Is Your Imported Beer Really An Import?

The short answer to this question is usually “yes.” However, beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev (“ABI”) recently settled a major lawsuit focused on this very issue.

Beck’s, which is owned by ABI, is a beer brewed in St. Louis, MO. According to the lawsuit, Beck’s used to be brewed in Germany, where it had been long owned by local German families. In 2002, Beck’s was sold to Belgium’s Interbrew, which later merged into InBev, which in turn acquired Anheuser-Busch, creating ABI. The lawsuit alleges that following the 2008 merger between InBev and Anheuser-Busch, ABI moved all of Beck’s brewing and production operations to St. Louis in 2012. What remained, however, were phrases on Beck's packaging, such as “German Quality” beer and “Originated in Bremen, Germany”.

Florida law firm Kozyak Tropin & Throckmorton, LLP and three other law firms represented a class of plaintiffs, alleging that the packaging gave consumers the wrong impression about where Beck’s is made, which is a violation of state consumer protection laws.

Ultimately, ABI settled the case and now customers who can prove they recently purchased Beck’s are entitled to a refund of up to $50. The attorneys representing the class ended up getting attorney’s fees of approximately $3.5 million.

Click here to read the full complaint.


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