FDA: Final Guidance on Labeling of Certain Beers

Posted By: Selerant RSA


On December, 22, 2014 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced final guidance regarding the labeling of certain beers regulated by FDA.

The final guidance, which was issued in draft form in August 2009, follows a 2008 ruling by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) clarifying that certain beers that do not meet the definition of “malt beverages” are not subject to the labeling provisions of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act.  A beer is not considered a malt beverages if It is not made from malted barley, but rather a substitute such as sorghum, rice, or wheat; and/or it is made without hops. Beers that are not subject to the labeling provisions of the FAA Act, they are subject to the labeling provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act.

The guidance explains the requirements for such beers. As with other FDA regulated foods (21 CFR101), mandatory information required on the labels of these non-malt beers include a listing of ingredients in the product, a Nutrition Facts label, and the name of the source of any major food allergen present in the product. The guidance also clarifies that other requirements, such as the Government Health Warning Statement under the Alcoholic Beverage Labeling Act, continue to apply to these products

As described in the 2009 draft guidance, FDA recognized that manufacturers of the beers covered by the TTB Ruling may need time to change their labels to comply with FDA’s applicable laws and regulations. FDA exercised enforcement discretion and allowed manufacturers until January 1, 2012 to revise the labels on their non-malt beverage beers. FDA expects that all labels for these products now comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

For more information:

Guidance for Industry: Labeling of Certain Beers Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration