Inbev being sued for 'weak beer'

Discussion in 'Beer News' started by Soloveitchik, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. wyatt

    wyatt Nov 18, 2009 Louisiana
    Beer Trader

    Someone test this.
     
    Gatch likes this.
  2. Danielbt

    Danielbt May 4, 2012 Texas

    The guys bringing suit "purchased as many as four cases of Budweiser a month during the past four years".

    I think I can safely say: they aren't BAers.
     
  3. VeganUndead

    VeganUndead Apr 25, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I respect taking a stand but two thoughts:
    1. Now with litigation costs they'll have an excuse to add even more water to the beer to save money
    2. You live in Philly, WTF are you drinking Bud for anyways?!
     
    Gatch, Lantern, weltywm and 8 others like this.
  4. Centennial

    Centennial Nov 9, 2009 Vermont

    Bingo!
     
    Redrover, Gatch, hey5hitgoose and 5 others like this.
  5. Crusader

    Crusader Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    According to this article the claim is that the alcohol level is 3-8% lower than what is displayed on the bottle. Unless they want to claim that Budweiser is 2% instead of 5% that means 3-8% out of 5%. 8% of 5% is 0,4. Going by the legislation posted in various threads by Jesskidden, which allows for a 0,3% deviation in abv in beer above 0,5%, this is close to being in range. So Budweiser could be 4,7% abv and still be in compliance with the law. And that's using their highest percentage claim, on Budweiser specifically. 8% taken out of Bud Light's 4,2% abv is 0,336, so very close to being in range of the legally allowed deviation. Bud light could thus be 3,9% abv and still be compliant.

    http://sg.finance.yahoo.com/news/suits-more-water-less-buzz-200526998.html
     
  6. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    The comments in the comment section are funny.
     
    Gatch, SerialTicker and Duff27 like this.
  7. joeebbs

    joeebbs Apr 29, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Right? Everyone knows Philly is a Miller Lite town.
     
  8. Manoftyr

    Manoftyr May 6, 2009 New York

    This is hysterical.
     
    chuckstout likes this.
  9. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    InBev overstating the alcohol in Budweiser? Ladies and Gents, that's the tip of the iceberg. They're overstating a whole lot more than the alcohol IMO.
     
    Colloby, jrnyc, Bluecane and 10 others like this.
  10. cavedave

    cavedave Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Surely you aren't taking issue with the King Of Beers claim?
     
  11. Longstaff

    Longstaff May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    I can't beleive they are still sticking to that story after an AB exec admitted to recipe creep a few years ago in a WSJ article.

    Were they really using american aroma hops 5 generations ago?
     
    UncleJimbo likes this.
  12. pitweasel

    pitweasel Jun 11, 2007 New York

    Support domestically-owned breweries ;)
     
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    That's because the "same family recipe" reads something like:

    • Cook a quantity of rice.
    • Mix with water, and a blend of 2- and 6-row barley malt (to taste).
    • Add some hops (based on current consumer preference).
    • Lager for 3-4 months a period of time, over beechwood chips.
    • Kraeusen and package.
    • Sell beer.
    • Get rich.
    Yeah, that's surprising that their current website would say that- in recent times it was usually just "Choicest hops". Pre-Prohibition AB boasted of Budweiser's use of Saazer hops (they had the largest store of them in the world in the 1910's, were the largest purchaser of them, buying and importing 750,000 lbs. a year) and even noted their use on the Bud label itself "Saazer Hopfen".

    [​IMG]
     
    brikelly, Hatzilla, yamar68 and 5 others like this.
  14. superspak

    superspak May 5, 2010 Michigan
    Beer Trader

    All you need to do to prove this is get a Refractometer and a Hydrometer. Degas the beer, take the final gravity with the hydrometer, and take the Brix reading with the Refractometer. Then just put it in the beersmith refrac tool and it will tell you the whole profile. That's one way to win the case.

    I would do this, but I don't want to buy any of that wet grass flavored beer. Maybe I could get a can off a friend.
     
