By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Anheuser-Busch has reached a preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit over the labeling of their Beck’s beer. Beck’s drinkers may be entitled to a refund. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has the details.
Three Beck’s drinkers filed the suit in 2013 after they found out that the famous German beer sold here in the United States is actually brewed in Missouri. Now Beck’s customers coast-to-coast could be eligible for a refund between $12 and $50 dollars.
The lawsuit claimed that Anheuser-Busch used deceptive labeling to mislead customers into believing that the Beck’s beer sold here in the states was made in Germany, when in fact, it is being brewed in America. This week a federal judge gave preliminary approval for a settlement that includes a refund to customers who bought Beck’s beer beginning in May 2011.
The terms of the settlement breakdown like this:
Beck’s customers who have receipts can get a refund of up to $50.
Refunds are capped at $12 for those without receipts.
A website will also be created so people can file a settlement claim electronically.
“Beer isn’t ketchup. I mean there’s a romance about beer. There’s a whole lot of people who drank Beck’s and they thought their beer came from Germany,” says Devin Leonard, who has been following the story for Bloomberg Businessweek.
According to Leonard, “A-B and Beck’s position is that we are the world’s biggest beer company. We have big brewers, it’s just a recipe. You know, you brew it in Germany, you brew it in Baldwinsville New York, you brew it in St. Louis, it’s the same thing. But I think for these people who sued it’s not the same thing. It’s not the same water and it just doesn’t have the same mystique. They felt like they were ripped off.”
As part of the settlement Anheuser-Busch denies any wrong-doing. In a statement they said they believe their labeling, packaging and that the marketing of Beck’s have always been truthful, transparent and in compliance with all legal requirements