Thursday, November 21, 2013

You put *what* in it? #2

It's a funny thing, when you think about it, that we're not required (here in the UK) to put proper ingredient listings on beer.  It's the only essential (made) component of my diet that is granted this exception.  I realise that many people don't care, as long as it tastes good, and that's fair enough.  Of course, there's also the point that quite a few of the wacky things we put in beer (and other food producers put in their stuff) are classed as "processing aids"* rather than ingredients, so there are often some quite interesting things used to make food, that don't really make it into the finished article.  Some hold that an ingredients list would be, in effect, a recipe for the beer and that brewers shouldn't be obliged to give away trade secrets.  This is probably nonsense.

We're updating our bottle labels and you'll notice (those discerning few who choose to buy our beer), that we're introducing an ingredients list.  It's all because we're, like, "Unconditionally Guaranteed Honest, Non-Evil, and Hype-Free!", and not because we have to.

You might also notice that we don't provide "responsible drinking advice".  This is because (1) we don't have to, (2) we're not qualified to give you health advice (no, Dr Becky isn't that sort of doctor) and (3) because we're happy to treat you like grown-ups.

We do, however, include a notice about allergens on our labels (and always have).  i.e. "Contains Gluten".  This is a legal requirement.

We're currently working on our one "gluten free" product to ensure that we can continue making this claim as the science around this issue develops.  This isn't in bottle yet, so this is a bit off thread I suppose.

What we don't do is make claims on our labels, here, or elsewhere which are intended to be deceptive, or might risk misleading our lovely customers. This would be legally awkward (I'd guess) and definitely plain wrong.

*"Processing aid" means any substances not consumed as a food by itself, intentionally used in the processing of raw materials, foods or their ingredients, to fulfil a certain technological purpose during treatment or processing, and which may result in the unintentional but technically unavoidable presence of residues of the substance or its derivatives in the final product, provided that these residues do not present any health risk and do not have any technological effect on the finished product.
 (some emphasis added)

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