Beer calories, which measure the amount of beer consumed per calorie, are one of the biggest expenses for consumers.
But they’re also one of those areas that many consumers are reluctant to pay attention to.
“We have to have some sort of standard,” said Mike Bostock, senior director of business development for the Brewers Association, a trade group.
“This is not something that we can just start and do without making changes.”
The Brewers Association and the Brewers Guild, a craft brewers group, have been lobbying Congress to create a uniform metric that would require brewers to disclose all the ingredients used in their beer.
The Brewers Alliance estimates that nearly 80 percent of the beer sold in the United States is made with corn and soybean meal.
The food group estimates that about one-fifth of the total calories in U.S. beer comes from corn and sugar.
The brewers association has been working to find a standard for beer calories for more than a decade, but that effort has stalled because the industry has yet to come up with a good metric.
In the wake of the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that brewers are required to report all ingredients used to make beer, the Brewers Alliance is working to launch a national standard, according to industry executives.
A draft plan for the effort is expected to be unveiled in early October, and Bostocks group is already planning a public event to promote the plan in November.
While the craft brewers are looking to improve the industry’s food-related calorie count, the industry is still trying to figure out what to do about sugar.
A number of countries have already started to tackle sugar as a calorie source.
“It’s just the right time for us to do that,” Bostons company said in a statement.
The new standard would also provide a better measurement of how much sugar is actually consumed by consumers, according a statement from the Brewers Organization.
Bostackos group estimates the industry consumed about 6.5 billion calories of sugar last year.
“With this new standard, the consumer can have more confidence in how their food is prepared and whether their food tastes as good as they think it tastes,” said Tom Stahl, senior vice president of corporate affairs for the American Beverage Association.
The industry says it’s working on ways to improve its calorie count as it works to make craft beers more palatable to consumers.
“The industry is committed to making it easier for people to understand how much they’re consuming,” said Brian Gartrell, president of the Brewers Union.
The National Beer Wholesale Association, which represents beer distributors and retailers, also supports the effort.
“Beer is the largest and most popular beverage in the world,” said Andrew R. Pomeranz, executive director of the trade group, which operates the country’s largest wholesale beer marketplace, BJCP.
“That’s a good thing.
We think that people want to know how much calories they’re actually consuming.”
Still, Pomerantz said that the industry needs to make it easier to see how much energy beer uses.
“One of the challenges we have in our industry is the way the government has broken down the amount [of energy] into different categories,” he said.
“If you go and take a look at the food and beverage industry, you’ll see that all of the energy is used in a few different ways.
And that’s just not good for consumers.”