Green Room

Customers file suit against Anheuser-Busch for allegedly watering down its beer

posted at 3:20 pm on February 27, 2013 by

How could they possibly tell? And why would they object? If you’re picking up a six of Bud, it’s because you want watery beer, no?

Coming soon: Customers file class-action suit charging that Bud is “too bland.”

The claims are apparently based on statements from former brewery workers around the country, who say that the breweries routinely added extra water just before bottling to 11 beers, including Bud Ice, Bud Light Platinum, Bud Light Lime, Hurricane High Gravity Lager, Michelob, Michelob Ultra, regular old Budweiser, and even the new brew, Black Crown. What’s especially noteworthy is that Black Crown and Bud Light Platinum are new products that have been marketed specifically as richer, higher-alcohol beers—6% by volume, compared to 4.2% for Bud Light…

The suit alleges that Anheuser-Busch increasingly watered down its beers after the company merged with InBev in 2008, creating the world’s largest beer company. “Following the merger, AB vigorously accelerated the deceptive practices,” the suit states, “sacrificing the quality products once produced by Anheuser-Busch in order to reduce costs.”

Free advice from the big A: Even in its allegedly watered-down form, Bud Light Platinum gets the job done. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do.

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How could they possibly tell?

Wasn’t that everyone’s first thought?

rbj on February 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Where do I sign up?

portlandon on February 27, 2013 at 3:30 PM

How could they possibly tell? And why would they object? If you’re picking up a six of Bud, it’s because you want watery beer, no?

Glad you said. I was certainly thinking it.

I think of Budweiser (and Coors) as water flavored beer. Frankly, that’s what I assumed they were going for: beer for people who don’t really like beer but like being slightly inebriated.

Personally, I prefer beer flavored beer, but evidently I’m a niche market.

Nessuno on February 27, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I haven’t had any Budweiser for years! I’d drink 100% before I’d have one. When I want a beer, I want a beer, not a Bud.

Qzsusy on February 27, 2013 at 3:34 PM

…carp and lawyers…one is a bottom feeding low-life. the other is a fish…

teejk on February 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

To borrow a Python phrase, drinking Budweiser is like making love in a canoe….

Rimsky on February 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

What do you expect from Bud?
Great commercials – crappy piss-water beer – always has been.
But with all the push for low calorie beer – again what do you expect? Alcohol is the biggest source of calories in beer – low cal = low alcohol.
I stick with the micro-brews.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

How could they possibly tell?
Wasn’t that everyone’s first thought?

rbj on February 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Yes

Ann on February 27, 2013 at 3:55 PM

Glad you said. I was certainly thinking it.

I think of Budweiser (and Coors) as water flavored beer. Frankly, that’s what I assumed they were going for: beer for people who don’t really like beer but like being slightly inebriated.

Personally, I prefer beer flavored beer, but evidently I’m a niche market.

Nessuno on February 27, 2013 at 3:31 PM

I look at it more from the point that they are less filling and marketed towards those who enjoy drinking more than 1-2 beers in a sitting and not feeling overly-full.

Think about it. Most beer-beers are only sold in six packs. Bud, Coors, Miller, all sell up to 24 or 30 packs. They are consumed by those who prefer to mass-consume beer.

If I am in the mood for a beer or two, I will drink beer-beer. If I am in the mood for 12 beers, I reach for Coors Light.

weaselyone on February 27, 2013 at 3:56 PM

Free advice from the big A: Even in its allegedly watered-down form, Bud Light Platinum gets the job done.

.
Sure, but only when you add a shot of Goldschlager, Jagermeister or ‘shine.
Absinthe would would but only for the metrosexual goth crowd.

LincolntheHun on February 27, 2013 at 3:57 PM

Why is increasing the amount of an ingredient a deceptive practice? Do the bottles list the amounts of each ingredient? Every beer they mention is water with a hint of beer flavor added. My other thought is that do people that drink those beers really care as long as the alcohol content isn’t changed. I doubt they drink them for the flavor.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 27, 2013 at 4:00 PM

The sad thing is, it takes really good quality control to make such incredibly bland beer.

