Alcohol/Beers/Best practices

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Each product that is entered into Open Food Facts has a set of fields. What should be entered in these field is not always clear and ambigious. In order to limit this confusion the best practice is listed here. The principle is that only information available on the labels, bottle and capsule might be used. Use the language selected on the OFF Edit Product page. If you use another language to enter fiels, precede it with a lanuage specifier. Thus on the french edit page we would enter en:Wheat Beer.


First set the entry language of your beer. You will be entering some fields in this language.
This entry language is usually the main language on the product, i.e. the language used most on the label. If the label does not use a main language, select one of the entry languages available for your country. If your desired entry language is not available, check if you are on the right country page, i.e. The page where you bought the product. If not, change the country. Otherwise you need to enter language specif words preceded by a language prefix, such as nl: for dutch, fi: for finnish, etc.


Images are center to Open Food Facts, as they allow to check and enhance the already entered information. So take photo's of the front label, the backlabel and the necklabel on the bottle. Take of not having any reflections on bottles, as it might make the text unreadable.

In addition if the bottles come in a pack, take pictures of all sides of the pack as well, in addition to pictures of the bottles!

Product name

It turns out that dtermining the product name for beers is quite obscure. Usually we call the beers by brand name, such as "may I have another Heineken" or "pass me the Coors". This does however say nothing about the product. Both Heineken and Coors market more than one product. So We have to look at the smaller print on the label. We might find sublines such as "Best Lager", "Belgian Trappist Beer", "Wheat Beer", etc. This is much more appropriate as product name. And do not worry about the brand, you will be entering it later. And it will show up on the title of the product page as well.
Any product name should be limited to what we find on the label. If you really can not find a product name, do you have a beer in your hand? Are the ingredients water, barley malt and hops? Then just enter Beer as product name.

Common name

There is some confusion what to enter here. The best is to enter the product category found above/in the ingredient list. On the backlabel of (see product 5410228158424 m), it specifies Wheat Beer.


The contents of the bottle, often in cl or fl oz for american beer. Not much confusion.
If you bought a package with multiple bottles or cans, specify it as "number of bottles"x"bottle volume", i.e. 6x25cl. Do not add the total volume, that can be calculated.


This field is used to specify information about the package. This field is a keyword based field. This implies that as soon as you press enter or comma, a keyword is created. Keywords are very useful for searchig. If you click on a keyword in a product description, you will see all products that contain that keyword.

Beer packaging basics

One can specify all elements used all elements used to contain the product, or set of products. For beers this is fairly straightforward:

  • Bottle in various sizes (25cl, 33cl, 75cl, etc.);
  • Can in varous sizes;
  • Kegs;

In addition one can specify what materials the packaging is made of. Thus for beer:

  • Métal, usually aluminium for the can and the crown caps;
  • Glass in various colours;

Beer packaging advanced

It is possible to add more detail to the specification of the packaging, allowing for more detailed searches. The Open Street Map style for detailed keywords can be used here:

  • Bottle to specify it is a bottle (and not a can);
  • Glass bottle - to specify that the bottle is made of glass;
  • Brown glass bottle - to specify that the bottle is made of brown glass (other colours are green and transparant).
  • GL 71 glass bottle for clear glass. On some bottles the colour is also printed as GL 71, GL 72 (Wikipedia);
  • Embossed Bottle - to indicate that the bottle has markings of the beer or brewery;

Naturally adjectives can be combined, i.e. Embossed brow glass bottle.

  • Metal crown cork - to specify that the crown cork is made of métal (Wikipédia);
  • Small crown cork - to specify the size of the crown cork. 26mm is found on 25cl, 33cl and 50cl bottles. 29mm (Large crown cork) crown corks are found on 37,5cl and 75cl bottles;
  • Swing top bottle - to indicated bottles with a swing top. These bottles can be closed again;
  • Twist off crown cork - to indicate the bottles can be opened by hand. Just turn the cork;

And for beer that does not come in a bottle

  • Can
  • Metal can - to specify a metal can (which is always the case?);
  • Aluminium can - to specify a can made from aluminium;

Beer packaging labels

An overview of all labels related to the packacing of beer, and its recycling.

  •   Green Dot
  •   Tidyman Wastebasket
  •   Tidyman Recycle
  •   Glass bin
  •   GL 72 (brown glass)
  •   Pant A
  •   Recycle
  •   Caution
  •   No Ecotax
  •   Recycle aluminium


This is usually found on the main label. Try to leave out the word Brewery/Brouwerij/Brasserie/ etc. You can put that in the producer field.
One can also add the owner of the brand. For instance for (see product 5410228158424 m) this would be InBev Belgium.


This can be a confusing field. The field is used by Open Food Facts to compare this product to other similar products. Usually a product is written as plural, as in "show me all Trappist Beers". One can distinguish between three types of categories:

  • productlabel categories - any productcategory that is found on the label, such as Belgian beers, Bières d'abbayes, etc. It might double what is written under productname or common name, but that does not matter;
  • derived categories - these are categories defined by Open Food Facts. You might have entered some already under productlabel categories. other recognized categories are: Beverages, Alcoholic Beverages, Beers, Lagers, Belgian Beers, etc. Enter those as you feel appropriate.
  • personal categories - any category you think that the beer should be in and is not to be found on the label. Thus there might be alcoholic beverages that are beer, but are not notes as such on the productlabel.