  15. IPeeIPA

    IPeeIPA Feb 26, 2013 Virginia

    I'm from Philly, and I wouldn't wash my ass with Miller Lite. (Might make it taste better).
     
    jchoffman likes this.
  16. Crusader

    Crusader Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    It's a bit disappointing when a company displays historic amnesia like this about their own products, since if not even they keep track of their own history, what chance do historically interested consumers have of getting it right (unless of course there are consumers out there who collect information about these companies and their products that they readily provide to others :p ). I'm guessing the marketing department at ABInbev doesn't recieve a very in-depth history lesson about the brands they are supposed to market, apart from their marketing history perhaps. The technical specifications and such might be left to the brew masters or company records with restricted access.
     
  17. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    *gasp* :eek: Oh, they wouldn't do that!
     
    RyFikes likes this.
  18. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Well, at least they eventually dropped the "Hundreds of years old Bohemian monks recipe" story: ;)

    [​IMG]

    ---- clipped from a 1936 Anheuser Busch Budweiser ad.​
     
  19. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    You may be confusing historic amnesia with selective memory. If there was something from the past that they could sell more beer with, something tells me it would be remembered. With embellishment.
     
    kuhndog and Crusader like this.
  20. Kuemmelbrau

    Kuemmelbrau Aug 2, 2008 Louisiana

    Well I guess they "forgot" in modern times how they historically admitted to directly "obtaining" (read stealing) even the recipe for Budweiser budvar and not just their name and label
     
  21. BrewTasting

    BrewTasting Dec 8, 2010 Nevada
    Beer Trader

    If Bourbon County Stout comes anywhere close to tasting like a watered down brown, I will rage.
     
    DrDemento456, legend8706 and SaCkErZ9 like this.
  22. SaCkErZ9

    SaCkErZ9 Feb 27, 2005 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I guess the "ice" in Bud Ice really is ice! Who knew! As long as they use real tomatoes in Clamato and not some cheap juice concentrate, we should be okay.
     
    spookyspeeg and CaptainPiret like this.
  23. Jason

    Jason Founder Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Moderator Site Editor Fest Crew Subscriber

    Its pretty embarrassing and all but how many "craft brewers" boast about insane IBUs or abv's with less than adequate testing?
     
  24. Lipsntoes

    Lipsntoes Jul 15, 2012 Ohio

    Say it aint so......
     
  25. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Oct 4, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Hey, this is the internet. Quit trying to introduce reason.
     
  26. BeerNDoggerel

    BeerNDoggerel Mar 13, 2011 Illinois
    Subscriber

    I love this country!

    ( * sniff, sniff * )
     
    yamar68, kirkse and docnose like this.
  27. Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky

    Ol_Johnny_Skippelwicky Feb 13, 2013 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    Who would set out to clone Budweiser?
     
    Hatzilla and jegross2 like this.
  28. SerialTicker

    SerialTicker Jun 18, 2012 Michigan

    Those comments are gold, as I expected they would be.

    "Can we talk about good beer, please?"
    "I'll take a Guinness."

    o_O
     
    PerdidoKeyBum likes this.
  29. hshewsf

    hshewsf Jan 25, 2013 California

    I thought Bud was water with piss mixed in for flavor and coloring.
     
    JohnQ and jchoffman like this.
  30. Shagator

    Shagator Mar 17, 2012 Kentucky

    I like the comment about how hard the recipe is to reproduce, but anyone can brew a quality IPA.
     
  31. HopsintheSack

    HopsintheSack Apr 17, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I am curious how exact the measurement has to be according to each state law. I remember being at a brewer event and having a beer that was labeled as 6.66 percent as part of the gitch. When I asked the brewer about it he told me they were allowed to sway a certain percentage from the stated alcohol content.

    http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/262/43442

    In the linked article they claim that InBev watered it down 4-8%. That is really not that much when starting with the stated 4.2% in the article.

    Now if they were messing with my Natty Ice, it think they owe me some funds. That beer got me through high school and god knows how much "I" purchased.
     
