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InBev Sued For Overstating Budweiser Alcohol Content

Tyler Durden's picture


Maker's Mark recent foray into "diluting" reality by keeping prices flat while reducing the alcohol content - a painful reminder that stealth inflation comes in the most unexpected of shapes - came and went, with the outcry limited to a select group of Bourbon lovers. However, when the realization hits that every other alcohol producer may have been engaging in the same less than ethical behavior, including America's precious Budweiser, we expect the response to be faster and furiouser. We also expect the answer to the question of how it is that food inflation is not far greater, will be made even clearer. It will, however, certainly bring new meaning to the phrase the beer glass is half full. Of course, since the lawsuit was filed by two men who "routinely purchased as many as four cases of Bud per month for the past four years" one can see why it may not be taken very seriously.

From Bloomberg:

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, the world’s biggest brewer, was sued over claims it overstated the alcohol content in Budweiser beer.


AB InBev routinely adds extra water to its finished products to produce malt beverages with significantly less alcohol content than displayed on its labels, consumers Thomas and Gerald Greenberg said in a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia. The company’s overstatement of the alcohol content violates Pennsylvania’s consumer protection statutes, according to the complaint.


“Consumers receive watered down beer containing less alcohol than is stated,” the Greenbergs said in the filing.


The complaint accuses Leuven, Belgium-based AB InBev of mislabeling the alcohol content in Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Black Crown, Bud Light Lime, Hurricane High Gravity Lager and Michelob Ultra.


No one was immediately available to comment on the lawsuit, according to someone who answered the company’s media relations line.


The Greenbergs are seeking to represent all consumers in the state of Pennsylvania in their bid for damages exceeding $5 million and a court order requiring the company to alter its advertising campaign.


The men said they routinely purchased as many as four cases of Budweiser per month during the past four years. The labels on the beer claim the alcohol content was 5 percent by volume, according to the lawsuit.

The full lawsuit:

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Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:32 | 3278652 tmosley
tmosley's picture

Look like Joe Sixpack has become Joe Fivepack.  This won't end well.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:36 | 3278670 redpill
redpill's picture

There are certain lines you simply don't cross.  And one of them sure as fuck is beer.  

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:38 | 3278676 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

The brands listed are crap beer anyway.

But it is nice to see Natty Ice Light is for real.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:40 | 3278694 redpill
redpill's picture

I guess it's time for a little PBR&R

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:42 | 3278705 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Oh heavens ~ Next thing u know they'll tell us that some of the Clydesdales ended up in the beer...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:46 | 3278725 Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris's picture

I don't always drink beer.  But when I do, it's a Steel Reserve.  So do millions of other homeless bums.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:52 | 3278759 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Budweiser. The Viscount of Beers!

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:28 | 3278891 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

Steel Reserve? I fucked a Mexican without a condom after four 22's of that shit. I also publicly masturbated on a golf course and then blew my load on a maple tree....treesteelality! That shit has ALL alcohol, as advertised.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:30 | 3278942 AlaricBalth
AlaricBalth's picture

Dick, you are a madman. When you stole that cow, and your friend tried to make it with the cow. I want to party with you, cowboy. If the two of us together, forget it.
Bill Murray - Stripes

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:43 | 3279021 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Anyone know the current price of a pre-diluted bottle of Maker's Mark?
I'm pretty sure those will become highly sought after items.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 18:06 | 3279441 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

they have since recanted their heresy and come back to the fold.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:21 | 3279231 Boozer
Boozer's picture

Mexican female I hope doc.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 18:15 | 3279495 Blano
Blano's picture

I was afraid to ask.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:46 | 3278727 dwdollar
dwdollar's picture

It's funny that people still drink Budweiser.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:57 | 3278794 css1971
css1971's picture

If you import Budvar from Czech, you can drink Budweiser and drink a reasonable beer at the same time.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 20:04 | 3279838 thisandthat
thisandthat's picture

Actually, you can safely buy Budweiser and still get that same reasonable beer - at least if you're in Portugal: https://wcd.coe.int/ViewDoc.jsp?id=925867&Site=COE ...or elsewhere in Europe, for that matter: http://articles.marketwatch.com/2010-07-29/industries/30811010_1_budweis...

Just make sure you get the right one: in some countries they both share the same name...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:47 | 3278729 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture


Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:47 | 3278731 CPL
CPL's picture

Well considering Budwiser and all of it's products taste like horses ass...


Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:21 | 3279233 Zeroexperience2010
Zeroexperience2010's picture

What's the difference between American beer and making love in a boat?



None, it's both fucking close to water...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:48 | 3278739 john39
john39's picture

basic consumer fraud. class action lawyers will have a field day.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:06 | 3278842 CPL
CPL's picture

No they won't.  InBev will be congratulated on holding a known commodity like alcoholic dish water (bud and it's variations) in check by lowering the their costs.  I doubt consumer fraud extends to making someone less drunk by something that should be sold as near beer anyways...well, the term beer is also pretty stretched on Bud.  Alcool with beer flavor is a better term.

O'Dools would have been sent to the cleaners years ago otherwise.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:11 | 3278866 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

So is this more sneaky inflation?

