A San Diego beer drinker is suing massive alcohol conglomerate MillerCoors, the second macro-est macrobrewer in the world (behind Anheuser-Busch Inbev), for false advertising because he’s been buying Blue Moon all these years, believing it was a “craft beer.” Did he actually drink any of it? Because that probably would have cleared things up pretty quick.
Seriously, though: Evan Parent accuses MillerCoors of taking all kinds of steps to disguise the fact that Blue Moon is not produced in small batches at a little, independent brewery. For example: putting “Blue Moon Brewery” (but not “Coors”) on the label, and setting up a dedicated Blue Moon brewery at Coors Field.
The thing is, contrary to its trademarked slogan, “artfully crafted,” the Blue Moon you buy in stores and use to ruin the flavor of orange slices at bars isn’t made in that facility. It’s made in the same huge Colorado and North Carolina plants that bring you Miller High Life and Milwaukee’s Best, but it costs much more per bottle than those products.
Parent points to the Brewers’ Association rules—which aren’t legally binding, mind—defining craft breweries as companies that produce less than six million barrels of beer annually and are no more than 25% owned by a major brewer. MillerCoors produces 76 million barrels of beer (or close facsimiles like Icehouse) every year.
When he found out who really owned Blue Moon back in 2012, Parent quit buying it, he says, and hasn’t had one since.
Eater points out that previous false advertising claims against booze conglomerates have been successful, including a suit by drinkers who believed Kirin Ichiban (produced by Anheuser-Busch) was imported from Japan. Bourbon label Jim Beam was sued in February over the “handcrafted” claim on its label, a claim Blue Moon also makes on its website.