Beer behemoth MillerCoors won a major victory today against craft beer purists. Last year, angry beer drinker Evan Parent filed a class action lawsuit against the company — which owns Blue Moon — claiming that MillerCoors falsely markets the Belgian-style wheat ale as a "craft beer" when it is actually mass-produced.
Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel of San Diego dismissed the suit, stating that the plaintiff, Evan Parent, failed to prove that MillerCoors mislead consumers into believing Blue Moon fell into the craft beer category. "At best, these advertisements contain generalized, vague and unspecified assertions that amount to mere puffery upon which a reasonable consumer could not rely," Judge Curiel wrote. He also stated that there was no evidence MillerCoors encouraged retailers to display Blue Moon in craft beer sections of stores, concert venues, sports venues, and restaurants.
The Court previously threw out the case, citing a lack of substantiated evidence. Parent's legal team has yet to comment on today's ruling, but a spokesman for MillerCoors, Marty Maloney, says the company is happy with the court's decision.
MillerCoors may have gotten lucky this time, but big beer doesn't always prevail. AB Inbev was ordered to pay $20 million in a payout settlement for duping customers into thinking Beck's was a German beer, when it has been brewed in St. Louis since 2012. In a similar case, Anheuser-Busch was ordered to reimburse consumers for leading them to believe Kirin Ichiban was made in Japan. MillerCoors will get a chance to face the courts in a separate case soon. In February, a Florida consumer is filed a class action lawsuit against the brewer alleging that Coors Light isn't exclusively brewed in the Rocky Mountains.