Notice to Industry – Notice of Intent on proposed changes to Canada's beer compositional standards

June 19, 2017: The Government of Canada is committed to modernizing regulations relating to the beer compositional standards in order to better serve the beer industry and consumers.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is seeking comments on proposed changes to the beer compositional standards during a 60-day consultation. Proposed changes were published in a Notice of Intent in Canada Gazette, Part I, on June 17, 2017. A World Trade Organization (WTO) notification was also shared to solicit feedback from Canada's trading partners.

The CFIA will take all comments into consideration when developing the formal proposal to amend the regulations. It is anticipated that the proposed amendments to the Food and Drug Regulations will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, anticipated in spring 2018.

Proposed changes

The beer compositional standards in the Food and Drug Regulations establish the requirements a product must meet in order to be labelled, packaged, sold, or advertised as beer in Canada.

Proposed changes to the existing beer compositional standards include:

  • allowance for use of mixtures of yeast and other micro-organisms for fermentation
  • removal of the subjective "aroma, taste and characteristic of beer" requirement
  • limiting residual sugar in finished product to 4% by weight
  • removal of the listed food additives and processing aids to rely on Health Canada's Lists of Permitted Food Additives
  • clarification of the use of sources of carbohydrates
  • clarification of the allowance for use of herbs and spices
  • allowance for use of flavoring preparations
  • removal of the Ale, Stout, Porter and Malt Liquor standard (these become part of the beer standard)

To participate

  1. Review the proposed changes
  2. Submit your comments to:

    Director, Consumer Protection and Market Fairness Division
    Food Import Export and Consumer Protection Directorate
    Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    1400 Merivale Road, Tower 2
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0Y9

    or by email:

Correspondence should indicate "Beer Compositional Standards Consultation June 2017" in the subject line.

The consultation closes on August 15, 2017.

Additional Information

Date modified: