Spirit of Philadelphia Holiday 2017 Leaderboard

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
spacer

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:
 
Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones & HBO Are Releasing their 13th Beer Collaboration, Hand of the Queen

Game of Thrones might not be coming back until 2019, but you can still drink like Tyrion Lannister with the ne...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 12, 2018
Behind the Bar: Marie Piraino of Bud & Marilyn's

Behind the Bar: Marie Piraino of Bud & Marilyn's

This week on Behind the Bar, we spoke to Marie Piraino at Bud & Marilyn's....read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 10, 2018
Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Where to Host a Private Event in Philadelphia

Whether it's for the holidays or you have a special birthday coming up, Philadelphia has some amazing options when it comes to event spaces. ...read more ›

by Drink Philly Nov 6, 2017
SPONSORED
Skygarten Rectangle Ad
Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

Vodka-Infused Chocolate is Here to Ruin Your New Year's Resolutions

The adult candy company, Sugarfina, is behind this sinful creation of vodka-infused chocolate cordials, and th...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
La Peg's Ice Bar Pegsicle Returns for the Winter, January 15

La Peg's Ice Bar Pegsicle Returns for the Winter, January 15

Things are about to get brisk at La Peg with the return of Pegsicle, an outdoor bar made out of hand-carved ice. ...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 10, 2018
'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

'World's Most Expensive' Vodka Bottle Stolen, Later Found Empty

The bar world was shaken last week when a bottle of vodka, reportedly the most expensive in the world at $1.3 million, was stolen from Cafe 33, a bar ...read more ›

by Alexander Frane Jan 9, 2018
Philly's Best Happy Hours: a.bar's Oysters, $8 Punch & Wines, and $4 Beers

Philly's Best Happy Hours: a.bar's Oysters, $8 Punch & Wines, and $4 Beers

This week, we're focusing on a.bar, the chic, casual counterpart to a.kitchen, which you can find right at the...read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 4, 2018
Snow Day Specials and Bars Open in Philadelphia

Snow Day Specials and Bars Open in Philadelphia

It's a snow day here in Philly! Keep checking back, as updates will be posted all day....read more ›

by Drink Philly Jan 4, 2018
Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Hangover-Free Cannabis Wine Now Being Sold in California

Rebel Coast Winery was ready for California's change in legislation, as their marijuana-infused sauvignon blanc hit the shelves as the clock struck mi...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Jan 3, 2018
A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

A New Study Shows that Wine Glasses Are Getting Bigger and Bigger

Good news for winos: a new study from the University of Cambridge says that the size of a standard wine glass is a full seven times larger than it was...read more ›

by The Drink Nation Jan 3, 2018
SPONSORED
View all Articles

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

Close