Fenris on February 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM

How could they possibly tell?

Wasn’t that everyone’s first thought?

rbj on February 27, 2013 at 3:28 PM

Exactly. There’s a reason I rarely drink cheap beer. It tastes like swill, and they all taste watery, even if they haven’t been.

I realize it’s not always the case, but to me there’s only one reason to buy cheap beer. To get drunk.

I’ll pay the dollar or two more for a six pack – typically staying away from anything made by any major brewer – enjoy my beer and have a six pack that can last me a week.

Logus on February 27, 2013 at 4:03 PM

If I am in the mood for a beer or two, I will drink beer-beer. If I am in the mood for 12 beers, I reach for Coors Light.

weaselyone on February 27, 2013 at 3:56 PM

You have a point. Sometimes in the summer after working in the hot sun a less heavy beer is preferred. Generally one of the summer brews like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy for me.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 27, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Do what we do: brew your own.

Bob's Kid on February 27, 2013 at 4:07 PM

The sad thing is, it takes really good quality control to make such incredibly bland beer.
Fenris on February 27, 2013 at 4:01 PM

This could be wrong but, I once saw a TV show that said that it was Miller that started the whole lighter beer trend back in WWII. When the boys went to war they started cutting the beer with rice to lighten the body and flavor in order to sell to woman. After the war they just continued the practice because the guys bought it and it was cheaper to produce.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 27, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Do what we do: brew your own.

Bob’s Kid on February 27, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Kit or mix it yourself. I’ve been tempted to try a kit but because everything is premixed I figured it wasn’t really making my own.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 27, 2013 at 4:10 PM

You can always count on these kind of posts to bring out all the beer snobs.

Mark1971 on February 27, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Do what we do: brew your own.

Bob’s Kid on February 27, 2013 at 4:07 PM

Kit or mix it yourself. I’ve been tempted to try a kit but because everything is premixed I figured it wasn’t really making my own.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 27, 2013 at 4:10 PM

My wife bought me a brewing kit for Christmas but I haven’t used it yet. It came with a mix (my choice) – this one happens to be a porter. Hopefully soon I’ll get to start my first batch – as soon as I can line up some local assistance for my first foray. I’ll stick with kits until I get comfortable enough to venture into creating my own mixes.

Logus on February 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

You can always count on these kind of posts to bring out all the beer snobs.

Mark1971 on February 27, 2013 at 4:14 PM

I’m a Cajun snob first. Cheers!

A little boudin or hogs head cheese on crackers goes well with a good beer.

Logus on February 27, 2013 at 4:17 PM

Sitting in Heidelberg at Vetter’s* one evening, sharing a table with some Swiss students. They commented that they came to Vetter’s to get a decent beer, complaining about the weakness of other beers.
With a bit of shock, we asked, “Even German beer?”
They replied, “Like water.”
“How about American beer?”
“Toilet water.”
So, we all returned to our heffeweissens and Vetter’s Drei-und-dreisig.

*Vetter’s Drei-und-dreisig (33) is 33% alcohol. At the time it was in Guiness (the records people, not the stout) as the most alcoholic beer in the world. I think it has been surpassed, now.

GWB on February 27, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Domestic and light beers have their place and time. I have Spaten and Blue Moon in the kegerator for entertaining and when I’m BBQing.

But after working in the yard and I’m hot, I love knocking back a couple of cold cold Buds in a frozen mug.

Mark said it best…these posts do bring out the beer snobs.

Ditkaca on February 27, 2013 at 4:26 PM

How can you tell?

Akzed on February 27, 2013 at 4:27 PM

I’m the snobbiest of beer snobs. PBR for me. You know it’s good; it won a blue ribbon.

Note: I belong to the non-hipster faction of PBR drinkers, so I’m not just drinking tall boys for the irony.

Nick_Angel on February 27, 2013 at 4:37 PM

Obviously either a lot on Non-Catholics on this board or my parish is an outlier….

