Miami man files class-action against world's largest brewer

Avid beer lovers pay premium prices for better brews, particularly of the craft or import variety. A recent craft beer boom has encouraged more and more businesses to try to get into this market, and it has also affected the way that some existing brewers market their products in order to reach out to those seeking finer beer.

In order for such marketing to work, however, and for it to be lawful, it does need to be representative of what is in the bottle. A Miami man recently filed a class-action lawsuit against the world's largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch Cos. LLC, accusing the company of tricking customers into believing that Beck's is brewed in Germany, when it is actually brewed in the U.S.

According to the lawsuit, the labels on the beer include the phrases "Germany Quality" and "Originated in Germany." It is not clear how long Beck's beer has been marketed in this manner, but the lawsuit does not say that the beer packaging claims the beer is actually manufactured in Germany - only that it originated there and that it is of that quality.

The lawsuit nonetheless argues that the marketing is deceptive, and that the goal of Anheuser-Busch is to sell the domestic brew at import prices.

Anheuser-Busch has claimed that Beck's is brewed in 15 countries.

The future of this lawsuit remains to be seen. When businesses do face deceptive marketing-related claims, or other legal complaints, from consumers it is very wise to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. In many cases, it is possible to resolve these complaints outside of court in order to avoid attracting the publicity that time-consuming litigation can bring. However, in other cases it is best to take a business dispute to trial.

Source: South Florida Business Journal, "Miami man sues Anheuser-Busch for 'deceptive' Beck's beer labels," Shaun Bevan, Oct. 18, 2013