Suit says Anheuser-Busch waters down its beers

Proposed class action claims company lowers alcohol content of its beverages to boost profits

Cheers to another alcohol-related lawsuit.

Last Friday, two consumers filed a proposed class action in California accusing Anheuser-Busch InBev—the world’s largest brewer—of watering down its beers in order to boost profits. The suit claims the company misleads consumers by mislabeling the alcohol content of its Budweiser, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum and Bud Light Lime brands.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs say the suit could affect tens of millions of U.S. consumers. The suit seeks restitution for U.S. consumers that could add up to tens of millions of dollars, as well as an injunction imposing labeling requirements and alcohol-content regulations for Anheuser-Busch.

Plaintiffs attorney Josh Boxer says his clients’ claims aren’t based on independent testing of Anheuser-Busch products, but rather on inside information. “We learned about the mislabeling from a number of former employees of AB (Anheuser-Busch) at breweries throughout the United States,” he told Thomson Reuters. “And some high-level guys at the brewery level all told us that as a matter of AB corporate policy, these target brands are watered down.”

Boxer says plaintiffs are filing roughly a dozen companion suits this week in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other states.

Meanwhile, Anheuser-Busch says the suits are “groundless” and that its beers are in “full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws.”

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Ashley Post

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