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What’s in your beer? Brewers lead the way in nutritional transparency


Nutrition and ingredient disclosures highlight the real differences between beer, wine, and liquor, writes the president and CEO of the Beer Institute.

Brian Crawford
President and CEO, Beer Institute

This article originally appeared in Food Dive on April 10, 2024.

For beer lovers, anticipation brews as April approaches — a sign of warmer weather, sizzling cookouts, and baseball’s opening day with fans cheering on their favorite teams while enjoying a cold one.

The beer industry stands head-and-shoulders above the other sectors of the alcohol industry in offering nutritional transparency to consumers through the Brewers’ Voluntary Disclosure Initiative (VDI).

Launched in 2016 by the Beer Institute, VDI is a commitment by the nation’s leading brewers to include serving facts and disclosing ingredients on the label, secondary packaging, or via easily accessible digital platforms. The program has been a resounding success — more than 95 percent of the beer volume sold by Beer Institute member companies including Anheuser-Busch, Molson Coors, Constellation Brands, HEINEKEN USA, and FIFCO USA voluntarily includes nutrition, ingredient, alcohol content and freshness dating — setting an unparalleled standard in transparency within the alcohol industry.

The Beer Institute embarked on this initiative because providing consumers with nutrition and ingredients information, alcohol content, and freshness dating is the right thing to do. It empowers consumers to make responsible, informed purchases. The beer industry prides itself on innovation — both in product development and forward-thinking, consumer-focused actions. We are proud of our members’ products and brewers’ commitment to nutritional transparency.

The beer industry’s leadership has garnered widespread appreciation from stakeholders and consumers alike. The National Consumers League hailed the VDI as a “game changer,” and beer drinkers are welcoming brewers’ transparency. 

Nutrition and ingredient disclosures about alcohol products not only help consumers make responsible decisions about how they drink but also highlight the real differences between beer, wine, and liquor.

As the U.S. Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) solicits public feedback on alcohol labeling, we encourage them to look to the beer industry’s leadership and the success of VDI as a model for all alcohol categories. Any initiative that empowers consumers to know what’s in their drink is a good thing, and that’s why we launched VDI.

We also applaud any effort to encourage economic growth and innovation in the beer industry. This includes regulations that protect the nearly 2.4 million American jobs generated and supported by the beer industry in all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, distribution, hospitality, travel and tourism, and retail. From farmers harvesting hops and barley to a bartender pouring beer at your favorite local pub, each role contributes to the vibrant culture of America’s favorite alcoholic beverage.

Here’s to raising a glass — to transparency, to responsibility, and the enduring spirit of beer. Cheers!