PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- It's going to take a lot more than a few days of online outrage to make brewers such as Anheuser-Busch InBev, MolsonCoors, SABMiller and Boston Beer divulge a complete list of ingredients on every bottle of beer they produce.
Beer labeling is a complex, heavily regulated process that doesn't tend to change unless it absolutely has to. The big brewers have the labeling game down to a science and smaller brewers have the label approval process timed so tightly that last year's government shutdown almost scrubbed a few batches off of the calendar completely. A blog entry from last July and some ensuing hashtag activism resulted in Anheuser-Busch InBev and MolsonCoors divulging brief lists of general ingredients, but did nothing to compel the Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to change the way it labels beer or its ingredients.
Since 1987, the TTB and its predecessor -- the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms -- have been responsible for regulating the labeling of any drink that falls under the "malt beverage" definition laid out by the Federal Alcohol Administration Act. A little memorandum of understanding between the then-ATF and Food and Drug Administration left it up to the former to decide exactly what information needed to be on a beer bottle or can and what didn't.
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