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Beer Brewers Fear Reclassification

Head of the Russian Brewers Union Isaak Sheps sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich asking to keep the current standard for malt content in beer and reject a regulator's proposal to tighten classifications.

Increasing the threshold for malt content from the current 50 percent proposed by the Federal Service for Alcohol Market Regulation, Sheps wrote, would mean that many beer brands will receive the uninviting "beer beverage" classification, which will harm their market reputation, reported Thursday.

In late November, representatives of the alcohol watchdog proposed to include in Customs Union regulations a clause that every member of the union can keep national standards for beer ingredients. Therefore, even after union-wide rules would be enacted, beverages with malt content of 80 percent will still be called "beer," whereas all other brands will be classified as "beer beverages," the report said.

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