BTW I don't see anymore Budweiser = USA commericals anymore.  Wonder why?  Heh, heh.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 18:39 | 3279589 CPL
CPL's picture

No, this is the way politics works now.  

Budwiser will kick over a couple of bucks to their stooges in the house reps in the state the case was petitioned.  Some type of draft will be written and handed over to the presiding judge on the court circuit that states to drop the case.  

It'll be a short case.

If anyone has noticed Kangaroo courts rule the USA now.  Why would this be any different?  There's been another of tiny news is the arrival of Walmart selling pirated iPads.  Believe me, Ralph Nader in this environment doesn't exist anymore.  

Nothing is not allowed to be wrong, broken or or false.  That's the world now...maybe not Italy though, that will be a lot of fun to watch (can't wait for their first budget period.)

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:48 | 3278740 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

Clyde's Ale?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:56 | 3278789 ParkAveFlasher
ParkAveFlasher's picture


Let's remember that the horse DNA they trace does not necessarily have to be meat, ya know.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:14 | 3278883 Pseudo Anonym
Pseudo Anonym's picture

piss on you

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 20:00 | 3279825 mkhs
mkhs's picture

No, the beer.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:56 | 3278785 waterwitch
waterwitch's picture

Well, they have to do something with Clydesdale piss!

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:31 | 3278949 J in Vegas
J in Vegas's picture

Comment of the day!

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 18:10 | 3279467 barroter
barroter's picture

They figured out how to ferment horses!

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:48 | 3278721 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Take all the other scandals, crimes, massive theft of taxpayer dollars, the pillaging of the middle class, outright decimation of title laws relating to real estate- including one's home, decimation of basic constitutional RIGHTS, the emergence of a nepotistic KronyKomrade Oligarchy, etc. etc. etc., and forget about all of that...

...for the 2nd American Revolution will we lit by:

1)  Ever increasing costs to fill up the F250, Escalade or "Lordy leased me a Mercedeeeees Benz," and

2)  Dilution of alcohol content in ditch digger swill.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:52 | 3278765 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

3) ( really #1) the attempted confiscation of firearms.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:58 | 3278796 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

#4) Discovery of equinus dollar menuis in their McMrEd grilled onion cheddar burger.

(Naw, that won't matter since it will taste the same)

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:32 | 3278957 Tijuana Donkey Show
Tijuana Donkey Show's picture

Only if soy costs more than horse.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 20:02 | 3279831 mkhs
mkhs's picture

But what of ass?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:07 | 3279161 ncdirtdigger
ncdirtdigger's picture

I'm white trash, and I'm in trouble!

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:28 | 3278936 GOSPLAN HERO
GOSPLAN HERO's picture

Bud is a lousy beer.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:50 | 3278747 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

They are screwing with the God given right of all of us Americans to cry in our beer and pee on our shoes.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 22:41 | 3280411 Matt
Matt's picture

"Of course, since the lawsuit was filed by two men who "routinely purchased as many as four cases of Bud per month for the past four years" one can see why it may not be taken very seriously."

4 X 24 = 96 cans. Between two people plus occasional guests, that is about one beer per day, i.e. one serving, which is recognized as not only being safe, but also has health benefits. Why is Zerohedge disparaging people for having one serving of alcohol per day?

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 00:26 | 3280761 defender
defender's picture

Tyler is saying that the damages will be so small that the court will throw the case out.  Trust me, the Tylers have never had any problems with Joe making use of his six pack.


Wed, 02/27/2013 - 02:13 | 3280913 Matt
Matt's picture

It is a class action suit, started by these two plaintiffs, that anyone affected can try to join. It says right in the filing papers that it is for an amount over $5 million in damages.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:54 | 3278772 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture

"They may take our lives, but they'll never take OUR BEER!!!"

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:55 | 3278779 unrulian
unrulian's picture

so...they try and take our pop, guns, internet, porn, beef, milk, gardens, homes, minds....by flying sweet fuck now they take alcohol out of our bottled carbonated syrup... you fascist bastards

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 18:07 | 3279454 Blano
Blano's picture

And hopefully the other one is guns.

Wed, 02/27/2013 - 05:13 | 3281050 Redhotfill
Redhotfill's picture

Did I miss something  They claim its 5% but dont say what the actual percentage in the purchased beer was?  How much did they get jip'd out of?

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:50 | 3278734 McMolotov
McMolotov's picture


Stealth inflation.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:53 | 3278771 waterwitch
waterwitch's picture

If indeed the alcohol content is less as charged, it is amazing that InBev didn't put the correct percentage on their labeling.  They pay tax on the alcohol content. When you're producing 100 million barrels/year, small differences like this add up big in a hurry.

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 17:41 | 3279325 Catch-22
Catch-22's picture

...as long as gain > cost (tax), they're skimming those hundred of millions of barrels...

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 15:56 | 3278783 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

Thomas and Gerald Greenberg are 'Joe Sixpacks'?    And they drink 4 cases of Bud a month?


Sure they do....    They may buy 4 cases a month - but they ain't drinking it

Tue, 02/26/2013 - 16:05 | 3278839 The_Dude
The_Dude's picture

Couple of Greenbergs and their friendly lawyer,Senoff ...out there fighting for the the comon man...sure I buy it....and I am sure they are minding their drinking on the shabbat...

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