Remember how that guy sued MillerCoors because he felt deceived by how the company branded Blue Moon as a craft beer? Well, the federal judge dismissed the case with prejudice. The plaintiff (Evan Parent) sought damages for deceptive trade, consumer law violations, false advertising law and unfair competition. He really had a beef with the up charging of Blue Moon and the company’s use of the term “Artfully Crafted” on its labeling and ads.
Bit of a stretch? The judge thought yes. Move along.
Well, how about this one? Last year, we reported that Walmart has been selling commissioned “craft beer” for its empire of big box retail stories — it’s been private labeling the beer from Rochester, N.Y.-based Trouble Brewing — except there is no Trouble Brewing — it’s made up. That’s what a beer drinker’s lawsuit filed in Hamilton County, Ohio, says (basically Cincinnati). According to this article on courthousenews.com:
“The trouble is, ‘Trouble Brewing’ doesn’t really exist,” the complaint states. “The applicant listed on filings with the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is ‘Winery Exchange Inc.’, which has since turned into WX Brands. WX Brands ‘develops exclusive brands of wine, beer and spirits for retailers around the world’ according to its website. But under the ‘brewery address’ section of the TTB filings, Genesee Brewing’s business office in Rochester, NY is listed instead. Genesee is owed [sic] by another company that brews Costa Rican lager among other industrial brands. Upon information and belief, Genesee produces well over the prescribe amount that would be considered ‘small.’”
AND, not only is Walmart lying on the bottle and branding to consumers buying its Trouble Brewing brand at mega marts, it’s placing those beers next to other products that meet the Brewers Association definition of craft. According to the same article:
“Defendant stocks its craft beer next to other ‘craft beers’ for sale in its stores, rather than with other mass produced beers, such as Budweiser, Miller or Coors products,” the lawsuit states. “Again, by placing the craft beer on its shelves with other ‘craft beers’, defendant is further perpetuating the myth that it’s a craft beer.”
Lead plaintiff Matthew Adam seeks to represent a class of Ohio residents who have bought the beer at issue. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for violations of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act, fraud, and unjust enrichment, as well as an injunction preventing further false and misleading advertisements regarding the beer.
According to other reports, Walmart has already moved on to its next money-grubbing scheme, aimed at fucking over another sector of American small businesses.