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Opening Arguments

Beer bash

What's this country coming to? First it was Maker's Mark, planning to reduce its bourbon from 90 to 84 proof before customer outrage made it back off. Now Anheuser-Busch is getting into the act:

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI), the world’s biggest brewer, was sued by consumers in three U.S. states for allegedly overstating the alcohol content in its Budweiser beer.

AB InBev’s St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch Cos. routinely adds extra water to its finished products to produce malt beverages with significantly less alcohol content than displayed on its labels, violating state statutes on consumer protection, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Philadelphia. Similar lawsuits were filed in federal courts in New Jersey and San Francisco.

“AB’s customers are overcharged for watered-down beer and AB is unjustly enriched by the additional volume it can sell,” Thomas and Gerald Greenberg said in the Philadelphia complaint.

AB InBev, the maker of Budweiser and Stella Artois, controls 39 percent of the U.S. beer market. The company is seeking government approval to buy the rest of Grupo Modelo SAB, Mexico’s largest beermaker, for $20.1 billion. The Modelo brands account for 7 percent of the U.S. market. AB InBev shipped 98.5 million barrels in the U.S. in 2011, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

So if Budweiser is being watered down, the question on everybody's mind is: How could you even tell? It's not exactly king of the hill when it comes to robust flavor. Look, it you want a serious alcohol experience, might I suggest a nice cabernet or zinfandel or Bombay Sapphire gin or B&B liquer. If you really need beer, try Dos Equis or some other stout dark brew. Don't come whining to me about your watered-down Bud. You pansy.

What's next, Twinkie Lights? Oh, wait.

Posted in: Food and Drink