Earlier this year, a Blue Moon drinker Evan Parent, filed a lawsuit against Blue Moon Brewing, a division of MillerCoors. The suit contends that Blue Moon is misled him into thinking he was buying a craft beer. The source of this confusion is the Blue Moon’s marketing phrase “Artfully Crafted” while masking who truly owns the brand. Through this misrepresentation, Blue Moon/MillerCoors justifies charging up to 50% more for the ‘craft’ product.
The lawsuit doesn’t mention the beers labeling outright, just the marketing tactics
It is important to note, according to the Brewers Association, a craft brewery produces less than 6 million barrels of beer, annually. MillerCoors, who owns Tenth and Blake Beer Company, which owns Blue Moon, falls just behind Anheuser-Busch for the most beer production volume in the United States.
MillerCoors has finally responded to the class-action lawsuit, contending the suit has no merit. While there are countless definitions of “craft” a legal one does not exist.
MillerCoors 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 and contradicted by Blue Moon Brewing Company’s 20-year history of brewing creative beers of the highest quality. There are countless definitions of “craft,” none of which are legal definitions. We choose to judge beer by the quality, skill and passion that goes into brewing it. Back in 1995, Keith Villa, Blue Moon’s founder and head brewmaster had to work extremely hard to convince people to try his cloudy, Belgian-style beer. Today, MillerCoors is proud that Blue Moon has invited millions of drinkers to try something new, while helping pave the way for the current explosion of creativity in the brewing community.
The definition of a craft brewery is not a legal definition. The craft brewery guideline/designation is created by the Brewers Association, made up of craft brewers and its advocates. Those guidelines are for definition, but not a legal definition, recognized by the United States government.
You might recall a statement issued by the Brewers Association back in 2012 about “Craft vs. Crafty”. In the statement, the BA states:
… it’s important to remember that if a large brewer has a controlling share of a smaller producing brewery, the brewer is, by definition, not craft.
Again, this is not a legal definition that can be upheld in a court of law. Evan Parent might have very well been misled by Blue Moon Marketing tactics. However, Blue Moon, Tenth & Blake and ultimately MillerCoors, has not violated any legal definitions of what “craft” is.