Known for its various brands of beer and arguably some of the best Superbowl commercials in recent history, Anheuser-Busch, the makers of Budweiser and other well known alcoholic beverages is being sued for allegedly lying on their labels.
Lawsuits have been filed throughout the United States by consumers claiming that Anheuser-Busch has been lying about alcohol content on the labels of 10 Anheuser-Busch products: Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime.
According to lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Josh Boxer, "Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned (in the lawsuit) are watered down," Boxer said. "It's a simple cost-saving measure, and it's very significant." The various employees come from the company’s 13 breweries in the United States, some of which held high-level positions at the plants. The suit alleges that "AB (Anheuser-Busch) never intends for the malt beverage to possess the amount of alcohol that is stated on the label. As a result, AB's customers are overcharged for watered-down beer and AB is unjustly enriched by the additional volume it can sell.”
What Anheuser-Busch Allegedly Does
According to the former employees, water is added to the beer just prior to bottling which diminishes the alcohol content by as much as 3 percent; which is a lot when you consider how little alcohol some of the abovementioned drinks actually contain. Hmmm….now this explains why I got a lot of the stink eye whenever I showed up with a case of Budweiser to a college party!
Anheuser-Busch responded by calling the lawsuits "groundless" and affirmed that they are fully compliant with the laws governing labeling of alcohol. "Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws. We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the U.S. and the world," said Peter Kraemer, vice president of brewing and supply. That doesn’t sound like an outright denial to me. Way to skirt the issue Mr. Kraemer.
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