Big UK brewers will begin adding general health warnings to their beers this month in a bid to prove that they are serious about tackling binge drinking.
The Liverpool-based Robert Cain Brewery began printing sensible drinking advice on its products in November 2003.
Scottish and Newcastle (S&N) had not finalised its wording but would tell male drinkers not to exceed three to four units of alcohol a day and female drinkers two to three units. The bottles and cans will also say how many units they contain.
"We have agreed to put labels on showing how many units the drinks contain, but there is a not a lot of point in doing that if you don't also put it into context," said S&N.
Newcastle Brown Ale will be the first S&N drink to carry the warnings, coinciding with a packaging overhaul. John Smith's and Fosters are likely to carry the warnings by the end of the year.
Coors is also introducing an anti-binge drinking message this month. Its cans and bottles already show the number of alcohol units but it will add 'Enjoy Carling, take it easy' to its Carling products.
It said that the message was not a warning but was to encourage sensible drinking. It would review the impact before deciding whether to roll it out onto other brands.