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Craft beer law approved: all the rules and requirements

craft-beer-labels-reqirements-pe-labellersAfter a long wait, the Italian Senate finally officially determined the characteristics and the basic requirements of “craft” beer. According to bill S 1328-B, craft beer is “produced in small independent breweries and not subjected to pasteurisation and microfiltration processes during production“.

This is an important turning point for the history of craft breweries in Italy, finally recognised and protected by the State both in terms of production and fiscal treatment: indeed, until very recently, the law did not make any distinction between micro breweries and large industrial plants, imposing almost identical tax regimes.

This is also why article 35 goes on to specify the conditions for an independent small brewery to be defined as such, i.e. “a legally and economically independent business that employs physically separate facilities from the ones of any other brewery, that does not operate under a license to use the intangible intellectual property rights of others and whose annual production does not exceed 200,000 hectolitres, which includes the amount of beer produced on behalf of third parties.“

A revolution that has also influenced another essential relevant aspect relating to the information for consumers and therefore labels. Indeed, before the regulation, the indication on the label referred to the provisions of Framework act 443/1985 for the crafts industry and was not very exhaustive in terms of ingredients and processing methods. Up until now the only distinctions were beer, alcohol-free beer, light beer, strong beer and special beer, without references to other types on the market such as “lager”, “ale” or “stout” beers.