When did ABV labelling begin in the UK?

Despite extensive research, the exact start date of ABV labeling in the U.K. remains a mystery. The practice of denoting the alcoholic content of drinks, “alcohol by volume” or “ABV” was apparently implemented by bars and bartenders before an official law was passed. The regulations governing the labeling appear equally unclear in origin and start date. The closest date able to be researched was the broad date of the year 1989. Despite being currently ubiquitous, the exact start date of ABV labelling still remains indefinite.

Key Takeaways:

  • Labeling the alcohol content by volume of alcoholic drinks in the U.K. does not have a clear start date of when it was first implemented.
  • Bartenders in the U.K. appeared to begin labeling drinks before there was any law requiring it.
  • Only ambiguous documents and legislation exists regarding an official start date-it appears to be around 1989.

“How can such a seismic change for consumers have happened under the radar?”

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  1. Camra started providing abv in their 1976 beer guide so camra might be able to give a definitive date, hope this helps

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