Labels, certifications, awards

Many labels can be found the productlabel. It is not always clear what title one should use to describe the logo. Use the english titles given below to limit misunderstanding:

  •  No driving
  •   Not advised for pregnant women
  •   AB
  •   EU Organic
  •   Gluten Free
  •   18+

If you enter any of these ttile, take note of the current languag of your edit page. If it is not english it is advised to add en: in front of the title, to show you entered the english title.


There are some logo's related to the appreciation of a beer. If the label is found on the product, add it. And if possible you can add the year, the category and the prize. For example: World Beer Awards:2012:Best Asian Lager:bronze

Origin of ingredients

Manufacturing or processing places

This would be the address of the brewery. There is some confusing how this should be entered.

  1. Separate - as "Brewery", "Streetname + number", "Postal code", "City", "Region", "Country". This would allow to find all beers brewed in a country, or region, or city, or postal code, or street, or brewery.
  2. Single - as "Brewery, Streetname + number, Postal code, City, Region, Country". Single query possible. Easy to reuse?
  3. Tagged - as "Brewery=Breweryname", "addr:street=Streetname", "addr:housenumber=housenumber", "addr:street=postcode", "addr:city=city", "addr:province=Region", "addr:country=Country" following the Open Street Map mark up for address. Unfortunately this is not very readable for the end-user;

As this is a keybased field, entering an address as separate items is preferred. One should always follow the same order for easy readability by the end-user.

EMB code

Only enter the EMB-code, such as EMB 29293G for (see product 3760010140017 3760010140017 m);

Link to product page on the official site of the producer

This can be found on the label nowadays, although it does more than often point to the producer site. Just enter it.

Best before date

Enter this, so any change in labeling and/or packaging can be tracked. If you can not find it on the label, check out the bottle itself.

City, state and country where purchased

Note that this NON-productlabel information. Just enter where you have bought it.


Add the store name(s) where you bought the product.

Countries where sold

A bottle often has multiple languages, specific logo's or hints to indicate the countries where the product is sold. In order to help determining the country, find here a table of some commonly used languages/indicators and logo's. These are taken from some very international beer labels.

Country Short Beer Ingredients Water Barley Malt Hops Caution Other
Belgium BE Bier / Bière Ingrediënten / Ingrédients Water / Eau Malt d'Orge / Gerstemout Houblon / Hop unknown unknown
Czeck Republic CZ Obsahuje Složení voda ječný slad chmel unknown unknown
Denmark DK Oel Ingedienser / Indeholder Vand Bygmalt Malt af byg Humle Pant unknown
Estland EST Õlu unknown unknown Example unknown unknown unknown
Finland FI Olut Ainesosat / Sisältää Vesi Ohramallasta / ohramallas Humala unknown unknown
France F Ingrédients / Contient Bière Eau Malt d'Orge / Orge malté Houblon Consigne unknown
Germany DE Bier Enthält Wasser Gerstenmalz Hopfen Mehrweg pfandflasche none
Greece GR Μπυρα Συστατικά Νερό Βυνη Κριθάρι unknown unknown
Hungary H unknown összetevők / hozzávalók / készült víz árpamaláta komló unknown unknown
Italy IT Birra Ingredienti / Contiene Acqua Malto d'orzo Luppolo unknown unknown
Netherlands NL Bier Ingredienten / Bevat Water Gerstemout Hop Statiegeld Glasbak logo, language is not enough, can be Belgium as well
Norway NO Øl Ingredienser / Inneholder Vann Bygg Malt Humle unknown unknown
Poland PL Piwo Składniki Woda Słód jęczmienny Chmiel, szyszki chmielu Uwaga unknown
Portugal P Cerveja Ingredientes / Contém Agua Malte de cevada Lupolo unknown unknown
Spain ES Cerveza Ingedientes / Contiene Agua Malta de cebada lúpolo unknown unknown
Sweden SE Starköl Ingredienser / Innehåller Vatten Kornmalt Humle unknown unknown
United Kingdom / Great Britain GB / UK Beer / Ale / Lager Ingredients / Contains Water Barley Malt / Malted barley Hops Caution
United States USA Beer Ingredients Water Barley Malt Hops Caution unknown

Ingredients list

This can be found on the label. Sometimes it is hidden in the text, so read everything.


Allergy ingredients are specified separately as "contains" for instance.

Nutrition Facts Not specified

Leave this unchecked, as the alcohol percentage is a nutrition fact and always found on the label.

Serving size

Usually this is the same as the bottle size (25 or 33cl);

Nutrition Facts

Add the alcohol percentage here, the other facts are not often found.
On french bottles one sees the number of alcohol units a serving contains. Select the per serving radio button and create a new line with Unité alcool and fill in the number.