JFKY on February 27, 2013 at 4:42 PM

probably true. back in the day, a six of miller or coors would put a smile on your face, a six of bud was a kick in the pants. rice beer.

FineasFinn on February 27, 2013 at 4:48 PM

AP, you should ask Ed if he will allow you to hand out a Captain Louis Renault award to these clowns.

Odysseus on February 27, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Actually, Bud is just the thing to keep in your water bottle when playing hockey…

affenhauer on February 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Bud Light Platinum gets the job done. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do.

Well that explains a lot. What? They don’t have good beer in Allah Land?

stvnscott on February 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Well that explains a lot. What? They don’t have good beer in Allah Land?

stvnscott on February 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM

Nah. Rivers of non-alcoholic wine instead. AKA, grape juice. :D

Logus on February 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

To borrow a Python phrase, drinking Budweiser is like making love in a canoe….

Rimsky on February 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Wrong! Making love in a canoe, while challenging, does involve some pleasure.

New Bud slogan coming?

“More water, less horse urine”

krome on February 27, 2013 at 5:22 PM

Bud. Alcohol delivery system. Beer local or regional with real flavor. I don’t drink much beer but when I do I like to taste it.

CW20 on February 27, 2013 at 5:36 PM

The two or three times I had a Bud or Coors Light (only to be gracious to an offering friend), I tasted no flavor whatsoever.

I went to the Budweiser station at Sea World a few years ago and sampled several other brews which generally didn’t make the cut to be offered for sale. Those were good, or at least interesting.

They can make good beer, but the bottom line doesn’t encourage them to.

22044 on February 27, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Bud Light Platinum gets the job done. Don’t ask me how I know. I just do.

The better it does the job, the earlier the QOTD goes up! :)

22044 on February 27, 2013 at 5:46 PM

I went to the Budweiser station at Sea World a few years ago and sampled several other brews which generally didn’t make the cut to be offered for sale. Those were good, or at least interesting.

They can make good beer, but the bottom line doesn’t encourage them to.

22044 on February 27, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Last year Anheuser-Busch had a “Budweiser 2012 project” where they had their regional brewmasters each come up with a distinctive variation using the original Budweiser hops recipe. They narrowed the list down to 3 brews, each named after the ZIP code where the particular brewmaster’s brewery was located. A couple of them were actually quite good.

But the new Budweiser Black Crown? Horrible.

Del Dolemonte on February 27, 2013 at 5:53 PM

You can always count on these kind of posts to bring out all the beer snobs.

Mark1971 on February 27, 2013 at 4:14 PM

Ok, so we’re snobs because we can’t stand thin tasteless beer.
I’ll take a Breckenridge Brewing Avalanche or a New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire (both Colorado based) any day over a cheap watery Bud.

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Ok, so we’re snobs because we can’t stand thin tasteless beer.
I’ll take a Breckenridge Brewing Avalanche or a New Belgium Brewing Fat Tire (both Colorado based) any day over a cheap watery Bud.
dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 6:27 PM

I beg to differ: Ranger IPA or Dig (spring seasonal) — both New Belgium — totally blow Flat Tire away…

affenhauer on February 27, 2013 at 6:34 PM

I beg to differ: Ranger IPA or Dig (spring seasonal) — both New Belgium — totally blow Flat Tire away…

affenhauer on February 27, 2013 at 6:34 PM

I can’t stand IPAs and I also don’t like any of the wheat beers – but that’s my taste. I like most ambers, reds, and darks. My wife and son both like different beers than I like. I really don’t play the “snob” game – everybody’s taste is different, so drink whatever you like.
Viva la difference…

dentarthurdent on February 27, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Henry Weinhards is much better that Bud Crud and Coors Water and a little cheaper, but I don’t think you can get it outside the NW.

VorDaj on February 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

To borrow a Python phrase, drinking Budweiser is like making love in a canoe….

