Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), the world’s biggest brewer, was sued by consumers in three U.S. states for allegedly overstating the alcohol content in its Budweiser beer.
AB InBev’s St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Cos. routinely adds extra water to its finished products to produce malt beverages with significantly less alcohol content than displayed on its labels, violating state statutes on consumer protection, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia. Similar lawsuits were filed in federal courts in New Jersey and San Francisco.
The lawsuits go on to say that their information was obtained from former Budweiser bottling plant employees, who observed that it was a matter of policy for the beer—including Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Michelob, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Black Crown, Bud Light Lime, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, Natural Ice and Michelob Ultra—to be watered down. When you add water, by the way, you cut the stated alcohol content by 3 to 8 percent, so we're looking at a policy that would have potentially made the already-watery beers taste like Dasani.
Budweiser of course is denying the charges, calling them "completely false" and stating adamantly that the alcohol content written on the labels is correct.
I'm going to choose to ignore their defense, because according to my calculations, each of us is owed around $4 million from InBev for damages. I'll take my payment in a lump sum.