THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
Signup

Class Action Suits Accuse Anheuser-Busch of Watering Down Beer

by The Drink Nation on Feb 27, 2013 in Beer
Class Action Suits Accuse Anheuser-Busch of Watering Down Beer

Didn’t we just get past a watered-down booze controversy? A series of lawsuits were filed in federal courts in three states this week, each accusing macrobrewing giant A-B InBev’s St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch division of selling Budweiser and other beer at a lower ABV percentage than listed on the label.

The complaints, filed in Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey, claim that up to 10 different beers in the company’s roster have been ending up on shelves with less alcohol than they are supposed to contain. The class action suits aim to remunerate consumers who got less booze than they thought they paid for, and are asking for upwards of $5 million each. The real damage, however, might come from the media outcry and customer backlash.

How the watering-down might be occurring is not entirely clear, but the suits are based on information from former employees at some of the 13 breweries A-B operates in the U.S. These people claim extra water is added just before bottling, reducing the alcohol in each bottle by between 3%–8%.

Considering that Budweiser has a pretty low 5% ABV to begin with, the difference would not be very noticeable to the drinker (an 8% reduction would lead to an ABV of 4.6% instead of 5%), but the savings (and therefore profits) for Aneheuser-Busch certainly would be.

A-B’s vice-president has called the claims “completely false,” but the cost-cutting methods jibe with the known techniques of CEO Carlos Brito, who ascended to the position when Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev in 2008. Brito is known for being ruthless in management, and prizing financial savings over quality control.

"Following the merger, [Anheuser-Busch] vigorously accelerated the deceptive practices, sacrificing the quality products once produced by Anheuser-Busch in order to reduce costs," the lawsuit said, according to the BBC.

The lawsuits come when A-B InBev is facing its first hurdle in its global expansion; the U.S. Department of Justice recently threatened to block the beer giant’s takeover of Grupo Modelo (makers of Corona and Modelo) under antitrust laws. A-B Inbev already controls more than 50% of the Belgian-Brazilian company, but the merger would give the congolomerate unprecedented control over both U.S. and world beer markets.

Perhaps the “watering down” lawsuits, combined with the U.S. goverment’s wariness, will put up a stumbling block to the unbending campaign of the company to flood stores with tasteless macrobrew and keep craft beer off the shelves.

Recent Articles
Home Bar Project Below Features

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
What Does the Firestone Walker Acquisition Mean for Craft Beer Fans?

What Does the Firestone Walker Acquisition Mean for Craft Beer Fans?

Firestone Walker made an announcement late last week that they had been "invested in" by Duvel Moortgat. But w...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 20, 2015
Tickets to the 2015 Great American Beer Festival on Sale July 29

Tickets to the 2015 Great American Beer Festival on Sale July 29

The GABF has sold out in well under and hour for the past six years. Tickets to this year's event go on sale to the general public on Wednesday, July ...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jul 17, 2015
Retreat to the Mountains for the 12th Annual Steamboat Wine Festival, Aug. 5-9

Retreat to the Mountains for the 12th Annual Steamboat Wine Festival, Aug. 5-9

Put the Steamboat Wine Festival on your summer travel calendar, because events are selling out quickly and you...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jul 16, 2015
SPONSORED
Perennial Funding - rectangle
Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Top 20 Drinking Quotes of All Time

Writers and musicians have a long, storied history with alcohol, and that intimacy with the bottle shows through in the memorable lines these artists ...read more ›

by Jenny An Sep 3, 2013
Summer Six Pack: Six Refreshing Beers You Need to Try This Summer

Summer Six Pack: Six Refreshing Beers You Need to Try This Summer

Grab some of these refreshing brews for your next beach trip or cookout....read more ›

by Swabreen Bakr Jul 15, 2015
Music Festival Attendees' Urine is Getting Transformed into Beer in Denmark

Music Festival Attendees' Urine is Getting Transformed into Beer in Denmark

Urine from the Danish Roskilde Festival is being used to fertilize barley which will be turned into beer in a ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 14, 2015
Oregon Brewers Festival Returns for 28th Year, July 22-26

Oregon Brewers Festival Returns for 28th Year, July 22-26

The country's second oldest beer festival is back July 22 through 26 and is still going strong after 28 years. ...read more ›

by Carrie Dow Jul 13, 2015
Whiskey Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye 10 Year

Whiskey Review: WhistlePig Straight Rye 10 Year

WhistlePig Straight Rye Whiskey 10 Year is well worth seeking out. ...read more ›

by Robin Shreeves Jul 10, 2015
Bugs Bunny Would Love What's on Tap at This Australian Brewery

Bugs Bunny Would Love What's on Tap at This Australian Brewery

Craft brewery teams up with local farmer to brew a carrot beer and help raise awareness of local produce....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 9, 2015
This Carlsberg Product Line Brings a New Meaning to the Phrase Shower Beer

This Carlsberg Product Line Brings a New Meaning to the Phrase "Shower Beer"

With this men's beauty line, you can literally bathe in beer. ...read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Jul 7, 2015
SPONSORED
Read The Drink Nation Anywhere You Are
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close