I was under the impression that in America, "beer" MUST contain hops. I say this because a local nano does make a beer with nettles, but they ahve to put about 1/2 ounce of hops in or they call it "beer."
(at least that's what the brewer told me)
They were wrong
As indicated above, the definition of a “beer” under the IRC differs from the
definition of a “malt beverage” under the FAA Act in several significant respects. First,
the IRC does not require beer to be fermented from malted barley; instead, a beer may
be brewed or produced from malt or “from any substitute therefor.” Second, the IRC
does not require the use of hops in the production of beer.
Thanks for posting that, it got me thinking about the sttement from the brewer. Looks like my state (Washington) defines beer a bit differently:
(26) "Malt beverage" or "malt liquor" means any beverage such as beer, ale, lager beer, stout, and porter obtained by the alcoholic fermentation of an infusion or decoction of pure hops, or pure extract of hops and pure barley malt or other wholesome grain or cereal in pure water containing not more than eight percent of alcohol by weight, and not less than one-half of one percent of alcohol by volume. For the purposes of this title, any such beverage containing more than eight percent of alcohol by weight shall be referred to as "strong beer."
Looks like in Washington, "beer" must have hops. (at least if you want to sell it.)