Perhaps it's no big surprise to many beer lovers, but Budweiser is being sued for allegedly watering down its beer.
In a class action lawsuit, consumers across the United States accuse Anheuser-Busch of watering down its Budweiser, Michelob, and other beer brands, reports NBC News.
The lawsuit says that consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content printed on labels. Budweiser and Michelob supposedly contain 5% alcohol, while "light" versions of their beer are supposed to contain about 4%.
While many have joked about the watered-down taste of Bud for years, the impetus behind the lawsuit is apparently some high-level leaks at Anheuser-Busch. These leaks allegedly show that as a matter of corporate practice, the company has been watering down the specified beers in a cost-cutting move.
The lawsuit accuses the company of adding the water just before the beer is bottled, and that the excess water cuts the alcohol content by 3% to 8%, reports NBC.
Anheuser-Busch called the lawsuit "groundless" and said it was in full compliance with alcohol labeling laws.
In this consumer fraud action, the plaintiffs are accusing the beer giant of not providing what they claim to be providing. For example, if you buy a beer labeled as having 5% alcohol content, you should rightly expect a beer with that content and not a beer with 3% to 8% less alcohol.
This is the akin to purchasing a car that touts itself as having passenger-seat airbags, only to discover there's nothing behind the dashboard.
The plaintiffs who have filed the lawsuit include formerly loyal customers who claim they've purchased a six-pack a week, as well as businesses that have purchased several cases of beer a month.
If found liable, Anheuser-Busch could be on the hook for reimbursing these consumers, as well as paying additional penalties.
Ten Anheuser-Busch products are named in the lawsuit including Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice, and Bud Light Lime.
- Budweiser Accused of Watering Down Beer in Lawsuit (ABC News)
- Consumer Protection Laws and Agencies (FindLaw)
- Fraud vs. Lying: What's the Legal Difference? (FindLaw's Injured)