Anheuser- Busch InBev finds itself in hot water, or perhaps cold water, today February 26, 2013 according to reports issued by Huffington Post and other reputable sources.
Beer drinkers have often compared Anheuser- Busch InBev products and those of other large breweries to water, but now the accusations are far more serious and have resulted in class- action lawsuits in several states. The lawsuits claim that Budweiser, Michelob, and other Anheuser- Busch InBev products contain less alcohol per volume than the labels indicate. If true, it would represent a form of false advertising on multiple levels and would possibly indicate that A-B is adding extra water directly and/or reducing ingredients in an effort to contain costs.
The class action lawsuits filed thus far are based not on any scientific tests of the products, but rather on information from former Anheuser- Busch InBev employees who claim that the beer giant is watering down its products. These reports are coming not only from brewers and others who help make the beer, but also from employees outside of the brewing part of the business who report that weakening the brew is actually a part of Anheuser- Busch InBev’s corporate policy. This prompted California beer drinkers to seek legal action against the brewery and convinced lead attorney Josh Boxer to file the suit on behalf of consumers.
"Our information comes from former employees at Anheuser-Busch, who have informed us that as a matter of corporate practice, all of their products mentioned (in the lawsuit) are watered down," said Boxer. "It's a simple cost-saving measure, and it's very significant."
According to allegations, Anheuser- Busch InBev is adding water right before bottling, reducing the alcohol level by a small margin. A serving of Budweiser, which supposedly contains 5 percent alcohol by volume, would end up with an alcohol level closer to 4 percent if the breweries are adding, say, about 20% additional water to the mixture.
Anheuser-Busch InBev denies the allegations and claims that it’s beers are in full compliance with existing labeling laws. But lawsuit allegations claim otherwise and go on to accuse the beer- making giant of accelerating the practice of watering down its beer following the merger between Anheuser- Busch and InBev. Before that, the company was apparently in compliance or very close. Cost- cutting measures, according to the lawsuit, have pushed the new Anheuser- Busch InBev to accelerate the watering down practice.
The lawsuit names ten different Anheuser- Busch InBev products suspected of going under the water in the name of higher profits. The products include Budweiser, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Bud Light Lime, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, and Natural Ice.
Additional lawsuits are going to be filed this week in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other states. Each lawsuit will seek a minimum of $5 million in damages.
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