THE DRINK NATION IS A FREE RESOURCE FOR FINDING EVERYTHING AWESOME ABOUT DRINKING IN YOUR LOCATION
Home Bar Project Leaderboard Below Navigation

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

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:
 
Much Like Winter, Game of Thrones Wine Is Coming

Much Like Winter, Game of Thrones Wine Is Coming

Winter is coming, and so is wine from Game of Thrones. Entertainment Weekly reports that HBO and Game of Thrones are preparing to release their own li...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Dec 1, 2016
Make Your Own DIY Beer Advent Calendar

Make Your Own DIY Beer Advent Calendar

Move over, wimpy chocolate Advent calendars - it's time for a fun new way to count down the days until Christmas....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Dec 1, 2016
The 'Fantastic Beasts' Film Features a Speakeasy Bar with Magical Cocktails

The 'Fantastic Beasts' Film Features a Speakeasy Bar with Magical Cocktails

There's a magical speakeasy in the new Harry Potter franchise film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 29, 2016
SPONSORED
Drink Nation Store Rectangle
BrewDog is Releasing a $20,000 Beer Stuffed in a Taxidermied Squirrel

BrewDog is Releasing a $20,000 Beer Stuffed in a Taxidermied Squirrel

BrewDog, the world's first crowd-funded brewery, is releasing an unique beer to anyone who invests at least $2...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 29, 2016
Brine Your Turkey in Gin This Thanksgiving

Brine Your Turkey in Gin This Thanksgiving

California's Distillery No. 209 released a recipe for a groundbreaking new way to use their gin this week - as a brine for your Thanksgiving turkey!...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 22, 2016
Band of Bohemia in Chicago Is First Brewpub to Win Michelin Star

Band of Bohemia in Chicago Is First Brewpub to Win Michelin Star

A brewpub, for the first time ever, has won a Michelin star - specifically, Band of Bohemia in Chicago....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 22, 2016
BrewDog Brewing to Start Production in Ohio in Early 2017

BrewDog Brewing to Start Production in Ohio in Early 2017

BrewDog Beer, the largest brewery in the U.K, is preparing to open a branch in the U.S. in early 2017....read more ›

by Alexander Frane Nov 15, 2016
Robot Truck Makes World's First Self-Driving Beer Delivery

Robot Truck Makes World's First Self-Driving Beer Delivery

A self-driving tractor trailer equipped with 50,000 cans of Budweiser made its first delivery in Colorado in late October. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 15, 2016
Inventors from Texas Create a Magic Wand That Cures Wine Hangovers

Inventors from Texas Create a Magic Wand That Cures Wine Hangovers

We've talked about many products and even beverages that promise to either cure or prevent us drinkers from th...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 11, 2016
A Scottish Brewery has Made Beer from Clouds

A Scottish Brewery has Made Beer from Clouds

Scottish brewery Innis & Gunn is making a beer brewed from actual clouds....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Nov 1, 2016
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close