DENVER (CBS4) – A beer battle is growing against MillerCoors’ Blue Moon, where the issue of what is and what is not a craft beer may not be so clear.
A man in San Diego has filed a lawsuit against MillerCoors, saying it is misleading customers into thinking Blue Moon is a craft beer.
The lawsuit claims Miller-Coors has gone to great lengths to disassociate Blue Moon beer from the company name.
It claims the beer’s advertising uses phrases like “artfully crafted” to trick customers into paying a higher price for blue moon than its other products.
“My definition of craft beer is something that’s brewed in small batches by people who get their hands dirty every day,” said Troy Paski, owner of Hoppy Brewing Company.
The Brewers Association says a craft brewery must meet the following qualifications: Produce less than 6 million barrels of beer annually, be less than 25% owned or controlled by a non-craft brewer, and make beer using only traditional or innovative brewing ingredients.
Even so, Paski says Blue Moon’s advertising isn’t illegal because there are no government guidelines.
“Blue Moon is not breaking the law by any sense of the imagination, what they are is essentially defrauding the consumer, but that’s done every day,” he said.
Beer drinkers are undecided.
“It’s still a craft beer in the sense that it’s the same composition,” said one man drinking Blue Moon at a bar.
However, another said, “I think when craft beers are purchased by conglomerates, they lose their craft brewery mystique and therefore should no longer be in that category.”
MillerCoors said there are countless definitions of ‘craft,’ none of which are legal definitions.
The company also stated, “Miller-Coors is tremendously proud of Blue Moon and has always embraced our ownership and support of this wonderful brand. The class action filed against MillerCoors in California is without merit.”