Walmart’s ‘Craft’ Beer

February 23rd, 2017

Despite packaging designed to emulate that of actual craft beers and the beer’s placement in craft beer sections in stores, nothing about the brewer of Walmart’s Trouble Brewing beer “is ‘small, independent and traditional’ to qualify it as an American craft brewer per the Brewers Association,” a craft brewers trade group, a class-action lawsuit alleges.

While the words Trouble Brewing appear on the label, the ale is actually brewed by Genesee Brewing in Rochester, New York, according to the lawsuit. And Genesee “produces well over the prescribed amount [of beer] that would be considered ‘small,'” the lawsuit alleges. The Brewers Association defines a “small” craft brewer as one that produces less than six million barrels of beer a year, the lawsuit states.

It also alleges that Walmart charges a premium for its faux craft beer, which comes in four varieties — Cat’s Away IPA, After Party Pale Ale, Round Midnight Belgian White and Red Flag Amber — and sells at 3,000 stores across 45 states. The suit is seeking refunds for consumers who purchased the beer thinking it was legitimate craft beer.

“Craft” is but one of several “premium” beer and alcohol claims at the center of a growing number of class-action lawsuits.

Find more of our coverage on booze here.

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