Anheuser-Busch has systematically cheated consumers and violated Texas law by watering down Budweiser and its other beers to reduce alcohol content below advertised levels, a federal lawsuit filed last Thursday in Dallas alleges. The lawsuit states that the alcohol content is mislabeled on the brands Budweiser, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, and Bud Light Lime.
Attorneys for the Plaintiff claimed that they learned of the mislabeling from a wide number of former Anheuser-Busch employees. Because water is cheaper than alcohol, Anheuser-Busch adds extra water to its finished products to produce malt beverages that consistently have significantly lower alcohol content than the percentage displayed on its labels. By doing so, Anheuser-Busch is able to produce a significantly higher number of units of beer from the same starting batch of ingredients.
Anheuser-Busch was recently purchased in 2012 by the multinational beverage company InBev. Although the company states that it was in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws, former employees have stated that the company as a matter of cooperate policy began diluting its products following the purchase as an attempt to lower costs on raw material and boost production. The lawsuit alleges that the company’s actions violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act and the federal Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and breach “the implied warranty of merchantability” under Texas law. Similar class actions have been filed across the country including California and New Jersey. Attorneys on the case believe that millions of individuals have been affected and that the damages are in excess of $5 million.