Rimsky on February 27, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Wrong! Making love in a canoe, while challenging, does involve some pleasure.

New Bud slogan coming?

“More water, less horse urine”

krome on February 27, 2013 at 5:22 PM

The second half of the quote explains it.

“It’s ____ing close to water.”

Rimsky on February 27, 2013 at 7:58 PM

These are all beers produced by a high gravity process, where strong beer is fermented, and diluted to the desired strength. It makes more efficient use of the fermentation equipment…

“Stereotypically this technique is used for beers like American Pilsners. These beers are brewed with an original gravity (OG) around 14–16 °Plato (SG 1.056–1.064). After fermentation, the stronger beer is blended/diluted to a “virtual” gravity of around 10–11 °Plato (1.040–1.044). Of course, virtual gravity means the beer measured… had the water been added pre-fermentation. BYO reported this could be done to about a 40% water/to/beer blending. ”

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/High_Gravity_Brewing

oddball on February 27, 2013 at 8:47 PM

Henry Weinhards is much better that Bud Crud and Coors Water and a little cheaper, but I don’t think you can get it outside the NW.
VorDaj on February 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

You can get it in NoVa, too, but its not the bargain it was 6 months ago. When I could get 12 for $11.95 I was loading up (maybe a little too much); now they price it up with all the Sierra Nevada variants…

affenhauer on February 27, 2013 at 9:15 PM

Henry Weinhards is much better that Bud Crud and Coors Water and a little cheaper, but I don’t think you can get it outside the NW.
VorDaj on February 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

x\

FYI Weinhard’s will no longer be a local Oregon product, I doubt this means it will improve at all:

Since 2003, Henry’s beers have been brewed in downtown Hood River at Full Sail and have provided a significant boost and cash flow for its makers. It was a lifeline that has helped Full Sail continue to grow. Now that line will be cut after March of 2013, when SAB Miller will end its contract with Full Sail. This is big news for Oregon craft beer and another end to Henry’s, as SAB Miller attempts to franchise the brand by opening more Henry’s Taverns across the country and brewing and distributing the beers regionally. I spoke to Full Sail Brewing’s co-Founder and CEO on Friday to confirm the news and find out how this would affect her brewery:

“Miller has decided to move the production to one of their breweries. they want to go national with the brand and they thought that made more sense. The contract was up for renewal and so it was just the natural process of it.”

“We have been very happy with that relationship, it’s going to have been 10 years now. It’s really enabled us to get in a whole lot stronger financial position and for an independent brewery it’s not a bad place to be in. It’s enabled us to invest in the brewery and be good for the brewers and not get into a whole lot of debt which is a really good place. We are grateful for having had it, we wont be doing it after 2013. “

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on February 27, 2013 at 9:42 PM

I am shocked, shocked that Ed has not come to the defence of his Canadian friends against all of the ghastly nationalistic slurs about making love in a canoe. Canadians are very proud of the fact that they can effectively make love in a canoe without winding up on the bottom of one of our beautiful lakes. Shame, shame I say that such aspersions should be cast (and we can do it while sipping a fantastic Canadian brew on a warm summer afternoon). So there, Americans!

John Adams on February 28, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Domestic mass-produced “beer” is pure crap, an offense to the brewer’s art and the consumer’s senses.

But if Bud’s your preference, cheers! Just don’t act funny when I decline to drink with you if that’s what you stock.

Adjoran on February 28, 2013 at 4:54 AM

Canadians are very proud of the fact that they can effectively make love in a canoe without winding up on the bottom of one of our beautiful lakes.
John Adams on February 28, 2013 at 1:22 AM

Baby sissy stuff. Now, an inner tube in the middle of a small lake is the way to go.

Dr. Frank Enstine on February 28, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Simple solution: If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Next..!

NeoCon_1 on February 28, 2013 at 9:24 AM

Anything InBev puts out is mediocre. Now Guinness is making a black lager, geez.

This country has the best microbrews in the world, why buy InBev?

NoDonkey on February 28, 2013 at 11:17 AM