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Beer

MillerCoors sued for claiming Blue Moon is a craft beer

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Blue Moon is brewed by beer giant MillerCoors. (Blue Moon Brewing Company)

Blue Moon, a sweet Belgian wheat ale, that has risen to the top as one of the country’s top beers is brewed by MillerCoors.

But a lot of people still think it’s a “craft” beer.

Now, one California man is taking matters into his own hands, filing a class action against MillerCoors charging that the beer giant misleads customers by marketing Blue Moon as a craft beer.

MillerCoors has eight major U.S. breweries and produces 76 million barrels of beer annually. None of its brands meet the standards for a craft brewery set by The Brewers Association, which says craft breweries can product up to six million barrels of beer each year.

According to court documents filed in the Superior Court of California in San Diego, Evan Parents—the suit’s filer—claims that MillerCoors has gone to "great lengths to disassociate Blue Moon beer from the MillerCoors name,” and practices deceptive marketing practices to lead consumers into thinking Blue Moon is in fact brewed by a smaller institution.

The website for Blue Moon does not feature “a single reference to MillerCoors” and the beer’s label says the words “artfully crafted” which Parent says is a tactic used by the company to make consumers think is a craft beer and therefore will pay more for the product.

The suit also mentions that the company charges up to 50 percent more for Blue Moon than it charges for other products.

Other big alcohol brands have faced lawsuits recently over misleading marketing practices. This January, a judge ruled that Anheuser-Busch InBev had to payout to customers who believed their Kirin Ichiiban beer was imported from Japan. In February, bourbon producer Jim Beam faced a $5million lawsuit over its use of the word “handcrafted” on its bottle labels.