Check the label on almost any of your favorite packaged snacks, from chips to dips, and you’ll find every ingredient is listed.
But there's one popular item that may leave you wondering what, exactly, is going into your body when you consume it: beer.
Until this week, many beers did not disclose calorie counts or ingredient lists on their bottles. While we may have a rough idea of what goes into our favorite brews, the recipes have remained trade secrets. Now, according to the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, some of the biggest breweries in the nation will start disclosing ingredients and calorie counts on their packaging.
“Consumers have as much right to know what’s in their beer as in their root beer,” Michael F. Jacobson, the president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said in a statement. “The calories in beer can make a very significant contribution to a drinker's overall calorie intake.”
While Jacobson says that knowing the calorie count of certain beers can help make a significant dent in your daily calories, he believes that providing ingredients is an important part of making beer brewing more transparent — especially for people with allergies.
“Brewers are allowed to artificially color, flavor, sweeten and preserve their products, as well as use foam enhancers," Jacobson said in an email interview. "Major brewers have committed to providing ingredient information information on labels … That information will help people with allergies or other concerned about ingredients.”
Breweries expected to comply with this voluntary disclosure include Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, HeinekenUSA as well the Constellation Brands Beer Division and North American Breweries, according to the Beer Institute, a trade group.