  32. jegross2

    jegross2 Jan 3, 2010 Illinois
    Beer Trader

    My bad, but I felt cheated. After all, if I am going to buy approximately 144 budweiser cans a month, it's clear I am going for maximum flavor.

    Also, who buys that much budweiser for themselves a month? Sure, the ABV checks out to the equivalent of 14 bombers of craft beer level gravity beer a month, but still! Tag line: Consuming beer as intended, not cellared, and out of a beer bong (not snifter).
     
    Soloveitchik likes this.
  33. Lutter

    Lutter Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    Texas tests all "malt liquor" (beer to... the rest of the country) products when they cross our borders during the process for label approval. Apparently the last time they tested regular Bud (which was in 2005) it was 4.91% ABV vs. 5% ABV stated on the can, which is a 1.8% difference (well within tolerance for TX, I believe you can be off as much as 0.5% ABV up or down)

    [​IMG]
     
    Crusader likes this.
  34. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    The Federal TTB rule is:
    Many states follow the TTB rules on most labeling requirements, although not always - that is why there's still an option to list ABV in the first place. Some states still prohibit it and some require it.

    Wasn't the now-defunct Texas rule that any beer over 4% ABW (aka 5% ABV) was a "malt liquor" or "ale"? "Malt Beverage", on the other hand, is the Federal catch-all "broad general classification" for all "beers" and most states also use that legal term. Although some old laws still use "malt liquor" - which was the common overall term for ale, (lager) beer, porter, stout, weiss, etc., in the pre-Prohibition era. Te letterhead on that TABC notice seems to suggest that, as well.
     
    BeerBuddy2122 likes this.
  35. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Not quite sure what you're getting at here - are you suggesting that the mythical "Bohemian monastery" from "hundreds of years" (before 1936) referred to in that ad was supposed to be Budějovický Budvar, N.C.?

    Even their own website notes that the Czech brewery was founded in 1895 or about 20 years after AB's Budweiser was first brewed and marketed, and also was a "national enterprise" - not a religious business.

    Given AB's Budweiser famous use of rice to brew a "Bohemian" style beer in the US, they obviously weren't using an all-malt recipe, stolen or otherwise "obtained" ;).
     
  36. Lutter

    Lutter Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    The change only affected packaging due to Jester King and a few others challenging, under their First Amendment right, their ability to describe their product how they would like to. For instance, before last year... you weren't allowed to use descriptive terms like "strong ale" on packaging. Or god forbid you used the word "beer" or "lager" on something above 4%ABW that the state saw as ale.

    Apparently Firestone Walker's Velvet Merkin is malt liquor! Cool! ;)
    [​IMG]

    I've lived here for years and I still haven't figured out the differentiation between "malt liquor" and "ale" that the state uses... nor do I really care, lol. You do see both though. If there are any ingredients added (coffee... vanilla... peppers, etc...), it becomes "flavored ale". If it's below 4% ABW... "flavored beer"
     
  37. jesskidden

    jesskidden Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Subscriber

    Yeah, often a "forced" change in such a law takes some time to be truly "defunct" - bureaucracies move slow. ;) The TTB still has the prohibition against listing ABV "except where required by State Law" on the books, but then notes it is "suspended". "§ 7.26 Alcoholic content [suspended as of April 19, 1993; see § 7.71]."

    IIRC, Texas has a slightly higher Excise Tax rate for "malt beverages" over 5% abv, so I suppose for them it is still easier to use different terms for different strengths, even if it has no bearing on actual and recognized beer styles as used in the industry.

    Nice find, by the way, on those TABC COLA's with tested abv's listed. Got a link? I haven't been over to the TABC site for awhile but never stumbled upon them.
     
  38. Lutter

    Lutter Jun 30, 2010 Texas

    TABC Label Approval Database: https://label.tabc.state.tx.us

    We use it all the time on the Southwest forum to track new beers coming into Texas. It's the nicest thing the state has ever given us, lol.
     
  39. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Quite true about the IBUs but I thought by law, the abv's had to be within a certain range.
     
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!