Diatribe: Watered Down Beers.

Posted 20 months ago|5 comments|476 views
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When I was a struggling college student a six-pack of cheap beer could be had for as little as two dollars. I think we bought Hamm's Special Light at a liquor store that was just "off campus" and we certainly got what we paid for. The beer was hardly "full" and when others joined us for a drink they usually brought their own. Most thought the cheap stuff we bought was "weak and watery". I didn't care. At the time I figured that bad beer was better than no beer.

This week, beer drinkers in three states filed lawsuits accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down and mislabeling Budweiser, Michelob and other beer brands to cut costs. The lawsuits, filed in California, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, allege that the brewery cheats consumers by listing a higher alcohol content than the beers actually contain.

Ten beers were named in the lawsuits: Budweiser, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime.

"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. It's a simple cost-saving measure, and it's very significant." – Josh Boxer, lead Attorney

Water is allegedly added just before bottling and cuts the stated alcohol content by 3% to 8%.

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20 months ago: Never water down a mans beer!, well that and false advertisement, inflation of price per unit and all that illegal jazz.
20 months ago: From 11% to 8%? Seems that in the US the Federal government and/or state government regulates the alcohol content in all beer, wine and liquor and beer is not allowed to be that high. More like 5%. (From memory)

Just did some checking and seems that several states are upping their beer limits FROM less than 5% to over 10%.

Anyway you spin it, it is not the manufacturer who sets the limits but they must conform to them by being below whatever is set. As to how low they push it, that is their right as manufacturer, whether anyone will buy it is the final test.

As for people thinking they are being cheated because they water their beer to decrease the alcohol content..... taste is the deciding factor to me.

People who whine about the decreased alcohol content are just adding fuel to the governments contention that putting the % on a label just attracts people to that brand purely for the alcohol content.

When I was much younger it was illegal to sell Coors in this state. Seems the alcohol content was too high, 5.0% and our legal limit was 3.2%. Sometime during my 20's they raised the limit and Coors is readily available in WET counties.
20 months ago: False advertising it false advertising no matter how you spin it with government regulations. If the government says 5%, they label the bottle as a 5% brand made with x ingredients. Then make it with what ever they want and then water it down to 1%, but still claiming 5% and the materials used. That is miss representation of there product. Akin to messing around with wins by mixing it with another cheaper wine to make more profits on the more expensive win.

What would you do if you were allergic to a certain strain of wheat and that wheat was added to your beverage of choice because it was cheaper to use that strain then the one claimed on the bottle? There is saving money by making a cheaper product. But when you make a cheaper product and try and miss represent it as another product. That is where the law comes in to play, because it has been broken.
20 months ago: Did they change the law? Fed law states that they can not put the alcohol content on beer.

I'm going to assume that they tested the beer for alcohol content after it left the bottling plant.

Substituting a different wheat than that on the label would be a violation of Federal Law so wouldn't expect that to happen.... much.

Yes if the label says the beer has 5% and it only has 1% it is in violation of Federal Law. If it is not on the label, no violation.
20 months ago: Those bottles of cold beer look very refreshing on the home page.
New York, NY
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