Government of Canada Announces Proposed Changes to National Beer Standards

OTTAWA, ON – The Government of Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have released a proposed set of changes to beer compositional standards, and are requesting input from consumers and the industry.

As noted in the proposal, the definitions and standards of beer in Canada have not changed in more than 30 years, and the new regulations are an attempt to “allow for innovation within the beer category while still preserving product integrity and to better reflect the tastes and needs of consumers.”

The main objectives of the proposal include the following:

(1) reducing duplication by having one compositional standard for all types of beers regardless of style, and one source of information for food additives;
(2) expanding the definition of beer to allow for the use of new ingredients and flavouring preparations to enable innovation and better reflect market developments;
(3) maintaining the integrity of beer by setting objective measures; and
(4) clarifying existing requirements to reduce inconsistencies.

The roots of these changes extend back to October 2014, when Pierre Lemieux – federal MP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell at the time – appeared at Beau’s Oktoberfest and announced plans to update the standards. Following a period of input and consultation, a Notice of Intent to proceed with the changes was issued in June 2017, and subsequent feedback has been taken into account for the current proposal.

Public and industry comments on the proposal will be accepted until September 14th, 2018. For more details and to provide feedback, see the announcement on the CFIA website.

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