The West

The Lip - Labels should tell full story
The Lip - Labels should tell full story

Long-time beer drinker Ross Lewis casts his eye over the kegs from here and abroad.

Catch up with other beers on The Sip Archive

It was the great old bard who raised the question would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?

Now William Shakespeare's famous line has special meaning to brewers across the globe.

What is on the label of beers is becoming a big issue. There is a strong push for integrity in packaging so the consumer quite rightly knows what is being drunk and to also preserve some of the great styles and original techniques used in particular brews. Punters should know where the rose was grown and who nurtured it.

Last month the buyers’ watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, reprimanded and fined Carlton and United Breweries $20,400 for misleading labels over Byron Bay Pale Lager.

The drink is licensed to CUB for manufacture and the brewer has been producing the drop at its facility on the NSW central coast.

But the ACCC deemed that the label indicated the brew came from Byron Bay and consumers could have misinterpreted the beer’s origin.

So the description on the bottle is being tweaked to represent its production.

The ACCC's decision was welcomed by the Craft Beer Industry Association.

"The CBIA believes that as an industry craft beer producers have a responsibility to ensure that their consumers are provided with all of the necessary information to make an educated choice about what beer they buy," said the association via statement.

Stone and Wood have been pro-active in their label changes following a move to a bright new brewery in Murwillumbah. The crew are obviously still passionate about their Byron Bay roots but have clearly identified that most of their beverages now come from somewhere else.

“The packaging of all of our beer has been updated to reflect the origins and provenance of our business,” said the company.

“It was established in and will continue to be run from our Byron Bay brewery, and we will be brewing in two locations here in the Northern Rivers (our original Byron Bay brewery and our new Murwillumbah brewery). Look out for the new packaging that clearly says: Born & Raised in Byron Bay, Brewed and Bottled in the Northern Rivers.

Brewers in Belgium are up in arms over the influx of “rivals” in the market.

Some of the craftsmen believe many of these “brewers” are simply fronts for businesses that use contract producers. They claim the brewers are, indeed, nothing of the like and their standing should be reflected in labelling.

If drinkers are going to make an educated choice on what they are consuming, and the influences on the brews, then they have a right to know where their beers have come from and how they have been made.

The West Australian

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