Introducing the New Guide to Food Safety Planning for Craft Brewers

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With the recent recognition of beer as “food” by regulatory bodies, alcoholic beverages are now regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In response to these regulatory changes, the Brewers Association Technical Committee and Quality Subcommittee recognized the need for an “industry standard” for safe brewing practices. 

The publication of Food Safety Planning for Craft Brewers provides timely guidance and best practices for managing food safety in a modern craft brewery. This seminal guide will serve as a much-needed resource for craft brewers planning and implementing food safety programs, increasingly required by some retailers. Experienced industry veterans, Mary Pellettieri and Gary Nicholas, created this resource to speak directly to the needs of craft brewers, making the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) compliance guidelines approachable and easy to implement.

This resource…includes invaluable industry-accepted and recommended best practice guidance that will make the task of setting up and operating food safety systems in small breweries much more manageable.

Photo of Larry Horwitz

Larry Horwitz

Ten20 Craft Brewery

This resource will also serve as the authoritative guidance to food safety inspectors and regulatory agencies who are not familiar with standards relevant for breweries. There are no recognized food safety standards for brewing, as traditional beers pose low risk of harboring harmful food borne pathogens. Innovative craft beers and non-alcoholic beverages now challenge that notion. Beyond microbiological risks, other hazards may be present in the brewery that could ultimately compromise the beer drinker’s safety.

Larry Horwitz, co-chair of the Brewers Association Technical Committee says, “This resource is vital for small brewers whose primary job isn’t reading and understanding food safety regulations. It includes invaluable industry-accepted and recommended best practice guidance that will make the task of setting up and operating food safety systems in small breweries much more manageable.”

The development of this resource began in February 2019. Over the following year and a half, it received input and review from numerous food safety experts, industry professionals, and Brewers Association subcommittees and staff. After many rounds of review, the Brewers Association is pleased to announce its publication with the hope that this new guidance will help further the quality and safety of craft beer. 

On behalf of the Technical Committee, Larry extends a big thanks to “Mary and Gary for writing such a concise, yet complete guide.”