Fatwa: # 32304
Category: Food and Nourishment
Country: United Kingdom
Date: 21st March 2015

Title

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Question

Please can you help us with the following query:
There is a product called Bundaberg Ginger Beer. It's ingredients are:

Ingredients
: Carbonated water, cane sugar, ginger root, natural flavours, acid (citric acid), yeast, preservatives (202, 211), antioxidant (asccorbic acid).

What the company say regarding Alcohol in their products:

Do Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Products contain alcohol?
All Bundaberg Brewed Drinks naturally brewed products contain minute residual traces of alcohol. Our manufacturing process uses natural yeast which feed on sugars and ferments the ‘brew’ to be used as a base for our beverages. Alcohol is a by-product of this fermentation process. Before we fill the product into bottles we heat the brew to above 70 degrees C. to kill the yeast, halt the fermentation process, and remove the alcohol. After this heating process all of our products have a residual alcohol level of less than 0.5%. It is this manufacturing process, and the natural brew component in our beverages which adds the flavour profile unique to our products.
The legal level allowable in a soft drink for it to be labelled as a non alcoholic beverage is 0.5%. We promote all of our beverages as a soft drink which is an acceptable alternative to intoxicating beverages. For further confirmation you may find information regarding Non Alcoholic Beverages in Food Standard 2.6.2 on www.foodstandards.gov.au.
 
 
Please can you tell us if the above product is suitable for Muslim consumption.
Your response will be greatly appreciated.

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

The contents and procedure of making the Bundaberg brewed drink as explained by yourself is the same as other soft drinks. [1] In particular, the alcohol amount is minute and is from sugar cane and not from grapes or dates. Such soft drinks are permissible[2].

However, due to the soft drink being named as “beer”, if that confuses with beer that intoxicates, then the ruling could change.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Asim Patel

Student Darul Iftaa
Venda, South Africa

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net



[1] A soft drink (also called soda, pop, soda pop coke, [1] soda pop, fizzy drink, seltzer, mineral, [2] lolly water [3] or carbonated beverage) is a beverage that typically contains carbonated water, a sweetener and a flavouring. The sweetener may be sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, fruit juice, sugar substitutes (in the case of diet drinks) or some combination of these. Soft drinks may also contain caffeine, colourings, preservatives and other ingredients.

Soft drinks are called "soft" in contrast to "hard drinks" (alcoholic beverages). Small amounts of alcohol may be present in a soft drink, but the alcohol content must be less than 0.5% of the total volume[4][5] if the drink is to be considered non-alcoholic.[6] Fruit juice, tea and other such non-alcoholic beverages are technically soft drinks by this definition but are not generally referred to as such..

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft_drink 

[2]

قال: "ونبيذ العسل والتين ونبيذ الحنطة والذرة والشعير حلال وإن لم يطبخ" وهذا عند أبي حنيفة وأبي يوسف رحمهما الله إذا كان من غير لهو وطرب لقوله عليه الصلاة والسلام: "الخمر من هاتين الشجرتين"، وأشار إلى الكرمة والنخلة خص التحريم بهما والمراد بيان الحكم، ثم قيل يشترط الطبخ فيه لإباحته، وقيل لا يشترط وهو المذكور في الكتاب؛ لأن قليله لا يدعو إلى كثيره كيفما كان وهل يحد في المتخذ من الحبوب إذا سكر منه؟ قيل لا يحد قالوا: والأصح أنه يحد، فإنه روي عن محمد فيمن سكر من الأشربة أنه يحد من غير تفصيل، وهذا؛ لأن الفساق يجتمعون عليه في زماننا اجتماعهم على سائر الأشربة، بل فوق ذلك الهداية في شرح بداية المبتدي (396/4) دار احياء التراث العربي -بيروت –لبنان

Ahsanul Fatāwā v:8 p:489, 490 (H.M.Saeed)

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