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Beck’s forced to issue $50 refunds

Anyone that has bought a Beck’s beer in the past four years could be entitled to a $50 refund, after AB InBev admitted its packaging wrongly implied the beer was brewed in Germany.

A lawsuit was filed against Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2013 by three Florida men who complained that the labelling of Beck’s bottles had tricked them into believing the beer was a German pilsner, brewed in Germany.

While Beck’s was originally brewed in Germany, production moved to St Louis in Missouri in 2002 when Belgium’s Interbew merged with Brazil’s AmBev, which then acquired Anheuser-Busch.

The trio claimed the packaging was misleading as it promoted “Germany Quality” and suggested it “Originated in Germany”. The lawsuit claimed this was a deliberate tactic by the brewer so it could sell the beer at a higher price than domestic beers.

Reaching a settlement this week, a judge ordered the brewer to offer $50 refunds to anyone who purchased Beck’s beer as far back as 1 May, 2011, meaning that anyone who has purchased the beer in the past four years could be in line for a refund.

The brewer insisted it was not its intention to deceive customers, but have agreed to change its packaging making clear that the beer is made in the US.

“We believe our labeling, packaging and marketing of Beck’s have always been truthful, transparent and in compliance with all legal requirements”, said Jorn Socquet, vice-president of marketing at AB InBev said in a statement.

As well as paying refunds and altering its packaging, Anheuser-Busch InBev will be subject to attorney’s fees up to $3.5 million, according to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Anyone wishing to claim a refund will be required to present a valid receipt, with refunds limited to one per household. Customers without receipts may receive refunds of up to $12. A website is due to be set up for consumers to claim.

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