FDA requiring nutrition labels on craft beer; Deadline next December

DENVER - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now taking interest in craft breweries by proposing new regulations that could cost beer makers big bucks to keep their brews on-tap.

The new regulations will require breweries to list nutritional content if they want to keep serving their suds at chain restaurants and brew pubs.

“We're not going to surprise anybody when that caloric count doesn't say zero. People generally know what they've signed up for,” said Mike Lawinski, owner of Fate Brewing Company.

“People do count calories and watch what they intake, otherwise there wouldn't be a such thing as ultra-beers,” said Justin Tilotta with Twisted Pine Brewing Company.

Craft brewers say they have no problem with full-transparency.

“Craft brewers would love ingredients to be listed as well. Full disclosure of ingredients because that's really what separates us as ‘craft’ and a lot of the bigger breweries are using GMO ingredients and high fructose ingredients,” said Lawinski.

That being said, the real issue comes down to cost.

“Just kind of burdensome on smaller craft breweries,” Lawinski said.

Small breweries will have to spend hundreds of dollars per beer to analyze the nutritional value of each type sold.

“A good analysis [will cost] probably somewhere between the $500-$1,000 range of what I’ve seen. Then multiply it across the styles that you have,” said Lawinski.

And at a thousand dollars a pop, that could keep unique and seasonal brews from making it to your favorite watering hole.

The regulations were supposed to kick-in December 1, but the feds have extended the deadline until December 2016, giving the craft beer industry more time to get their labeling in order.

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