Saturday, August 17th, 2019

Where in the world is my beer?


The Wall Street Journal reports today on a successful lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch InBev because of the false impression Becks is brewed in Germany.

Beck’s used to be brewed in Germany, owned by local German families until 2002 when it was sold to Belgium’s Interbrew, which then merged with Brazil’s AmBev, to become InBev, which in turn acquired Anheuser-Busch. Production of Beck’s moved to St. Louis in 2012, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit claimed that phrases featured in Beck’s packaging, such as “German Quality” beer and “Originated in Bremen, Germany,” gave consumers the wrong impression about where the beer is made in violation of state consumer protection laws.

“Beck’s consumers in the United States knew that the only way to get German beer of such high quality, as boasted about on Beck’s packaging, was to import the beer from Germany,” the lawsuit said. A spokesperson for AB InBev didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Settlement class members include consumers who purchased Beck’s beer since May 2011. Once it’s finalized, they’ll be able to fill out an online form to claim a refund. Beck’s drinkers can get 10 cents back for every individual bottle purchased; 50 cents for a six-pack or $1.75 per 20-pack.

Refunds, though, are capped at $50 for claims backed by a valid proof of purchase. Consumers who didn’t keep receipts are entitled to no more than $12. You can still get a refund even if you Googled Beck’s and knew all along that it’s no longer made in Germany.

I won’t be able to claim a refund because I have not gone near a Beck’s since the early 1990s but I believed it was still brewed in Germany until I saw this.

Perhaps I can get a refund from Harp and Guinness for selling me a product brewed in Canada instead of Ireland.

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