Is Blue Moon a craft beer? California resident and angry beer drinker Evan Parent doesn't believe so. According to court documents, Parent has filed a class action lawsuit against MillerCoors, the company that owns Blue Moon. His suit claims that MillerCoors markets Blue Moon as a craft beer when it is in fact a mass produced beer.
The Brewers Association — an organization "dedicated to promoting and protecting American craft brewers" — defines craft breweries as small and independent companies that produce less than six million barrels of beer each year. The suit argues that because MillerCoors has eight major breweries across the U.S. and produces 76 million barrels annually, it cannot qualify as a craft brewery.
Parent feels MillerCoors has been deceptive in their marketing, alleging in the suit that the company has gone to "great lengths to disassociate Blue Moon beer from the MillerCoors name." MillerCoors does not appear on the Blue Moon bottle and Blue Moon's website does not feature "a single reference to MillerCoors." The label also claims that the beer is "artfully crafted" which Parent believes is a way to falsely portray Blue Moon as a craft beer — something many beer drinkers are willing to pay higher prices for. The lawsuit adds that MillerCoors charges up to 50 percent more for Blue Moon beer than it charges for its other products.
A number of booze brands have faced lawsuits over their labeling and marketing practice in recent months. In January, a judge ruled that those who believed that Kirin Ichiban beer was imported from Japan are entitled to a refund. Since Anheuser-Busch purchased the beer brand in 1996, Kirin hasn't been made with any Japanese ingredients, or brewed anywhere near Japan. In February, bourbon brand Jim Beam was slapped with a $5 million lawsuit over its use of "handcrafted" on its bottles.