Brewers welcome modern definition of beer

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Brewers welcome modern definition of beer

Beer Canada and its members commend the Government for supporting brewers by modernizing Canada’s beer standards.

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Health announced changes to the Food and Drug Regulations today, pertaining to requirements that must be met for a product to be labelled, packaged, sold and advertised as “beer” in Canada.

Brewers are united behind the modernized beer standard as it reduces duplication in the FDR by having one compositional standard for all beers, regardless of style or type. It also preserves beer as a beverage alcohol product that is low in sugar and made with barley. Canada’s brewers will be able to be more innovative in developing their products by using new ingredients and flavouring preparations while maintaining beer’s integrity.

“This is an achievement. The need for a modernized beer standard has become increasingly apparent as creativity continues to be a primary means of achieving market growth,” said Luke Harford, Beer Canada President. “The changes support industry innovation and ensure beer will be treated as distinct from other beverages for decades to come”.

The modern definition of beer will help Canadians make informed choices. Beer labels will have to declare food allergens, gluten sources or added sulphites. Brewers have until December 14, 2022, to transition to the new requirements. Beer Canada is happy to help with resources like the Beer Labelling Toolkit & Checklist.

“We are pleased the changes will permit the use of new ingredients and recognize beer as a product that is low in sugars,” Mr Harford highlighted. “We applaud the Government’s efforts to support brewers and look forward to future opportunities to work together to grow the domestic beer market”.


  • Beer is a food and is regulated under the FDR. The beer standard sets out the ingredients that are required in beer, those that are optional and criteria that must be met for a beverage alcohol product to be packaged, sold and/or advertised as beer in Canada. There are over 300 Food Standards under the FDR.
  • The number of brewing facilities in Canada increased to 995 in 2018, from 817 in 2017.
  • 85% of the beer consumed in Canada is made here.