Skip to main content

Government Proposes Amendments to Modernize Canada’s Beer Standard

OTTAWA, (Friday, June 15, 2018) Beer Canada and its members commend the Government of Canada for supporting Canada’s brewers by proposing amendments in Canada Gazette Part I aimed at modernizing the Beer Standard.

“The proposed updates to the Beer Standard will benefit all brewers at a time when the pace of change and innovation is as exciting as it is challenging,” said Luke Harford, Beer Canada President. “In some circumstances innovation has blurred the lines between beer and other beverage alcohol categories”.

Beer is a food and is regulated under the Food and Drug Regulations. 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. The need for a modernized Beer Standard has become increasingly apparent as innovation within the beer category continues to be a primary means of achieving market growth.

“Beer is part of Canada’s heritage and culture. It is important that the Beer Standard includes criteria that preserve beer’s key traditional attributes, but also allow brewers to innovate and compete in a fast- changing and vibrant category,” explained Harford. The modernization of the Beer Standard is required to keep pace with industry innovation and to draw a line between beer and other beverage alcohol categories. Mr. Harford highlighted that “in 1990 there were 400 brands of beer in Canada and today there are over 8000”.

The changes proposed, which touch on sugars, flavours, carbohydrate matter and additives, offer brewers and regulators an objective and consistent tool to differentiate beer from other beverage alcohol categories and the ability to experiment and be innovative. They are supported by Beer Canada and provincial brewer associations across the country.

The modern Beer Standard will benefit consumers, government and industry by providing a clear and concise understanding of what constitutes and defines beer. It will also provide a basis for opportunities to innovate within the beer category, by way of improved regulatory clarity and efficiencies.


Beer Canada is the national trade association that advocates to ensure Canadian brewers are able to operate in a healthy regulatory environment and that beer remains a celebrated part of Canada’s culture.

As the national voice of beer, Beer Canada represents over 50 Canadian brewing companies that account for 90% of beer made in Canada and a category that supports 149,000 Canadian jobs, $13.6 billion in real gross domestic product and $5.7 billion in tax revenues for federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.


Brittany Moorcroft

Manager, Member Services & Communications

Beer Canada
613-232-9601 x225


We’d love to hear from you!

We welcome feedback, questions, and general inquiries that our readers and members would like to share. Fill out the contact form below and one of our team members will be in touch with you as soon as possible.