Attention Bud drinkers: Has your beer been less satisfying in recent months? Are you feeling less buzzed, experiencing a loss of taste, flavor, or aroma when consuming your favorite American lager? If so, we may have some answers.
Lawyers representing consumers in California, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey filed lawsuits last week alleging that A-B’s St Louis-based unit dilutes some of its most popular beers without changing the alcohol content on the labels. The suit is seeking a class action status, for damages upwards of $5 million.
Nina Giampaoli and John Elbert of Sonoma County, Ca. filed a lawsuit last Friday in San Francisco claiming that they were misled by Budweiser labels reading 5 percent ABV. The claim did not state where they learned of the misrepresentation, but Josh Boxer, an associate attorney with the leading law firm said the litigation relies on statements made by former A-B plant workers that support the claims of the plaintiffs.
A-B’s vice president of brewing and supply, Peter Kraemer, responded in a public statement, saying “The claims against Anheuser-Busch are completely false, and these lawsuits are groundless.”
The suit states that many of A-B’s brands including Bud Ice, Busch Ice, Black Crown, Bud Light Lime, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, and others, are guilty of the misrepresentation.
According to the lawsuit, the Macro brewer uses Anton Paar meters to test the alcohol content of their beers and adds carbon dioxide afterward, so as not to affect the alcohol reading. However, the plaintiff’s claims are operating solely from the statements made by former plant workers, as they did not test the alcohol content themselves.
Many are skeptical of the validity in these suits, as large brewers are frequently the targets of fraudulent claims. More suits are set to be filed in Ohio and Colorado soon, so we’ll see what happens. The plaintiffs do lack significant evidence. If every claim stating that A-B’s products tasted like water warranted a lawsuit, there’d be a lot of rich beer snobs out there.