Why the Deception?
Aside from the obvious savings on shipping costs, why would a brewer mislabel their beer as an import if it’s brewed in the U.S.?
“Domestic brewers are keenly interested in tapping into the positive perception and reputational halo many imported beers carry with them,” Faust says. “We feel that companies should never appropriate that context, while deceiving customers in the process. Shopping for beer shouldn’t be a guessing game. Transparency, trust and accountability must be the norm.”
It’s too soon to tell whether there will be any backlash from consumers against the brands named in the class-action settlements, or whether any refunds will ultimately be issued. What is clear is that the news won’t help turn around the stagnation domestic beers have experienced in recent years.
“We believe consumer awareness will lead to more informed beer buying decisions, guided by authenticity and transparency,” Faust says. “Secondly, marketers of falsely labeled brands will take heed and adapt their labels to reflect the truth about where their products are made. We believe these are good changes not just for brewers, but most importantly, for customers across the board.” BD