Right Now, All Beer Is Craft Beer
I know that labeling standards are not always everyone’s idea of exciting news, but what if I told you that right now, any beer sold in America could legally be labeled as “craft beer”? As in: Miller Lite could be sold as craft beer. PBR could be sold as craft beer. Keystone could be sold as craft beer. Natural Ice could be sold as craft beer. Literally anything.
This has come about in the course of a class action lawsuit filed by San Diego beer enthusiast Evan Parent against MillerCoors for selling Blue Moon as “craft beer” despite the fact that 70 million barrels of Blue Moon are produced every year, and despite the fact that Blue Moon is brewed by one of the largest brewing companies in the country.
Parent claimed that MillerCoors misled customers by labelling Blue Moon “craft,” by not putting the name of the manufacturer on the label, and by selling it at a markedly higher price point than the rest of MillerCoors’ beer portfolio. The suit called for labeling standards for craft beer, with the Brewers’ Association proposing that craft beer be held to the following standards: “Produce[s] less than 6 million barrels of beer annually; (b) [is] less than 25 percent owned or controlled by a non-craft brewer; and (c) Make[s] beer using only traditional or innovative brewing ingredients.”
Parent’s claim was rejected by the judge on the grounds that MillerCoors had not misled consumers as the claim was phrased, but the judge also gave the plaintiffs time to rephrase and try again. In the meantime, as long as it’s beer and it’s sold in America, it’s craft beer! Enjoy your craft Budweiser, friends.
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