August 10, 2015

Beer Consumption Rises Amongst Young Kosher Consumers

New York - Beer consumption is up amongst younger kosher consumers, a number of retailers told Kosher Today “and we may not know the full story.” The reason is that beer is inherently kosher and if not flavored and not including other added ingredients it does not require kosher certification. One Brooklyn retailer guessed that beer consumption in just the last year was up by 10%. “It’s many of the younger customers who are also buying gourmet herring, spicy dips, and plenty of cholent to eat on a Thursday night, before the Shabbat,” he added. Indeed, amongst the topics on the agenda of OU Kosher Rabbinic Coordinator and Consumer Relations Administrator Rabbi Eli Eleff when he led a Harry H. Beren ASK OU Outreach weekend program at the Etz Chaim Synagogue’s Summer Kollel in Jacksonville was about craft beer.  According to the Colorado-based Brewers Association, craft beer must be small, independent and traditional. This means a brewery that distributes no more than six million barrels of beer a year, is not owned by a major beer company and that the majority of the brewery's output consists of "beers whose flavor derives from traditional or innovative brewing ingredients and their fermentation." It is the flavors, traditional or not, that causes kashrus officials to suggest that either customers buy non flavored beer or those with a hechsher. Kashrus agencies have long ruled that unflavored beers, including dark or malt beer, are kosher from countries like Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Mexico, Norway, and the Netherlands.