A federal judge has ordered Beck's to send checks to beer drinkers who were duped into believing that the St. Louis-brewed beer was an authentic German Pilsner.
A U.S. magistrate judge in Miami ruled that Anheuser-Busch InBev tricked American beer drinkers into thinking that Beck’s was made in Germany, approving an estimated $20 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit over deceptive packaging, according toThe Wall Street Journal.
Beck’s trademark green bottle features a label trumpeting that it “Originated in Bremen, Germany” and is “German Quality” beer made under the "German Purity Law of 1516"—all clearly intended, according to the court, to make you think that's where Beck's is made.
In fact, Beck’s has been brewed in St. Louis—where parent company AB InBev produces Budweiser and other beers— ever since it moved production there from Germany in 2012.
The original Beck's brewery, founded in 1873, remained in the same family until 2002, when the global suds conglomerate gobbled it up.
So exactly how do aggrieved Beck's drinkers collect their checks? The settlement covers Beck's fans who purchased Beck's, Beck’s Light, Beck’s Dark and Beck's Octoberfest beers since May 2011.
Once they get over the psychic trauma of having been hoodwinked into drinking American beer, betrayed Beck's drinkers have until November 20 to go to Becksbeersettlement.com and claim a refund of up to $50 per household, provided they have receipts, of course.
But even without proof of purchase, you can still get up to $12 in cold, hard Beck's cash.
The Becks' brouhaha is the first semi-alarming report stemming from the New Beer Order created when Anheuser-Busch InBev agreed to purchase SABMiller for $104 billion, joining longtime rivals Bud and Miller and creating a super brewery that will be the world's biggest beermaker by far.