Microbreweries concerned about costs of providing beer nutrition - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Microbreweries concerned about costs of providing beer nutritional info

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)

Happy hour may be a little less happy for those counting calories.

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring major chain restaurants to provide nutritional information about their beers.

It’s a move that craft breweries claim won’t be healthy for their bottom lines. Some call it a minor inconvenience while others say it’ll be a disaster.

Microbreweries said they’ve been pouring over their numbers this week to try and figure out how much the move will cost them.

City Steam brewery in Hartford said it’s built its success one long, slow pour at a time. Its owners said it began as a love story.

“I ran out of beer on a Sunday once about 40 years ago,” said Ron Page, City Steam’s master brewer. “So, I learned how to make it myself.”

Page said people in the craft beer industry constantly face new challenges, so he wasn’t surprised to hear about the FDA decision.

“It's just another governmental intrusion into people's private lives,” he said.

The requirement goes into effect next December.

“I imagine the only expense would be the laboratory expense of sending a sample out and having it analyzed,” Page said.

Page said those tests can cost hundreds of dollars.

The Thomas Hooker Brewery in Bloomfield said this type of requirement would be a burden and cost breweries a lot.

The founder of Back East Brewery, also in Bloomfield, told Eyewitness News that he’s still analyzing how much it’ll cost. He also said he won’t pay to test all 20 of his beers.

Page said he’s more worried about his beer than the future of nutritional information.

He said his beers are in major chain stores, but he’s not sure how much the FDA decision will cost him in the long run. Still, he’s confident the foam will rise to the top.

“We're brewers,” Page said. “We’re adaptable. We'll figure out something.”

Other Connecticut brewers told Eyewitness News that although big chain business is a pretty small source of overall revenue, it’s a major way that people discover their beer.

They said they’ll just have to work with the regulations.

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