Update: on March 24th, the Brewer's Association released the guidance necessary to calculate beer calorie content. As a result, (and as you can read in our latest blog post here), we've successfully built our Calorie Content Generator.

We've recently gotten a number of questions about what the FDA's new requirements on alcohol-related calorie and nutrient information mean for beer retailers. We dug into the FDA's extremely riveting (kidding, obviously) official sources and pulled out the most relevant information.

In short: if the rules apply to you, we've got you covered. We can now display the necessary calorie information, making sure your mainstay beers comply with the new rules. If you have any questions, drop us a line at 347-927-1574 or support@beermenus.com.

The Scary Part

As we all know, the FDA has historically excluded alcohol from menu labeling requirements. That's about to change.

Effective May 5th 2017, calorie and nutrient information will be required for alcohol on all on-premises menus “at any chain restaurant or similar retail food establishments with 20 or more locations that have the same business name and offer for sale substantially the same menu items.”

They reasoned it would help consumers “make informed and healthful dietary choices” (source: Introduction/FDA).

The not so Scary Part

  • First, these rules only apply to chains of 20 or more locations.
  • If they're on your menu or shelves for fewer than 60 days per year or fewer than 90 consecutive days in order to “test consumer acceptance,” you should be good to go. In other words, temporary and seasonal beers will not be subject to the requirements.

Where does the calorie and nutrient info come from? The breweries?

Not right now—breweries are not required to provide calorie and nutrient data. Rather, the FDA will implement an estimation system whose inputs will most likely be beer style and gravity.

What is BeerMenus doing about it?

We've created a system to automatically calculate calories in each beer on your menu for you. Add your beer menu to get started.

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Additionally, as the FDA's policy matures and rollout begins, updates will certainly arise, and we're tracking this very closely. We'll get the latest to you as soon as we can, but in the meantime if you've got any questions or concerns, send us an email at support@beermenus.com.


This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for legal advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal advisor.

Full Details

A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments

Guidance for Industry: Nutrition Labeling of Standard Menu Items in Restaurants and Similar Retail Food Establishments; Small Entity Compliance Guide