Author Topic: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV  (Read 1408 times)

Offline BrewingRover

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AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« on: February 26, 2013, 03:02:35 PM »
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-26/ab-inbev-overstates-alcohol-in-budweiser-lawsuit-claims.html

The most interesting thing to me is that they're accused of reaching their final ABV by adding water and CO2. I drank enough 4% BMC in Utah to think that's the truth.
It's such a fine line between stupid and clever.

Offline nateo

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2013, 03:29:11 PM »
A local brewpub uses deoxy'd water to push beer through their plate filter. Since some of the water mixes with the beer, they said it usually drops it about 1/10th of a *P. I don't really think there's anything wrong with that.
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Offline Kaiser

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2013, 03:33:56 PM »
AB and most other macros, and even some micros, brew a higher gravity strength beer that is then diluted before packaging. That's SOP and had been like this for a while.

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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2013, 03:36:27 PM »
The large BMC type brewers brew high gravity beer (for get the %, 6 to 8), and then add sterile de-oxygenated water to drop the ABV to what they need for the market it is going to.

For an MCAB in St. Louis some club members toured the AB pilot facility. They tasted the high gravity beer, and said they were very surprised a how good it was.

Edit - Kai was in first. Slow typing today.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2013, 03:37:12 PM »
I haven't read the pleadings but as I understand it they are accusing AB InBev of diluting the beer on the basis of some brewery employees saying they dilute the products in line below the stated ABV on the label. I suspect they are manipulating the facts about what is discussed above with diluting the product based upon particular state requirements. Even still, if the product is in fact diluted below the labelled ABV it does not mean the label is out of compliance with the TTB and/or state ABC regulations for labeling. TTB makes ABV option label info but if you put it on, then the beer must be within 0.3% ABV of the stated ABV unless state law says otherwise. The plaintiffs here allege there is a dilution of 3-8%. A 5% beer actually possessing 4.7% ABV is diluted 6% below the labeled ABV. Not out of compliance with the TTB. I assume where the variance is greater it is permitted by state law. AB InBev has a huge influence on beer regulations, it's hard to imagine they don't know how to play within the rules they helped create.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2013, 05:57:39 PM »
They have great process control. Beers are brewed to higher gravity and diluted. If they know the mean and standard deviation of the process, they can dilute to below the label value and still be in tolerance for the federal or state regulations. That maybe what the folks are up in arms about, but if it is and ABInbev is in the letter of the law, good luck with that.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2013, 06:10:43 PM »
I would not be surprised to see AB InBev take this one all the way to court and refuse to settle. After all, if you're alleged to impermissibly dilute your product but you are clearly complying with the law then a victory in court is the best way to defeat the bad publicity.
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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2013, 07:47:20 AM »
Looks like the plaintiffs should have done some testing before filling the suit. 4.99% ABV is within the TTB limits for a 5% ABV beer. White Labs!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/28/173076501/budweiser-may-seem-watery-but-it-tests-at-full-strength-lab-says?ft=1&f=1003
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2013, 08:29:12 AM »
They have great process control. Beers are brewed to higher gravity and diluted. If they know the mean and standard deviation of the process, they can dilute to below the label value and still be in tolerance for the federal or state regulations. That maybe what the folks are up in arms about, but if it is and ABInbev is in the letter of the law, good luck with that.

You're not saying the Budweiser "get's it" are you?

Or is that a topic for another thread?
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2013, 09:55:05 AM »
Looks like the plaintiffs should have done some testing before filling the suit. 4.99% ABV is within the TTB limits for a 5% ABV beer. White Labs!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/28/173076501/budweiser-may-seem-watery-but-it-tests-at-full-strength-lab-says?ft=1&f=1003
It really sounds like someone explained how the beer was made and it was misunderstood.  Seriously, how do you not send the beers out for lab testing before you file a lawsuit?
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Offline Slowbrew

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Re: AB InBev accused of mislabeling ABV
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2013, 11:38:30 AM »
Looks like the plaintiffs should have done some testing before filling the suit. 4.99% ABV is within the TTB limits for a 5% ABV beer. White Labs!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/28/173076501/budweiser-may-seem-watery-but-it-tests-at-full-strength-lab-says?ft=1&f=1003
It really sounds like someone explained how the beer was made and it was misunderstood.  Seriously, how do you not send the beers out for lab testing before you file a lawsuit?

This should be added to the Statue of Liberty's sign: "Welcome to the United States of America - Land of Unnecessary Litigation".

I agree that the plaintiff most likely misunderstood the process and didn't bother to review the applicable law.

Paul
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