Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

U.S. Beer Shows Calorie Counts With New Industry Guidelines

Under new beer-industry guidelines, U.S. drinkers will be able to see how many calories they’re consuming when they reach for that next brew.

The largest sellers of beer in the country will begin listing calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat -- along with alcohol by volume -- on their labels, the Beer Institute trade group said in a statement Tuesday. The companies involved, which include Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors, account for more than 81 percent of beer volume sold.

“Beer is the most popular alcohol beverage in the United States,” Jim McGreevy, the Beer Institute’s chief executive officer, said in the statement. “Providing meaningful information will ultimately empower the consumer when making decisions regarding the beer beverage of their choice.”

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The change was set in motion after an Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau ruling in 2013 allowed brewers to add more information to their labels. Beer companies are joining much of the food and beverage industry in bringing more transparency to ingredients and nutrition. First Lady Michelle Obama has pushed to improve Americans’ diets, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is revamping packaged-food labeling to highlight the amount of added sugar.

Under the new beer guidelines, brewers are expected to adopt the labels across their product lines by the end of 2020.

Some beer cans already have calorie counts on their labels. MillerCoors first listed calories on its Miller64 brand in early 2014. To date, more than a dozen of the Chicago-based brewer’s brands tout such information.

“Today is a great day for beer,” said Jon Stern, a spokesman for the company. “We applaud other members of the Beer Institute to join this effort that legal-drinking age consumers deserve.”

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