?!?”) And not just the normal ingredients list already proudly printed by many microbreweries, but rather a large conspicuous government-designed label.

Okay, so maybe it’s a bit over protective (what’s next? warnings on milk saying “Warning: Contains Milk”?), but there is a catch. Breweries have a large amount of floating stock in the market, bottles that are already printed up which are returned to the brewery after use. Not all of these have labels that come off in the cleaning process (think anyone who prints right on the bottle), and this law would require them to instantly replace all their floating stock at huge expense. A decision like that could put a small brewery out of business.

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I can’t help but wonder if the big breweries are pro- or con- this proposal?

Written by chuck

January 21st, 2011 at 10:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses to 'Some light reading to go with your Friday pint'

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  1. Here in NY, breweries don’t have to print ABV on bottles – which is fairly strange, since the alcohol content can soar in these American micros.

    I kind of understand the ingredient list argument. While barley and hops are standards, we’re seeing plenty of breweries making beer with some fairly strange additions.


    21 Jan 11 at 11:23

  2. I sort of do, too, but requiring a Govt of Canada designed label in addition to an ingredients list is another thing. Think cigarettes. Besides, it’s not about the ingredients at all. eg Steam Whistle already has all theirs listed.

    Whatever happens, I can only hope common sense prevails and they let the breweries phase out the old labels…


    21 Jan 11 at 11:30

  3. […] posted recently about new allergin label requirements proposed for beer. There was lots of discussion around this […]

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