Hype or Not: What Is 'Clean’ Beer, Anyway?

Mountain biking and Island beers

Little-Known Ingredients That May Be Lurking in That Beer

Many people don’t realize that there may be potentially unhealthy ingredients lurking in their favorite beer. GMOs, corn, rice, sweeteners, MSG, calcium disodium ETC, and common allergens such as peanuts and gluten are among these sneaky ingredients that—due to the fact that malt beverage labeling falls outside of FDA jurisdiction—don’t have to be named on ingredients lists.

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are created when scientists alter the genetic make-up of a plant or animal. While there's still much debate over the safety of genetically modified foods, some studies have linked them to an increase in allergies, infertility, and cancer. 

Sugars are added to beer to give it a sweet flavor, but too much sugar can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of diabetes.  High fructose corn syrup is a sweetener that’sis often used in beer and has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a flavor enhancer that can have serious side effects, such as headaches, chest pain, and nausea. Calcium disodium ETC, or ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, is used to keep beer from becoming cloudy, but it can also lead to kidney and liver damage.

It’s important to be aware of the ingredients in beer and the potential health risks they can pose. Many beer makers are beginning to disclose the ingredients in their products, which can help consumers make more informed decisions, but the federal government still does not require these disclosures under the law. There are also plenty of healthier beer options available, such as gluten-free beers, organic beers, and low-sugar beers. Taking the time to research the ingredients in your favorite beer can help you make healthier choices and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems.

Why Beer Makers Don’t Have to Disclose Ingredients

Since the end of prohibition in 1933, alcohol companies haven’t been required to provide  nutritional information or an ingredient list on the labels of their products. This is unlike food and non-alcoholic beverages, which were placed under FDA regulation in 1966, requiring them to disclose nutrition information and ingredients. The FDA didn’t even require what we now see as the modern nutrition label for food and non-alcoholic beverages until 1990

Alcoholic beverages are instead regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The TTB has made labels optional for manufacturers, only requiring them to disclose a few key ingredients that can trigger an allergic sensitivity or reaction, such as sulfites or synthetic dyes. Distilled alcohol must also disclose its Alcohol By Volume (ABV), and wines over 7% ABV must also disclose their ABV. 

The lack of a nutrition label or ingredients list on beer labels can make it difficult for consumers to make informed decisions about their health. Brewers tend to use a variety of additives, such as corn syrup, to enhance the flavor or to cut costs, and these ingredients may have an adverse effect on a person’s health. Furthermore, beer often contains a high amount of carbohydrates and calories, and without a nutrition label, it can be difficult for consumers to determine how much of this is in a single serving. 

The lack of a nutrition label or ingredients list on beer labels can also make it difficult for those looking for healthy beers to drink. Beer companies don’t have to disclose any information about the health benefits or nutritional value of their product, meaning that there’s no easy way for those looking for a healthier beer to discern which one is the best option for them. 

Ultimately, the lack of transparency in beer labels means that consumers have to do their own research to understand what they’re drinking. Consumers should familiarize themselves with the ingredients and nutrition information of the beers they are looking to buy, and research what health benefits or risks they may be exposed to when drinking a certain brand. By doing so, they can make more informed decisions about their health and the beers they choose to drink.

Here’s What Clean Beer Looks Like

At Island Brands, we are proud to provide the cleanest beer available, leading to a better day-after without sacrificing flavor. All of our beers are free of additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, and excessive sweeteners, making them a healthier option compared to the majority of beers on the market. We understand the importance of being conscious of what we are consuming and strive to make sure that our beers are made with the cleanest ingredients possible. 

Unlike many other beers, Island Brands does not contain any GMO ingredients or artificial fillers and additives. We are committed to providing beers that are as health-conscious and natural as possible. Our beers are crafted with the highest quality ingredients and contain very low levels of gluten and allergenic ingredients, making them a healthier alternative for those who have food allergies or sensitivities. 

We take pride in crafting beers that are low in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar, while still offering a full flavor. If you are looking for the cleanest beer and healthiest beer for you, Island Brands has you covered. 

Choose Clean Beer for Your Healthy Lifestyle

Long story short, most beer companies make it harder than it should be to get answers about what’s actually in the bottle. Because they’re not required to tell you about their methods and ingredients, it turns out they’re very willing to cut corners where they shouldn’t. Until things change, it’s up to consumers to do their own research on the alcoholic products they choose to drink. 

Fortunately, there are some beer companies that strive to use the highest quality clean ingredients and are transparent about their brewing practices, like Island. Look no further and explore our clean beers today!