Should beer companies be forced to list their ingredients?
Article contributed to Wayne Fullmer
Most people today when they eat or drink something they check to find out what is inside the particular item; however, what if you could not do that and the ingredients were not listed. Would you still choose to drink that particular item or would you choose to drink something else entirely. This is a choice that most beer drinkers can’t make for themselves as the majority of beer ingredients are not labeled. You do not know what your are drinking when you drink you beer, in fact many major brewers and craft brewers have tastings to have you ‘try to figure out what is in your beer’.
Many of the craft brewers point to the major beer companies such as MillerCoors and Anheuser-Busch, who do not show the ingredients and state that they need to keep them confidential, just to compete in the beer industry at all. There are groups of people starting to rise up from the population, who do not understand why this in at all true. They look at such examples as the company of Coca Cola who is known for having a secret formula for years and kept it under lock and key; though, they have released a full set of ingredients on their labels years ago. Some of the ingredients that have been found in beer are extremely upsetting to many different groups of people.
A example of a few of these ingredients are:
Caramel color – This is being reviewed by the FDA and is used in both soft drinks and beer to darken the color Fish bladders – This used by both beer and wine companies as filters to strain the drink from particles.
Isinglass powder – This is put into a number of beers that claim to be vegetarian; however, it comes from fish bladders and is used in the same way as them.
Cow hearts – The Sam Adams Brewery put in cow hearts just to add flavor to their beer
Propylene Glycol – Used by some brewers to control the head on beers; however, you will find it is also used to de-ice airplanes as well
Anheuser-Busch has a website called tap into your beer and claims you can find the ingredients on this webpage. Though if you look into it you just find that it shows you the ABV (alcohol by volume), fat, energy, carbohydrates and protein that is in the beer and lists the ingredients as “premium hop varieties”. They do state that they follow all U.S. Food and Drug and Alcohol and Tobacco tax and trade laws.
When MillerCoors was asked about the general public wanting to know more about the ingredients they came out with this statement.
“MillerCoors led all alcohol beverage companies with a voluntary nutritional labeling panel earlier this year starting with our Miller64 brand. We value transparency and we will strongly consider the request for putting more ingredient information online,”
Peter Marino also went on to say that the ingredients for MillerCoors are “proprietary information”. This is a issue many beer companies are fighting, though it is not a new issue in the food and drink world. The company of Subway just took out a chemical that was in its bread and Kraft has agreed to take out yellow dye that is in their Mac and Cheese. So the next time your are enjoying your nice cold beer, take a minute and wonder what is in the nice cold beverage and then enjoy.