Flavored Malt Beverages are drinks made using malt base that has been stripped of its malt characteristics and with natural or artificial flavors added to create a taste profile that differs from traditional beer.
Flavored malt beverages (FMBs), also known as “malternatives,” or “alcopops,” are formulated and classified in multiple ways. These factors can dictate how the beverage can be labeled, sold, marketed, and taxed. Some of these beverages may fall under regulation by both the FDA and the TTB and become subject to the formulation and labeling requirements of both.
Along with the surge in popularity of hard sodas and hard seltzer waters, traditional FMB brands are also finding new ways to appeal to consumers. Spirit brands have used FMBs to enjoy the tax advantages of being classified as a malt-based beverage vs. a distilled spirit. Spirit-branded FMBs can expand brand awareness and familiarity with the original spirit brand.
With innovative formulation and marketing, large and small brewers are using FMBs to fill the needs of a wide range of consumers.