A California man has sued Miller-Coors for labeling Blue Moon as a craft beer, it was reported this weekend. Zach Rabun of Mockery Brewing points to the fact Blue Moon is made at the same brewery which makes the rest of the Miller-Coors lineup of beers. That fact is not represented on the label and it is "concerning", according to the lawsuit.
The suit asks for refunds for customers and for Blue Moon to more clearly advertise how it is produced and remove the premium price tag normally reserved for craft beers.
Miller-Coors released a statement saying "There are countless definitions of craft, none of which are legal definitions."
While an obvious publicity stunt for his own beer company, Rabun has a valid argument: At what point is it illegal or unethical for large corporations to take commonly used descriptions and use them to describe their products, which often bare little resemblance to the original definition.
A good example of this is the use of 'Green', 'Organic' or 'Energy Efficient'. All three are used in deceptive, manipulative ways by big corporations.
Take Tostitos, the maker of nacho chips. Their package says it 'contains 80% organic ingredients'. While this is factual it blatantly goes against the commonly held definition of Organic - that the entire product is Organic not just some of it. By Tostitos labeling standards all products could make such percentage based claims.
It's important for Americans to take note of who makes a product before taking any health or sourcing claims at face value. As can be seen with the 'Craft Beer' designation, it is an outright lie although one which seems to be legal in our country.