Drinkers sue AB InBev for ‘watering down’ beer
US drinkers are attempting to take the brewing powerhouse AB InBev to court for “watering down” its beers.
Lawsuits totalling US$5 million (£3.3m) have been filed in Pennsylvania and California among other states, with drinkers saying that the alcoholic strength on the bottle did not match that of the liquid inside.
Ten AB InBev beers are cited in the suits, particularly Budweiser and Michelob.
The BBC reported that the brewing giant has ridiculed the claims as “completely false”.
A number of the lawsuits are apparently based on information given by former employees of various breweries.
One lawsuit accuses the multinational of having begun the watering down practice when Anheuser-Busch merged with InBev in 2008.
“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 claimed.
The vice-president of the group, Peter Kraemer, protested the accusations, saying that, “we proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beer.”
AB InBev has lowered the alcohol levels in several of its beers here in the UK – including Budweiser, Becks and Stella Artois.
However, the move, which was announced in January last year and widely seen as a way of avoiding mounting duty costs, was only applicable to the UK.