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Cutbush pushes for alcohol labeling bill.

Cutbush pushes for alcohol labeling bill

Stating that "the alcohol content of beer is much too important to be left a guess," G. Heileman Brewing Co. president Murray Cutbush recently recommended that Congress reconsider its historic prohibition of labeling beer's alcohol percentage.

In 1934, with the Repeal of Prohibition, Congress prohibited labeling and advertising the alcohol content of beer. It based its censure of this information on fear of brewers competing on the basis of higher alcohol content.

Today, Cutbush contended, the light beer category is the fastest growing segment with sales reaching 28 percent of the total beer category. Higher alcohol beers, on the other hand, compose less than five percent of sales, and as a group, distilled spirit and wine sales are declining.

Earlier this year, the State of Washington adopted an administration regulation requiring the alcohol content of beer to be labeled in that state effective January 1992. In delaying the implementation date, Washington Liquor Control Board Commissioners expressed hope that Congress would adopt the same policy on a national level.

Further, on November 6, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver, CO, will hear the federal government's appeal of a District Court decision which declared the Federal prohibition of beer alcohol content labeling and advertising to be unconstitutional. Heileman has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Adolph Coors, the plaintiff.

Cutbush believes that consumers will moderate their alcohol consumption if they have a way of determining the relative strength of beers. "This can only occur after Congress adopts the same policy for beer that it hold for distilled spirits and wine<<alcohol content on the label," Cutbush concluded.
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Title Annotation:brewery president Murray Cutbush seeks alcohol content labeling for beer
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:Oct 15, 1990
Previous Article:Chicago has a new beer legacy in town.
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