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Inside the Beer Industry’s Commitment to Promoting Responsible Drinking Habits


by Bill Young, Senior Director, Health Policy and Regulatory Affairs

Every year, people worldwide celebrate April’s arrival with lighthearted humor and practical jokes. While many cherish the tradition of pranks and jokes that have come to define April Fools’ Day, in the beer industry, April is no laughing matter.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) and working to ensure beer lovers responsibly enjoy their favorite ice-cold beverage. The Beer Institute and its members take the opportunity April presents to reflect on our role in combating AUD and irresponsible drinking, while also renewing and refocusing the industry’s longstanding commitment to promoting responsible consumption.

The beer industry’s collective efforts to minimize alcohol-related harm underscore our commitment to promoting beer as a beverage of moderation. These efforts could not be more relevant as Americans are increasingly becoming more conscientious about their relationship with alcohol.

That’s why we are proud of Beer Institute member companies’ active participation in the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (VDI), a collective effort by the Beer Institute’s largest brewer members to disclose critical information like nutritionals, ingredients, alcohol content, and freshness dating so legal drinking age consumers can make informed choices.

Beyond disclosing this critical information, our members continue to lead the pack when it comes to promoting responsible drinking habits.

Anheuser-Busch, a pioneer in responsible drinking advocacy, continues its legacy with initiatives like the Decide to Ride coalition with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Uber to bring an end to drunk driving and their Global Smart Drinking Goals to reduce harmful drinking by 2025. These efforts promote moderate consumption and alternatives like low- and no-alcohol products and encourage beer drinkers to make informed choices year-round.

MolsonCoors’ efforts showcase equal dedication, particularly with their underage access and drunk driving prevention programs, including educational programs for parents and educators like their Let’s Keep Talking e-book and several alternative ride programs to ensure consumers can get home safely. Their commitment to expanding the range of low- and no-alcohol beverages by 2025 aligns with the spirit of Alcohol Awareness Month, offering consumers alternative choices that resonate with the ideals of responsible consumption.

HEINEKEN USA’s Brew a Better World initiative embodies the commitment to empower consumers with choice and transparency while emphasizing zero tolerance for the harmful use of alcohol. This program recognizes that while beer can be part of a balanced lifestyle, it also ensures consumers are informed about the risks associated with irresponsible drinking and advocates for moderation and responsible consumption. HEINEKEN USA also partnered to promote responsible consumption using in-app notifications to offer Uber vouchers to encourage consumers not to drive when they drink.

Constellation Brands’ leadership in promoting responsible consumption is embodied in their Global Code of Responsible Practices for Beverage Alcohol Advertising and Marketing. The code demonstrates that responsibility is a two-way street, and the beer industry can help by ensuring its messaging targets legal drinking-age consumers. Constellation Brands is also a member of the Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management (TEAM) Coalition, which promotes responsible consumption and encourages good fan behavior at sports and entertainment venues.

Further, the Beer Institute’s partnerships extend beyond the world of beverage alcohol. We actively partner with law enforcement, community organizations, and government agencies to promote safer communities and foster a culture of moderation and responsibility. This collaborative spirit, especially relevant during Alcohol Awareness Month, reinforces our dedication to enhancing beer’s societal value through responsible consumption.

These programs make a difference. According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health data, the percentage of U.S. adults ages 21+ who binge drink declined more than 9% from 2016 to 2022. Further, the federal Monitoring the Future study run through the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan shows that underage drinking and underage binge drinking are also at historic lows.

As we observe Alcohol Awareness Month, these efforts stand as a testament to our collective determination to ensure that beer remains a source of enjoyment and celebration, consumed responsibly and in moderation. Our work not only nurtures the success of our vibrant, $409 billion industry but also demonstrates beer’s commitment to the well-being of our communities, underscoring our dedication to social responsibility while ensuring beer lovers across the country have the information they need to enjoy their favorite beer safely and responsibly.