Blue Moon beer's parent company MillerCoors is facing a class action lawsuit filed by a California man who claims the brew is falsely advertised as a craft beer so that premium prices can be charged.
Evan Parent filed the lawsuit in San Diego County Superior Court, arguing that Blue Moon does not meet the definition of craft beer set by the Brewer's Association and should not be portrayed as such, reported Men's Journal
The lawsuit charged that that MillerCoors "goes to great lengths to disassociate Blue Moon beer from the MillerCoors name. MillerCoors does not appear anywhere on the Blue Moon bottle," leaving customers to believe the beer is independently made when actually the brewing giant has made the beer for 20 years, reported KNSD-TV
The lawsuit claimed that the company's deception tricks customers to pay up to 50 percent more for Blue Moon, believing that it is actually craft beer.
"What this case is really about is people think they're buying craft beer and they're actually buying crafty marketing," Jim Treglio, Parent's attorney, told the television station.
Parent said he decided to file the lawsuit because he believed MillerCoors was deliberating fooling consumers about the beer and it was not fair to other home brewers like himself.
"It matters to me because I'm a craft brew fan ... I take care in where I spend my money," said Parent. "When someone's deceiving me into giving them my money for the wrong reasons that's upsetting."
Danielle Teagarden, a lawyer specializing in the brewing industry, told Men's Journal there isn't a federal standard of what a craft beer should be, making the class action lawsuit a challenge.
"Craft is just what the consumer thinks it is," said Teagarden. "I wouldn't think Boston Beer is craft; how big does a brewery have to be?"
Robert Lehrman, of Lehrman Beverage Law, told Men's Journal that MillerCoors has never hid its ownership of Blue Moon and expressed similar doubt over the lawsuit.
"But it's no secret here. Anyone who cares knew a long time ago," Lehrman said of MillerCoors' ownership of Blue Moon. "It is preposterous that the plaintiff is a craft beer aficionado and didn’t know."
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