Anheuser-Busch Defends Its Beer

Anheuser-Busch is responding to lawsuits claiming that several brands are watered down and mislabeled. The company is accused of misrepresenting the alcohol content on Michelob, Michelob Ultra, Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum,Hurricane High Gravity Lager, King Cobra, Busch Ice, Natural Ice and Bud Light Lime.

According to an article in the LA Times, former employees are siding with the plaintiffs, supporting the claim that the lead attorney on the case, Josh Boxer, calls "a matter of corporate practice" and "a simple cost-saving measure." Boxer says that water is added right before the bottling process, diluting alcohol content by 3 to 8 %.

In a statement, Peter Kraemer, Anheuser-Busch vice president of brewing and supply, denied the claims:

"Our beers are in full compliance with all alcohol labeling laws. We proudly adhere to the highest standards in brewing our beers, which have made them the best-selling in the U.S. and the world."

The news inspired fun on Twitter, such as this tweet by the managing editor for the Chicago Sun-Times:


Discussion Starters:

  • Assess Anheuser-Busch's statement. In what ways is it effective and ineffective?
  • How does this story relate to the recent news of Subway's 11-inch foot-long sandwich? In what ways are they different? Compare the companies' approaches, given the similarities and differences.