Blue Moon Being Sued For Advertising Itself As a Craft Beer

One San Diego man feels MillerCoors is lying to us all by calling Blue Moon a “craft” beer. According to Quartz, Evan Parent feels strongly enough that he filed a class-action suit against the beverage giant, claiming that the company is engaging in false and deceptive advertising. Key parts of his argument revolve around how the beer is advertised and the how the relationship between Blue Moon and MillerCoors is depicted to its consumers.

Specifically, Parent brings up the point that nowhere on Blue Moon’s packaging or website do they mention that they are actually owned by a larger company. The suit maintains that as long as the beer is being advertised as a “craft” or uniquely made beverage, MillerCoors is essentially tricking beer lovers into paying for a product that doesn’t really deliver on what it says it is. Food and beverage lawyer Lindsey A. Zahn explained that this lawsuit is unique in the fact that it goes after Blue Moon’s entire marketing scheme, rather than just one particular label that is considered misleading.

In 2012, the U.S. Brewers Association set updated standards for what qualifies as a “craft brewer.” The brewery must be “small,” meaning they make a maximum of 6 million barrels annually.  Craft brewers must also be “independent,” meaning less than 25 percent of the business can be owned or controlled by a maker of alcoholic beverages that is not also a craft brewery. Also, a majority of the brewery’s product must be “traditional,” which here is defined (very vaguely) as using traditional or innovative ingredients. While technically the Brewers Association says they only define what a craft brewer is, not a craft beer, Blue Moon still falls short of the standards .

Stay tuned for any major updates on this story. [Quartz][Photo: Flickr/Robert Bejil]